COLUMBIA, Mo. – One crucial point was all that stood between Kade Willis and his quest for a Class 2 state wrestling title and perfect record last winter.
Back for a third time at the MSHSAA state tournament on Thursday morning, the Central junior nearly saw his latest championship chase derailed much sooner.
Willis used his experience to defend an attempted takedown by Pleasant Hill challenger Garrett Lyons in overtime, and remained on the favorable side of the 132-pound bracket.
His clinching control instead earned a 6-4 sudden victory, and highlighted an otherwise taxing first day for the Rebels, who began with nine medal contenders.
The other eight endured initial losses, and only Austin Hassell and Cody Skaggs managed to stick around during the wrestleback phase at Mizzou Arena.
Hassell (113) regained momentum in his first state appearance with a 13-3 major decision, and Skaggs (170) finished a pin with two seconds to spare in the first period.
The postseason ended for Kobe Bolin (120), Blake Bolin (152), William Mayberry (160), Troy Harris (195), Austin Carver (220) and Michael Weinhold (285).
Willis will seek his 40th triumph of the season against just three losses when quarterfinal and second-round consolation matches resume for all four boys classes on Friday.
Ste. Genevieve emerged through day one with half of its eight-man contingent still competing in Class 2, including three first-round winners.
Gavin Gross (113) gave the Dragons an excellent start in the morning with a 6-0 shutout, and teammate Dalton McNeal (120) followed with a fall that required only 71 seconds.
Jacob Dickens (138), a sixth-place finisher from last season, also reached the quarterfinal round through a 10-5 decision. Dale Propst (182) received a medical forfeit in the consolation round.
Ste. Genevieve went 3-5 in the opening round, and Nathan Selby (132), Levi Wiegand (145), Bret Bieser (160) and Ryan Schmelzle (285) were eliminated later in the afternoon.
Keki Ortiz and David Coroama of Potosi survived potential dismissal after dropping their opening bouts in other Class 2 action.
Ortiz responded by earning a third-period fall in the heavyweight bracket, and Coroama (126) outlasted Jacob Aleshire of Moberly in an exciting 5-3 overtime decision.
Caleb Land (220) suffered back-to-back losses by fall as a third entrant for the Trojans.
Farmington had a presence in 10 separate Class 3 weight divisions, and was fourth in the team standings through one round after notching six victories.
Defending state champion Austin Wadlow (120) and teammate Judd Cunningham (195) coasted into the quarters by forfeit as their respective opponents missed weight requirements.
Smokey Branch (145) advanced with a second-period fall, and Kyle Crawford (126) dominated with an 11-0 major decision to further fuel the Knights.
Two more decisions were corralled by Farmington as Rothman Harris (220) won 6-3 and Blake Cook (132) posted a shutout of his own at 4-0.
Dayton Boyd (113) came back from a 4-2 defeat to stay in contention with a 6-0 decision. Drew Felker (138) made it to day two after receiving a medical forfeit.
Royce Harris (195) got a tying takedown in the third period of his second bout, but ended his varsity career after Derek Porter of Raytown South escaped and notched a 6-3 decision.
Knights junior Kael Krause (170) was topped 10-6 in a consolation bout after dropping his initial bout by fall.
North County finished 2-2 in first-round boys matches after picking up two narrow decisions. Jonathon Coroama (120) rallied past Kyler Carter of Webb City 8-7.
Jordan Borseth (145) edged Brett St. John of Westminster 5-3, while Chris Singleton (126) and Amos Littrell (132) were pinned.
Singleton stayed alive with a subsequent fall for his 30tt win, but Littrell was eliminated with a second defeat moments later for the Raiders.
The state tournament features a second annual girls bracket with all schools encompassed by one class. Ste. Genevieve entered the event with four qualifiers.
North County junior Mikayla Whatley, Ste. Genevieve junior Kaylee Gross and Central sophomore Karlee LaChance each won first-round matches for the second straight year.
Maggie Myracle (187) carried an unbeaten record to Columbia at 29-0, but suffered her first defeat as Hollie Hedgpeth of Cameron pulled a convincing upset in a second-period fall.
Genevieve Nickelson (130) and Myracle each rebounded from their initial setbacks with first-period falls in the first consolation round. Izzy Basler (125) ended her run for the Dragons with a second loss.
Whatley (115) secured maximum points by pinning Zoe Santa Cruz of Ft. Zumwalt North with 15 seconds left in regulation, and improved to 25-1 overall.
Gross (166) bumped her record to 28-2 with a victory at the 1:45 mark, while LaChance (110) topped an opponent from Lebanon in the third period at 4:23 as the lone Central representative.
Valle Catholic brought four boys for Class 1 action, and senior Trey Huck (160) maintained his unbeaten season in dominant fashion.
Huck, who missed the medals podium by one match last season, dispatched Colton Stevens of Rock Port in 40 seconds while reaching 40-0.
Peyton Tucker (145) and Josh Bieser (152) bounced back from early losses on Thursday with an 8-4 decision and second-period fall, respectively, for the Warriors.
Kaden Gegg (106) was pinned twice in his debut state appearance.
