PHS tops South at W. Va. Duals

In a battle of ranked Class AAA freshmen, No. 2 Brayden Roberts of Parkersburg South tries to turn No. 1 John Martin Best of Parkersburg in the third period of Saturday’s West Virginia Duals inside Memorial Fieldhouse. Best made a first period takedown stand en route to a 3-1 decision to help PHS pull off a 37-35 championship match victory versus the Patriots. Photo by Jay W. Bennett.

PARKERSBURG — Chris Way will take a West Virginia Duals championship over a runner-up finish any day of the week.

The Parkersburg head wrestling coach got exactly that here Saturday inside Memorial Fieldhouse as the Big Reds got a pin from heavyweight Donavon McCune in the championship to seal a 37-35 victory against rival Parkersburg South.

“Donnie ended that one in style, didn’t he?” Way said after the match where McCune started the second period down against undersized Garret Wolfe of the Patriots and then managed to flip him over and get the mat slapper.

“It was good. It was good. No better way to end a tournament than with everybody on their feet screaming and cheering, so that was pretty awesome.”

Both the No. 2 Big Red and the top-ranked Patriots of head man Shaun Smith went undefeated in their respective pools. Mountain View (Va.) finished third by handing Riverside a 51-22 setback.

“Overall, I think we wrestled all right. I will say all right,” said Smith, whose squad was down five starters.  “Some of them wrestled extremely well and some need to put a little more effort in on the mat and that will be addressed.”

The marquee match of the final dual pitted 120-pounder John Martin Best of PHS against Patriot Brayden Roberts, who allowed a takedown in the first period and lost a hard-fought 3-1 decision.

“That’s two freshman studs right there matched up against each other,” Way said of the top-rated Best and second-ranked Roberts. “I was personally looking forward to that one. I don’t think they’ve ever wrestled before. They will wrestle each other many more times. This was just part one of many more to come.

“Like I told them, it was good to win the tournament. South was a little bit less than 100 percent and we know that, but it was more about individual matchups and how we wrestled in those individual matchups, not just for the South match but for all the matches.”

Patriot Tucker Windland opened the final dual with a 3-0 decision against Big Red 106-pounder Garrett Donahue. However, PHS went ahead 9-3 following Hunter Ackerman’s pin in 2:31 of Julio Lemus and Best’s triumph.

Luke Martin jumped out to an 8-3 advantage in his 126-pound battle against Big Red Braxton Byrd and evened the match score following a pin 29 ticks into the final period.

South went ahead for the second time after Mikey Shamblin earned a 15-6 major decision versus Bo Moler at 132. Jared Donahue, though, quickly put PHS back ahead when he used 1:21 to stick Patriot Jake Martin.

That red and white triumph was followed by a Stephen Carder pin of Landon Flinn in 2:23 and then a forfeit win at 152 by Chace Mathess to put PHS in front 27-13.

Logan Nay fell behind 6-2 after one period against Patriot 160-pounder Drew Dunbar, who went on to claim a 14-4 major decision. Coach Smith’s program closed the deficit to just four after T.J. Lambiotte flattened Jalen King in 2:43.

However, PHS got a 10-1 major decision at 182 from Tyler Moler in his match against Dalton Shartle to keep PHS ahead, 31-23. That lead was short-lived as Justin Allman got the quickest fall of the championship. Allman, who was making his season debut on Saturday, needed just 50 ticks of the clock to make it 31-29 after pinning CJ Wade.

Although Patriot Dalton Fullerton got a win by forfeit at 220 for a 35-31 advantage, Wolfe was giving up more than 60 pounds to McCune and was unable to avoid the pin.

“I was proud of our guys because we fought and won several close matches, whether it was in overtime or by one point,” coach Way added. “We preach all the time in practice, before matches and after matches and how these matches can be won or lost by one point.

“Every guy has to do their job. That was the biggest thing we were stressing today, do your job, get your points, get your bonus points and that’s how you win.”

Both PHS and South will be at next weekend’s Winner’s Choice in Fairmont, but the Patriots are scheduled to have their home opener at 5 p.m. Tuesday inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center against Ripley, St. Albans and Brooke.