South, PHS unbeaten

PARKERSBURG – Five rounds on the opening day of the West Virginia Duals were completed here Friday evening inside Parkersburg’s Memorial Fieldhouse and all but one pool champion has been determined.

Parkersburg South took care of business in the Blue Division by going 4-0 and winning Pool A. Centreville, which is in Pool B, also went 4-0 in the Blue Division. On the other side in the Red Division, La Salle won each of its four matches in Pool D while host PHS is 3-0. The Big Reds of head coach Chris Way will face fellow 3-0 program Springboro to determine the Pool C victor.

“We’re not at 100 percent right now, but it doesn’t matter,” coach Way said. “The guys have to pick up some slack and they got to win. Everybody has to step up tomorrow and that’s what I’m expecting them to do.

“Springboro has a tough team and we had a good match with them last year and I’m sure we’ll have another good one.”

Action is set to resume about 9:30 a.m. today and after the last round of regular pool play the teams will move into tournament mode.

“Definitely a surprise,” said Parkersburg South assistant coach and tournament director David Jeffrey of both two-time defending champion Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and La Salle being in the field after he thought they would not be competing.

“But, I’m glad they came, you know. They are two good teams and they have a lot of good kids on their teams and that will help us get better. I think everything has ran really smooth. It’s a good crowd and we’re happy actually.”

CVCA, which isn’t close to filling a full squad, went 2-1 on the opening day, which included a 63-15 setback to Centreville.

Parkersburg South head coach Donna Dixon’s Patriots upped their dual record to 16-2 on the campaign. The Patriots rolled to wins versus Shady Spring (69-3), Williamstown (66-10), Lewis County (69-6) and Woodrow Wilson (78 to minus-1). Junior Logan Ball, who was fourth in the state last year in Class AAA at 106, was one of 11 Patriots to go undefeated. Ball improved his record to 15-0 and won each match on Friday via pin.

Williamstown’s lone victories against PSHS came from defending Class AA/A 126-pound state champion Dalton George and fellow Yellowjacket teammate David Hastings. George scored an 11-1 major decision at 132 against Patriot T.J. Lambiotte, but the ‘Jacket senior had to stop the match a couple of times due to blood. Hastings registered a first period pin against 195-pounder Tyler Newhart.

One of the most interesting battles on day one came between Parkersburg and Calhoun County at 145. Big Red Dylan Richards was facing Red Devil Casey Ritchie, who actually fell to George in last year’s state finals match, 6-5. Richards nearly had a late takedown in the first overtime, but didn’t get it. In the first 30-second extra session, Richards was down and got a reversal, but couldn’t hold the lead after Ritchie earned a penalty point for Richards’ third false start caution. Then the Red Devil got the escape to force a rideout situation, which Richards was able to escape from with 4.5 seconds to go for a 4-3 triumph.

“It was good to build a little adversity there,” coach Way said of that match, which also witnessed Richards nearly getting near fall points. “You never know what happens. A match like that could be in the state championship and then you’ve been there before.

“You never know the calls you are going to get with a referee. Sometimes you get good calls. Sometimes you get bad calls. It doesn’t matter. You’ve got to keep on going. If he would’ve lost that match I would’ve been upset and Dylan would’ve really been upset.”