South wrestlers top Big Blacks, 44-24

PARKERSBURG – Senior Austin Harris’ 100th career win on a first period pin of Point Pleasant 126-pounder Joseph Martin started the rally Saturday afternoon inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center as host Parkersburg South handed the Big Blacks a 44-24 dual meet setback.

In a battle of ranked Class AAA programs, No. 5 Point Pleasant raced out to a 15-0 advantage before No. 2 PSHS recorded four consecutive mat slappers to turn the tide and win for the 25th time in 28 dual meets.

At 106, fourth-ranked Caleb Leslie pinned fifth-ranked Patriot Hunter Cline with 10 seconds left in the match to put the Big Blacks on the scoreboard first. After Scotty Wilcox won via forfeit at 113 and Austin Wamsley posted a 9-2 victory against Jacob Roberts at 120, the visitors led 15-0.

However, Harris (126), Ryan Taylor (132), Tyler Windland (138) and Hunter DeLong (145) quickly put up 24 points for second-year head coach Donna Dixon’s Patriots.

The rest of the dual only featured two matches which didn’t pit two ranked grapplers. The first came at 160 where Damon Gandee decisioned Big Black Hunter White, 9-4. The other came at heavyweight and witnessed Thomas Hall close out the dual with a 46 second pin of Point Pleasant’s Alec Stanley.

During the 152-pound class, fifth-ranked Patriot Dylan Alexander led 4-0 after two periods and handed No. 8 Austin Rutter a 9-0 setback.

In a 7-9 battle at 170, Matthew Dixon held true to the rankings as the senior Patriot trailed 1-0 heading into the third, but dominated the final period for a 5-2 triumph against Grant Safford.

Point Pleasant kept its hopes alive for victory after second-ranked Jon Peterson decisioned No. 6 Justin Allman, 7-3, at 182 to close the team score gap to 34-18.

Tyler Newhart, though, shut the door on that when the fourth-rated Patriot dominated his 195-pound match against No. 3 Tannor Hill via an 8-0 major decision.

Big Black Jacob Duncan pulled an upset at 220 against Logan Dilliner, who entered the week ranked sixth by state coaches. Duncan, rated 10th, allowed the first takedown of the match, but quickly recovered to record a pin with 19 seconds remaining in the opening period.

Patriot seniors Harris, Gandee, Dixon, Dilliner and Sam Atkinson were briefly recognized before the match, although Parkersburg South’s official senior night is slated for Thursday if Huntington is cleared to participate.