HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The reign is over … perhaps sooner than expected.
After winning consecutive titles the previous two seasons, the Point Pleasant wrestling team ended up placing second this past weekend at the 2021 WSAZ Invitational held at Huntington High School in Cabell County.
The Big Blacks had nine athletes compete in championship matches and came away with four divisional winners, but Parkersburg South ultimately had 11 finalists and five weight class champions en route to knocking off the Red and Black.
The Patriots ended the day with a final tally of 231 points, while PPHS was 18 points behind with a 213. University was third out of the eight programs competing with 116 points.
Five schools also had extra competitors in a handful of weight classes, which allowed secondary squads to score in the tournament. Point Pleasant’s second squad accounted for nine points and placed ninth out of 13 scoring teams overall.
The Big Blacks main squad ended the day with a dozen top-4 efforts and a combined 30-15 record individually that included 18 pinfall wins and four technical fall victories.
Isaac Short (126), Mitchell Freeman (152), Justin Bartee (160) and Colby Price (220) each won their respective divisions. Freeman and Price both went 3-0 with two pinfall wins, while Bartee was 3-0 with a pinfall and a tech fall. Short finished 2-0 overall and had a technical fall win as well.
Nathan Wood (106), Parker Henderson (113), Conner Blessing (120), Derek Raike (145) and Brayden Connolly (195) all ended up placing second in their respective weight classes.
Raike suffered just the second loss of his prep career as PSHS freshman Gage Wright scored an overtime pinfall at 6:27. Raike ended up 2-1 and had both a pinfall win and technical fall victory.
Wood, Blessing and Connolly also posted matching 2-1 marks and had a pinfall win apiece, but Wood also scored a tech fall victory as well. Henderson had a pinfall win and went 1-1 overall.
Chris Smith (132) and Nick Ball (285) both placed third with identical 3-1 records. Ball — who was pinned by Zakere Farnsworth of Cabell Midland in the opening match — picked up the last of his three pinfall wins in the rematch for the third place title. Smith also recorded a pinfall win and a tech fall victory.
Mackandle Freeman ended up finishing fourth at 138 pounds with a 2-2 mark that included two pinfall wins.
Ethan Marcum (170) and Zander Watson (182) completed the PPHS varsity card with identical 1-2 records that included a pinfall win apiece.
Ciah Nutter (120), Ethan Kincaid (152) and Tyler Hinzman (195) each scored a win for the PPHS second squad, with both Kincaid and Hinzman doing so with a pinfall.
University followed Parkersburg South and Point Pleasant with two divisional champions. Cabell Midland, George Washington and St. Albans each accounted for a title-winner as well.
Visit wvmat.com for complete results of the 2021 WSAZ Invitational held Friday and Saturday at Huntington High School.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.