JACKSON, Mo. – North County outlasted nine other teams to secure the championship plaque at the inaugural SEMO Conference girls wrestling tournament.
The Lady Raiders had four individual champions crowned on Thursday night, and needed every single positive result they achieved to edge Jackson by the slightest possible margin.
North County posted 168 ½ points with six athletes entered, while the host Indians tallied 168 and Ste. Genevieve landed third overall with 145.
Kaylee Kluge shined at 112 pounds by winning all four of her matches by fall. The longest bout required 4 minutes, 35 seconds before defeating Breann Thresher of Poplar Bluff.
She was joined at the pinnacle of the podium by senior Mikayla Whatley, who improved to 32-2 this season, along with teammates Belle White and Heaven Webb.
Whatley (122) ousted three opponents with two falls and a 16-0 technical fall as the Lady Raiders competed for the third consecutive night.
White (102) pinned Allison Missey of Potosi and Kaiden Weisbrod of Jackson within a three-person division, and Webb (107) earned two falls over Paityn Basler of Ste. Genevieve.
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Brooke Bennett (195) finished second among three in her group, pinning Karli McFarland of Central but dropping a narrow 3-2 decision to Ste. Genevieve star Maggie Myracle.
Autumn Basler, Izzy Basler and Myracle grabbed individual gold for the Dragons while Brynna Wehner and Dakotah Medows won single bouts.
Izzy Basler (127) was both busy and successful with three falls and a 14-5 major decision in four matches. Autumn Basler (117) downed Gracie Metzger of Jackson twice via 8-4 decision and third-period pin.
Central ultimately lined up fifth in the team standings. Regan Duncan (132) led her club by going 3-2 in the tournament, including falls over Caraline Klump of Farmington and Mehailie Skaggs of Potosi.
Savannah Scheldberg went 2-2 in the 127-pound class for the Lady Rebels, while Alayna Ray (235) lost two of three head-to-head duels with Marissa Hudman of Hillsboro.
Harley Vance picked up one fall for Potosi.
The event marked a milestone for local girls wrestling programs as the sport continues its third year since being officially sanctioned by MSHSAA.