Cody Phippen, Sage Smart and Casey Jumps pinned their way through brackets over the weekend in the Silver Lake Tournament — a late addition to Platte County’s schedule.
The three dominant title runs led the Pirates to a convincing title Saturday, Feb. 4 in Silver Lake, Kan. They scored 186½ points to easily outdistance second-place Clay Center (Kan.) by 58½.
Platte County made the trip west after the cancelation of the Basehor-Linwood Tournament last month due to forecasted inclement weather.
The only Missouri school in a 21-team field, Platte County put 12 of 13 wrestlers in the top eight with 106 pounds still open. Jake Stathopoulos, who missed qualifying for state by one match in 2016 at 113, continues to try and return from a knee injury but did not compete Saturday.
Smart (30-11) ended up with the most impressive tournament run. His first two matches in the 195 bracket ended with pins in the first period, including a 14-second semifinal with Domininc Sutton of Anderson County (Kan.).
In the final, Smart, ranked No. 4 in Class 3, pinned Gavin Ware of Clay Center (Kan.) in 4:21. Ware entered ranked No. 5 in Class 4A and suffered just his second loss of the season.
Jumps (37-4) ended all three of his matches against unranked opponents in the first period, concluding with a pin of Anderson County’s Dallas Higginbotham in 1:08. Jumps’ three matches lasted less than 4 minutes combined.
Phippen (37-3) dominated his two 113 matches, both ending with pins against unranked wrestlers.
Blake Bills (120), Austin Kincaid (126) and Dakota Schmidt (170) were all third-place finishers for Platte County. Bills lost an 8-7 decision in the quarterfinals to Anthony King of St. Mary’s (Kan.), ranked No. 6 in Class 3-2-1A. Bills came back with three straight wins.
Kincaid and Schmidt both lost in the semifinals.
In a solid 126 bracket, Kincaid had a pair of pins before losing to Riley County (Kan.)’s Luke Richard, ranked No. 1 in Class 3-2-1A, by fall in the second period. Kincaid won his next two, including a pin of Silver Lake’s Jordan Priddy — No. 3 in Class 3-2-1A — in the third-place match.
Schmidt’s loss came in an 8-2 decision for No. 2-ranked Mikey Waggoner of Riley County in the semifinals. Schmidt came back with a pin and then an 8-3 decision over Joey Ewalt of Prairie View (Kan.) — No. 5 in Class 4A.
Platte County’s Matthew Knopp also reached the third-place match, which he lost 5-1 to Josh Elley of Santa Fe Trail (Kan.) to finish fourth.
Now with two tournament titles in a row, Platte County used the event as a tuneup for the Class 3 District 4 tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11 at Raytown South High School. The Pirates enter as defending champions and ranked No. 3 in Class 3 according to missouriwreslting.com in a shuffled and reloaded field that also includes state-ranked No. 2 Kearney, No. 4 Smithville and No. 5 Belton plus Grain Valley.
Platte County has finished second behind Neosho each of the past two years in the Class 3 Missouri State Wrestling Championships. Last season’s district championship team qualified 10 for the state tournament.
Jumps ranks No. 2 at 220, although top-ranked Adrian Hitchcock of Neosho has been wrestling 285 in recent competitions, while Phippen is No. 1 at 113. The duo plus Kincaid are the lone returning state medalists for Platte County.
Elite 8 Duals
Park Hill rested many of its regulars and finished second in the second annual showcase for some of Missouri’s top programs.
In a bracket competition, Park Hill defeated Eureka (46-13) and Lafayette (Wildwood) (36-25) to reach the final before losing a rematch with Staley, which brought a full lineup. The Trojans were without seven of their projected entrants into this weekend’s Class 4 District 4 tournament.
Many of the other seven teams also plugged backups into the lineup with the postseason looming.
In the first round against Eureka, Park Hill junior Kelvin Eblen made his return to the lineup after an absence dating back to KC Stampede over the holiday break in December. The returning state champion at 106 wrestled at 120 and beat No. 6 ranked Ryan Lester with a sudden death takedown in the first period of overtime.
Eblen, ranked No. 2 at 113 according to missouriwrestling.com, won a 6-4 decision with the takedown.
Eureka won just three matches and only had two of its four ranked wrestlers in the lineup. Park Hill’s Trey Safford (113), Camron Stucker (126), Aidan Johnson (132), Carter Goslee (152) and Simon Tesfamarian (220) all won decisions, while Josh Steele (138) — back from an injury — and TJ Hullaby (182) won technical falls.
Devin Winston, ranked No. 1 at 170, and freshman Johnny Wilson, wrestling up at 285, had Park Hill’s two pins.
Lafayette had all five of its ranked wrestlers in the lineup but still couldn’t match Park Hill. Winston won a 9-2 decision against Austin Stofer at 170 in a matchup of Class 4’s top two ranked wrestlers at that weight class.
Park Hill won eight of 13 head-to-head matchups with Austin Kolvek (pin at 120) and Stucker (technical fall at 126) scoring big points early. Aidan Johnson, a freshman, lost a 4-2 decision to No. 5 ranked Cameron Wegener of Lafayette at 132.
Goslee (152) and Hullaby (182) both win decisions for Park Hill, while Wilson used an overtime takedown to win 4-2 over Cortez Woods at 285.
Having beaten Staley in a tight regular season dual, Park Hill avoided the potential of tough rematches between the District 4 rivals, likely to be the top two teams in the Class 4 Missouri State Wrestling Championships. The Falcons won 9 of 13 head-to-head matches while receiving a forfeit at 285.
Eblen won a 6-2 decision at 120, while Kolvek followed with a major decision (10-0) at 126 for Park Hill. Winston (pin at 170) and Zach Suppes (pin at 182) were the only other victories for the Trojans.
Johnson lost a 3-1 decision at 132 to Blake Berryman, while Steele lost a 3-0 decision to David Berryman at 138 in two of the best matchups.