WRESTLING ROUNDUP: West Platte's Rhodes stays unbeaten

Justin Rhodes won another match against a familiar opponent at the Mid-Buchanan Invitational, capturing West Platte’s only individual title. The Bluejays junior and two-time state qualifier beat South Harrison’s Mason Doll with an 8-0 major decision on Saturday, Jan. 10 at Mid-Buchanan High School in the 152-pound final. Rhodes beat Doll 1-0 in December during the Polo Duals tournament.

Rhodes improved to 21-0 on the season, while Doll — a fifth-place finisher at state last year at 138 — dropped to 13-2 on the season.

West Platte finished 10th out of 20 in the final team standings, mostly comprised of junior varsity squads, just one point behind Hamilton and 2 ½ back of eighth-place Albany. Rhodes was the only finalist for the Bluejays, going 5-0 overall.

West Platte’s Kyle Howerton finished third at 160 pounds, going 3-1 to finish second in his pool. He pinned Zach Duncan of Smithville JV a minute into the first period of the third-place match to cap his day.

Brayan Rodriguez came in fourth for West Platte at 126. He went 2-1 in pool wrestling, losing a 6-5 decision to eventual runner-up Khol Bounds. Rodriguez then lost by fall in the championship bracket to eventual champion Nathaniel Alexander of Maryville.

In the third place match, Kolten Betzler of Smithville JV pinned Rodriguez early in the third period. West Platte returned to action in a quad Tuesday, Jan. 13 against Central Academy of Excellence, Riverside (Kan.) and Christ Prep (Kan.). The Bluejays have another quad Thursday, Jan. 15 with Riverside, Stanberry and Maysville, and they will be at the Plattsburg Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Platte County 61, Park Hill South 6

The Pirates won the first nine matches on Tuesday, Jan. 6 on their way to improving to 2-0 on the season in a light dual schedule.

Platte County faced off against Belton on Tuesday, Jan. 13, but results were not available at The Citizen’s deadline. The Pirates have a tough finish to the week, hosting Park Hill on Thursday, Jan. 15 and traveling to Basehor-Linwood’s Bobcat Classic on Friday and Saturday.

The Bobcat Classic’s field includes 34 teams.

Starting at 106, Platte County dominated the early portion of the dual with Park Hill South (1-8). Jake Stathopoulos — splitting time at 106 with senior Derek Kincaid — opened with a first-period pin of Gage Morrow, and Kincaid followed with an 8-4 decision against Carter Thomas at 113.

Five of the next seven wins were all by fall, including a 14-second pin for Paul Hoegler against Alex Kublick at 138.

Park Hill South’s Dylan Propes, ranked No. 7 in Class 4 at 170 according to showmewrestling.com, beat Louden Bredeson 7-4, and Ring Deng edged Sage Smart, filling in for injured returning state medalist Adam Muehlebach, in a 5-3 decision at 195 for the Panthers’ only wins.

Park Hill South wrestled a dual with Truman on Tuesday, Jan. 13, but results were not available. The Panthers are at Center’s Yellowjacket Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Platte County ranks second in Class 3 as a team in the first showmewrestling.com rankings behind defending champion Neosho. Eight wrestlers are ranked in the top eight.

Defending state champions Matthew Schmitt (126) and Ethan Karsten (145) have the top spot in their weight class, while fellow 2014 state champion Johnny Blankenship (160) comes in second. Neosho’s Sam Williams holds the top spot at 160, having beaten Blankenship in overtime at the Kansas City Stampede. Caleb Crabtree (152), Tyler Blankenship (182), Muehlebach (195) and Casey Jumps (220) all are ranked fifth.

Kincaid comes in at No. 7 at 106.

Joe Crouthers Invitational

Park Hill took a partial team to North Kansas City’s tournament this past weekend and came away with the team title, despite wrestling without a trio of standouts.

A canceled dual with Kearney allowed Trojans coach Jeff Davis to put a lineup together for the tournament but didn’t take Weston DiBlasi, Colston DiBlasi and Anthony Enriquez in addition to others due to season match limits. However, Ethan Koan, Ke-Shawn Hayes and Canten Marriott all returned from injury and headlined a quartet of champions for Park Hill, which scored 189½ points to best Lee’s Summit by 4½ for the championship.

A two-time defending state champion and one of the nation’s best, Hayes wrestled for the first time since an undisclosed injury suffered in practice last month. He went 6-0 at 138, winning two by fall and three by technical fall.

Marriott, a fourth-place finisher at state last year (145) and third in 2013 (132), wrestled for the first time this season. He won his pool and then swept through the championship bracket, beating Lee’s Summit’s Brady Daniels with a 7-4 decision in the 160 championship match.

Daniels ranks second in the first showmewrestling.com rankings at that weight with Marriott listed at fourth.

Koan, a transfer from Staley who placed fourth at state at 113 last year, also swept five matches and beat Plattsburg’s Cooper O’Connor with an 11-1 major decision in the 126 final.

Park Hill’s Josh Steele won the 106 bracket despite losing his first two matches of pool wrestling, by decision. He came back to avenge both losses, besting Blue Springs South’s Jett Merlo 8-7 in overtime of their semifinal and beating Raytown South’s Bryant Clay in a 7-6 decision in the final.

Hunter Roberts also reached the finals for Park Hill at 132 but lost a 7-5 decision to Blue Springs South’s Sam Hampton in the championship. Park Hill’s Alex Carew (113) finished third after losing his first two matches, and Spencer Eastwood (120) and Jacob Sobbing (170) were both fourth.

Park Hill also had a busy week scheduled, going up against Liberty North and Ruskin on Tuesday, Jan. 13 before traveling to Platte County on Thursday, Jan. 15. The Trojans, ranked No. 1 as a team in showmewrestling.com’s first rankings, then competes in the Capital City Classic this weekend.

Overall, Park Hill has eight individuals ranked with Hayes (138), Colston DiBlasi (170) and Enriquez (285) at No. 1. Sean Hosford is No. 2 at 145, although the junior two-time defending state champion remains out and his season in question due to a broken leg.

Roberts is listed at No. 2 at 132, while Koan and Weston DiBlasi are joint No. 4 at 120. All three will likely be in the lineup at some point.