110 – Karlee LaChance
- Won by fall over Ashlynn Loechner (Lebanon), 4:23
115 – Mikayla Whatley
- Won by fall over Zoe Santa Cruz (Ft. Zumwalt North), 5:45
125 – Izzy Basler
- Lost by fall to Nonnie Justice (Harrisonville), 1:11
- Lost by fall to Sydney McGhee (Francis Howell), 4:36
130 – Genevieve Nickelson
- Lost by dec to Kaylie Dow (Plattsburg), 9-2
- Won by fall over Kayla Davis (McCluer North), 1:43
166 – Kaylee Gross
- Won by fall over Desire Adams (Pattonville), 1:45
187 – Maggie Myracle
- Lost by fall to Hollie Hedgpeth (Cameron), 3:30
- Won by fall over Paige Clines (Fulton), 1:00
CLASS 1 BOYS
106 – Kaden Gegg
- Lost by fall to Michael McCoy (Adrian), 0:48
- Lost by fall to Clancey Woodward (Mid-Buchanan), 0:34
145 – Peyton Tucker
- Lost by maj dec to Blake Wiles (Fatima), 13-4
- Won by dec over Hayes Miller (Palmyra), 8-4
152 – Josh Bieser
- Lost by tech fall to Rodell Sperry (Gallatin), 18-2 4:00
- Won by fall over Isaiah Myers (Lafayette County), 4:12
160 – Trey Huck
- Won by fall over Colten Stevens (Rock Port), 0:40
CLASS 2 BOYS
113 – Austin Hassell
- Lost by dec to Jase Todd (Odessa), 7-3
- Won by maj dec over Bradyen Bass (Pleasant Hill), 13-3
120 – Kobe Bolin
- Lost by dec to David Rivera (Pleasant Hill), 10-5
- Lost by dec to Josh Ferrel (St. Charles West), 4-3
132 – Kade Willis
- Won by dec over Garrett Lyons (Pleasant Hill), 6-4 SV
152 – Blake Bolin
- Lost by fall to Caleb Worland (Cameron), 5:48
- Lost by dec to Matt Balke (Clinton), 7-0
160 – William Mayberry
- Lost by fall to Luke Malizzi (Odessa), 4:46
- Lost by fall to Gabriel Commons (Seneca), 2:16
170 – Cody Skaggs
- Lost by fall to Gabe Hummer (Savannah), 1:01
- Won by fall over Clark Freeman (Moberly), 1:58
195 – Troy Harris
- Lost by maj dec to Alex Meyer (St. Charles West), 10-0
- Lost by dec to Camren Hedgpeth (Cameron), 10-6
220 – Austin Carver
- Lost by fall to Adam Reaves (Logan-Rogersville), 1:48
- Lost by dec to Garrett Hudspeth (Oak Grove), 3-2
285 – Michael Weinhold
- Lost by maj dec to Josh Dunmire (Fulton), 8-0
- Lost by fall to Grant Durman (Seneca), 3:56
113 – Gavin Gross
- Won by dec over Tanner Riley (Cameron), 6-0
120 – Dalton McNeal
- Won by fall over Ahkilleus Arguelles (Cassville), 1:11
132 – Nathan Selby
- Lost by tech fall to Karter Brink (Monett), 18-3 5:37
- Lost by maj dec to Brecken Gates (Cameron), 10-2
138 – Jacob Dickens
- Won by dec over Gabe Hunter (Cassville), 10-5
145 – Levi Wiegand
- Lost by fall to Kevin Duong (Mexico), 3:11
- Lost by fall to Tommy Riffle (Pleasant Hill), 2:13
160 – Bret Bieser
- Lost by fall to Dawson Wheeler (Chillicothe), 1:46
- Lost by dec to Dominic Cahalan (Kirksville), 4-2
182 – Dale Propst
- Lost by fall to Tristan Gillespie (Kirksville), 2:56
- Won by medical forfeit over Logan Tolbert (Cassville)
285 – Ryan Schmelzle
- Lost by dec to Shane Gilmore (Blair Oaks), 5-2
- Lost by dec to Nathan Hitch (Pleasant Hill), 4-2
126 – David Coroama
- Lost by fall to Zach Redwine (Pleasant Hill), 1:44
- Won by dec over Jacob Aleshire (Moberly), 5-3 SV
220 – Caleb Land
Lost by fall to Drayton Huchteman (Bolivar), 0:26
Lost by fall to Isaac Washburn (Chillicothe), 0:43
285 – Keki Ortiz
Lost by dec to Andrew Huff (Moberly), 5-0
Won by fall over Christian Peniston (Chillicothe), 4:40
CLASS 3 BOYS
113 – Dayton Boyd
- Lost by dec to Dru Azcona (Grain Valley), 4-2
- Won by dec over Aidan Kelly (Liberty-Wentzville), 6-0
120 – Austin Wadlow
- Won by forfeit over Alexander Sederburg (Rolla)
126 – Kyle Crawford
- Won by maj dec over Bo Rosen (Lebanon), 11-0
132 – Blake Cook
- Won by dec over Timothy Stevens (Willard), 4-0
138 – Drew Felker
- Lost by maj dec to Grant Garrett (Camdenton), 12-0
- Won by medical forfeit over Gabe Davis (Platte County)
145 – Smokey Branch
- Won by fall over Dornal Garry (McCluer North), 2:37
170 – Kael Krause
- Lost by fall to Coby Aebersold (Kearney), 1:31
- Lost by dec to Luke Eaton (Ft. Zumwalt East), 10-6
182 – Judd Cunningham
- Won by forfeit over Joab Hackman (Parkway Central)
195 – Royce Harris
- Lost by fall to Treyvon Ward (St. Charles), 1:28
- Lost by dec to Derek Porter (Raytown South), 6-3
220 – Rothman Harris
- Won by dec over Eli Steffen (Marshall), 6-3
120 – Jonathon Coroama
- Won by dec over Kyler Carter (Webb City), 8-7
126 – Chris Singleton
- Lost by fall to Josh Copher (Webb City), 1:33
- Won by fall over Aiden Sullivan (McCluer North), 2:08
132 – Amos Littrell
- Lost by fall to Oscar Ortiz (McDonald County), 0:44