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South wrestling leads Class AAA, has 11 in semifinals

HUNTINGTON — Parkersburg South, which is seeking its seventh straight Class AAA title, advanced 11 to the semifinals and holds a 119-92 lead against Spring Mills following Monday’s action at the 74th annual West Virginia state wrestling tournament being held inside Mountain Health Arena.

Parkersburg High had 35 points and is in 11th place, just ahead of Ripley’s 33.5, as action resumes at 10 a.m. today with the championship semifinals and third round consolation matches.

“That one was a tough one to lose,” noted Patriot head coach Shaun Smith of 22o-pounder Noah Buckalew falling 6-5 in the quarterfinals to Ty Roy of St. Albans.

“I’m just hopeful that he can come back and get third for himself and the team. He’s got a great shot of doing it.”

The Big Reds also have 220-pounder Jacob McCune alive in the consolation bracket and both will need one win today to secure a podium finish.

Wood County’s two rivals have just one chance of having and all Parkersburg final and that comes at 195. Big Red Zach Howard has Musselman’s Parker Bentley and Patriot Aydan Edwards faces Woodrow Wilson’s Devan Gaulding. Big Red heavyweight Jeffery Jones reached the semis and faces Spring Mills’ Nevin Milburn.

“Howard and Jones are wrestling really well right now and McCune needs to win to continue,” stated PHS head coach Matt Littleton. “We lost some today in the back draw I didn’t think we would. You feel for your seniors who won’t get this opportunity to compete next year.

“I’m still very proud of those who competed today and continue to compete tomorrow. We have work to do tomorrow, but we can use this as a learning experience for our returners and hope this leaves them hungry for next year.”

PSHS 160-pounder Gavin Quiocho is two wins away from his fourth state mat title and takes on Greenbrier East’s Colby Piner. Patriot 138-pound teammate Brayden Johnson takes on Woodrow Wilson’s Ethan Osborne in the semifinals. Johnson is seeking a third state crown and if victorious would have a chance to avenge his only loss of the year if University’s Dom Parker beats Kaleb Ramirez of Riverside in the other semi.

Brady Roberts takes on John Marshall’s Ethan Cook as the Patriot looks to repeat as the 106-pound state champ.

Gage Wright’s undefeated season continued as the 145-pound Patriot freshman needs a win versus Buckhannon-Upshur’s Breagan Pearson to reach the state finals tonight.

Also vying for spots in the finals for PSHS are Brent Bosley (113), Devin Easton (120), Nathan Ford (126), Trent Jones (132), Robert Shockey (152) and 170-pounder Jude Childers, who faces Wheeling Park’s Adam Angel. Bosley has Landon Hoffman of Spring Mills. Easton will take on George Washington’s Saige Walls, who beat the Patriot in their first match but lost the second time. Ford faces Hunter Locke of Washington while Trent Jones also has a Patriot from Washington in Ethan Hardy. Shockey’s semi opponent is Spring Mills’ Hunter Dotson.

“I’m proud of the way the team has wrestled so far,” added coach Smith. “We have some tough matchups in the semis, but I like our chances in all of them. If they wrestle to their ability, we will have 11 in the finals.”

Ripley has a trio of wrestlers still alive who will need a win this morning to place in 126-pounder Brett Haskins, 132-pounder Lucas Miller and 195-pounder Matt Moore.

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