By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. —
In a matchup worthy of a state tournament final, Will Roark of Seneca and Chase Brennan of Monett wrestled for the 120-pound title Saturday in the C.J. Classic.
With the scored tied 7-7 at the end of regulation, Roark used an all-in-one move from a standing position, pinned Brennan 12 seconds into overtime and won a match that he had trailed 6-2 in the second period.
“I wanted to end it as quick as I could in overtime,” Roark said. “I felt like I did pretty good throughout the match on my feet.”
The victory was the first of four individual titles for the Indians, who won six of seven matches in the finals, including two for third place. Cole Lankford at 126, Logan Grady at 145 and Jalen Skaggs at 160 also took home titles for Seneca.
Carthage, which went into the finals with a comfortable lead in the team standings, won three individual titles, three third-place matches and captured the team championship. The Tigers scored 222.5 points compared with 211 for Seneca. Monett was third.
Brennan won the Class 2 state title at 103 pounds as a freshman and placed third at 106 last season. Roark was runner-up at 113 pounds in Class 2 last season as a freshman.
“I knew I would have a tough match and that’s what I wanted,” said Roark, who lost a 3-2 decision to Eli Hale of Miami, Okla. earlier in the week. “I’ve had two really tough matches this week. That will help me down the road at state.”
Brennan also welcomed the early-season challenge.
“It’s definitely good,” said Brennan, whose career record is 86-10. “It will help me out in the long run. I actually talked to him about it and we agreed about that.”
Carthage’s Seth Logan at 132, Trevor Feagans at 138 and Blaine Perry at 285 won individual titles, but Seneca prevailed in two head-to-head matchups.
Cole Lankford of Seneca scored on a takedown with 18 seconds left in regulation and defeated Carthage’s River Maggard 14-13 for the title at 126 pounds, and Butch Ferguson of Seneca pinned Edxel Morales of Carthage for third place at 152.
“I was a little worried,” said Carthage head coach Kenny Brown, whose team was shorthanded because of academic testing, illness and injuries. “We were figuring points the whole final round. Coach (Jeff) Sill and coach (Kevin) Durbin do a great job.”
Monett’s Sean Jastal at 113 and Devon Overall at 195 won individual titles, along with Nevada’s Dayton Miller at 106 and Colby Smith at 220.
Carl Junction’s Nick Koon won at 152 pounds, Alex Lane of Webb City scored a 1-0 victory for the title at 170 and Cherryvale’s Kaden Housel pinned teammate Curtis Hodges in the 182-pound final.
Seneca’s performance in the finals came after a slow start early in the day. Sill said the Indians were without three varsity wrestlers.
“After we regrouped a little bit, we started wrestling like we’re capable of,” Sill said. “We made a run at it. Carthage is a very strong team. I was proud that we competed throughout the day and we saw some things we’ve been working on in the (practice) room.”