BASEHOR, Kan. — Cody Phippen closed out his final Bobcat Classic with his third championship in three tries.
The Platte County senior won the 126-pound title by beating a familiar foe in Mason Turner of Kansas City Schlagle by pin Saturday night in match televised live across the state of Kansas.
Phippen won his four matches in the tournament and in the last knocked off a previously unbeaten Turner, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A by the Kansas Coaches Wrestling Association.
For his efforts, Phippen was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Phippen, a two-time Missouri State champion, enjoys wrestling at Basehor-Linwood High School because it is a second home. In fact, that was his first home and where he wrestled his freshman year, winning his first Bobcat Classic.
The next year, he won first again and inclement weather cancelled last year’s meet, but Phippen got back to the top of the podium this year.
“I like wrestling here in front of the home crowd, I know a lot of people,” said Phippen, who was the state runner-up for the Bobcats at 106 pounds in 2015.
Phippen picked up three wins by pin and routed Drew Ensdorff of St. James Academy, by a 16-0 technical fall, in the semifinals,
In the finals, Turner (21-1) took a 2-0 lead on Phippen (29-3) on a reversal, but at the end of the first, Phippen took a 3-2 lead.
“I knew once I got the cradle at the end of the first, I’d be able to lock it up and I was pretty sure I’d get the fall,” Phippen said.
The senior expanded his lead to 5-2 in the second period and got Turner in a cradle and got the pin at the 3:36 mark.
The two foes have wrestled upwards of 30 times, starting in 2006, but haven’t met since middle school.
Sage Smart (220) reached the finals and dropped a 3-1 decision to Caleb Willis of Bonner Springs, the defending Class 4A state champion. Willis took a 2-0 lead with a take down at the buzzer at the first period.
“That was kind of a bad call,” Smart said. “But it is what it is, you gotta keep fighting through it.”
Sage got an escape in the third period, but couldn’t get a takedown or reversal needed to tie the match.
Platte County had six other medalists during the two-day event.
Austin Schmidt reached the third-place match but lost a heartbreaker, 3-2, to Austin Andres of Goddard. The matchup featured the No. 3-ranked Schmidt and No. 2-ranked Andres, who took a 3-0 lead in the second period. Schmidt got an escape in the second and then another in the third, but couldn’t get the takedown for the win despite a few late chances.
Schmidt lost to No. 1-ranked Trey Hoerner of Abilene in the semifinals, but bounced back by beating No. 5-ranked Ricardo Yanez of KC Turner in the consolation match.
Nick Maddux (113) and Nick Filger (138) both placed sixth.
Maddux held a 5-2 lead in the second period of his fifth-place match, but lost 7-5 to Lawrence Free State’s Caleb Streeter, ranked No. 6.
Filger and Goddard’s Cayleb Atkins were scoreless after two period before the No. 6-ranked Atkins got a 3-0 lead and then pinned him at the 4:57 mark.
Blake Bills (120) and Nolan Saale (145) took seventh, while Austin Kincaid (132) took eighth.
Overall, the Pirates finished in fifth place with 155 ½ points, just behind Mill Valley’s 1551/2 in fourth.
Goddard won with 230 points, while Olathe North was a distant second at 169 ½. Bonner Springs was third with 161 points.
All four of the teams that finished above Platte County in the team standings brought home state trophies last year. Goddard was the Class 5A champs, while Mill Valley was fourth. Olathe North was fourth in Class 6A and Bonner Springs was the Class 4A runner-up.
The Pirates did top the Class 4A champions Abilene, which took seventh.
Capital City Invitational
Coming off a big dual win at Staley, Park Hill finished third in the Jefferson City tournament that was held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 12-13.
MissouriWrestling.com Class 4 No. 1-ranked Park Hill had 275 ½ points, just behind second-place Lebanon, which had 276. Lafayette Wildwood, ranked No. 3, took first with 304 ½ points.
The Trojans had five reach the finals and four of them brought home championships.
No. 2-ranked Josh Steele won a top-5 matchup in the 145-pound title, beating Cameron Wegener of Lafayette Wilwood — ranked No. 3 in 152 — in an ultimate tiebreaker 0-0 victory.
Another state-ranked battle saw Blake Hopson (170) lose a 15-4 major decision to Columbia Hickman’s Jeremiah Kent, ranked No. 4. The two met earlier and the tournament and Kent won by an injury default.
Johnny Wilson (285) lost by a 5-4 decision in the finals against Lebanon’s Race Cottongim, who beat Wilson 6-5 earlier in the tournament.
Weston DiBlasi (126) won six matches – the first five by pins. In the championship, the No. 3-ranked DiBlasi picked up a major decision win, 12-0, against Lebanon’s Cole Roark.
Austin Kolvek (132) picked up seven wins, capped with a 20-5 technical fall victory against Lafayette Wildwood’s Gabe Frankenberger.
Other medalists for the Trojans were Simon Tesfamarian (220, third), Trey Safford (138, fourth), Ashton Sharp (195, fourth), Carter Goslee (152, fifth), Phoenix Thomas (160, fifth) and Josef Moreno (106, seventh).
Western Missouri Invitational
Park Hill South competed in the Kansas City Center’s 22nd annual tournament and eight wrestlers finished either first or second in the tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
Andrew Mikuls (138) and Cameron Gillespie (170) were first for the Panthers in the ‘Blue’ bracket.
Mikuls went 5-0 with four pins, while Gillespie won three by pin and then two by default
Second place finishes went to Kale Slater (120), Gage Baska (126), Carter Thomas (132), Andre Anderson (145), Max Rosario (152).
In the ‘Gold’ bracket, Josh Lowe went 3-0 to take first at 138.
Mid-Buchanan was also at this competition with its two North Platte students.
Justin Roth (126) went 2-3, while Aaron Thomas (145) finished 1-4.
Sam Martin Invitational
West Platte tied for 15th place in the Sam Martin Invitational held Saturday, Jan. 13, at Plattsburg High School in Plattsburg, Mo.
The Bluejays had only three compete for the second straight tournament and the only mainstay was Jacob Brown, who took 11th place and went 1-4.
The highlight for West Platte was Eric Rodgriuez, who placed third at 113. He won three by pin and won 5-3 in overtime against Emalie Olson of Kearney in the third-place match.