Usually the road to the state wrestling tournament begins with districts, however, competing in the MRVC Tournament will give you a good indication of where you stand. With the expanded event held Friday and Saturday at Excelsior Springs, the strong field was expanded to include all 12 schools with Oak Grove flexing its muscles to nab the team title by 54 points over runner-up Excelsior Springs.
The Panthers ended the event with seven finalists and three individual champions and 432.5 points. The host Tigers had 378.5 points, followed by Odessa with 311, Lexington with 285 and Pleasant Hill with 276.
Richmond finished sixth with 232 points, while Harrisonville placed seventh with 169. Knob Noster with 164, Higginsville with 150.5, Carrollton with 140, Holden with 121.5 and Grain Valley with 90 points rounded out the field.
Richmond’s lone conference champion was sophomore Colby Bowles in the 189-pound bracket. Bowles improved to 24-5 for the season with a 4-3 decision over Luke Morgan of Knob Noster in the finals. Bowles won three of his pool matches by falls, and then defeated Dean Manning of Lexington 6-3 to reach the semifinals where he took an 8-0 major decision over Harrisonville’s Taylor Moreland.
Richmond had three other wrestlers place third.
Chris McFall defeated Caleb Carlilse of Oak Grove 8-7 in the third-place match as the Spartan sophomore scored a reversal in the closing seconds for the victory as he upped his record to 19-9. It was McFall’s second one-point decision over the Panther in the tournament. He received byes in his first two pool bouts before registering a fall over Ryan Nevils of Knob Noster in 1:40, and then stopping Carlilse. McFall lost his semifinal match to Andrew Watson of Pleasant Hill, 8-3.
Senior Preston Maples finished third at 125. He won three of his four contested pool matches including a major decision and two decisions before losing his final pool match to Roman Vega of Knob Noster by a 12-2 major decision. Maples dropped his semifinal bout to eventual champion Blake Peek of Odessa by fall at 5:10. He then rebounded with an 8-7 decision over Lexington’s Matthew Hollingsworth in the third-place match to improve his season record to 15-13.
Reny Reis defeated Mitchell Green of Higginsville 4-0 in the 135-pound third-place match for the Spartans. Reis ended the tournament with a 20-10 mark. The Richmond sophomore picked up two victories by injury default in pool matches to go along with a fall and major decision. Reis lost his lone pool match by injury default to Dylan Marriott in the third round. Ries dropped his semifinal bout to Oak Grove’s Kodi Morgason 12-6.
Dalton Daily took fifth for Richmond at 112. He received byes in three of his pool matches and five matches overall. Savanna Nobile finished sixth at 103. She won four of her matches with byes. Alex Luman was sixth at 285 with four victories on byes.
Jake Vandiver was eighth for the Spartans at 130. He received a bye and also took a 13-11 decision over Drake Oetting of Lexington in pool competition before losing in the consolation semifinals to Blake Chavez of Carrollton by fall in 4:19. Kane Southwick was eighth at 145 after winning two matches in pool – one with a bye. He won by fall over Jake Giffin of Holden in 3:08, before losing by fall in 3:19 to Andrew Asmus of Excelsior Springs in the consolation semifinal.
Eric Wilson placed eighth at 152 with two wins from byes, and Colby Bowers also finished eighth at 215 with his lone contested victory coming with a fall over Carrollton’s Bill Grohs in 3:53.
PHOTO: Colby Bowles defeated Taylor Moreland of Harrisonville 8-0 in the semifinals on the way to winning the 189-pound MRVC championship Saturday at Excelsior Springs. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)