Park Hill held on to claim the unofficial title of top dual team in Missouri this past weekend but just barely. In a bracket-style competition between eight of Missouri’s best Class 4 programs, the Trojans went 3-0 and held off Jefferson City by a score of 31-28 in the Elite 8 championship Saturday, Feb. 6 at Battle High School in Columbia, Mo. The final three matches against the Jays were decisions, and Park Hill won only one of them but it proved to be enough.
Jefferson City closed to within 28-25 with No. 4-ranked Peter Kuster’s 3-0 win against Austin Kolvek at 120.
That set up a huge match between Park Hill sophomore Weston DiBlasi, No. 4 at 126 according to missouriwrestling.com, and No. 7 Christian Mayberry. DiBlasi rode out Mayberry for the full two minutes in the second period and scored the winning escape in a 1-0 decision in the third period.
Up six, Park Hill only needed to avoid maximum points in the finale, and Carter Goslee lost an 8-4 decision to No. 5 Tanner Irwin of Jefferson City to secure the win.
The two teams split the other four potential matchups between ranked opponents. Sean Hosford — a senior and two-time state champion who didn’t medal last year while competing in the postseason with a broken leg — remained at No. 4 at 145 but did pin No. 5 Gavin DeWitt in the first period of their matchup. No. 1 Canten Marriott fell behind 2-0 in his 170 match with No. 2 Logan Moriarity but came back to win a 4-3 decision, improving to 2-0 against Moriarity this season.
Jefferson City claimed key points at 160 with a forfeit for No. 3 Logan Brune with Park Hill holding out freshman Devin Winston, ranked No. 1 but not in the lineup for any of the Trojans’ three duals. No. 1 Jalen Martin beat Park Hill’s Jacob Sobbing with a 7-3 decision at 195.
Sobbing is ranked No. 7.
Park Hill opened the tournament with a 58-14 win against Timberland, which went 0-3 and finished eighth. Two of the Timberwolves’ three ranked wrestlers scored victories, including a pin for No. 2 Cameron Spires in a key matchup with sophomore Josh Steele — back in the lineup for the first time after missing two weeks with an injury.
Steele led 4-0 after a reversal in the second period, only to be reversed to his back and pinned in 3 minutes, 20 seconds.
Park Hill trailed 8-6 after two matches with Sam Paneitz, No. 7 at 132, scoring a late escape to win a 4-3 decision over Goslee at 132. Timberland followed with a technical fall at 138 but lost the next nine matches.
DiBlasi started the dual with a pin for Park Hill at 126, and Hopson, Hosford, Thomas Lisher, Marriott, Sobbing, Nate Smith and Landon Brown all won by fall during the Trojans’ unbeaten run through the middle. Kelvin Eblen, ranked No. 1 at 106, capped the surge with an 11-4 decision over No. 5 Anthony Pisciotta. Eblen led 7-0 in the match, turning Pisciotta to his back in both the first and second periods for five of his points.
Pisciotta gave up two near-fall points and didn’t escape during the second period.
In a 38-24 semifinal win over Staley, four of Park Hill’s six losses came by decision, including a tough 6-4 defeat for Kolvek in overtime at 120. He scored a pair of takedowns in the third period to tie the score with No. 3 David Berryman, who secured the winning takedown in the sudden death overtime period to win.
Kolvek is currently not ranked at 120.
In the only other matchup of ranked wrestlers, Marriott won a 16-3 major decision against No. 7 Monterio Whiles. Eblen, DiBlasi and Lisher all won by pin, while Hosford took a forfeit at 145 with the Trojans shuffling their lineup without Winston.
Staley went on to finish third in the event.