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After netting a grand slam at Branson, Strick wants a hammer at Winnetonka


Fresh from earning himself a sweep of Branson Tournament titles, Ozark's Braxton Strick seeks what would be a prized momento from this weekend's 52nd Annual Winnetonka Tournament.

Strick has never claimed a 'Tonka championship. His best finish is third.

He's seen the keepsake the winners receive and wants one for himself.

"They give out a pretty sick wooden hammer if you win. It's pretty cool," Strick said. "It's going to be a tough tournament, like it always is. I'm looking forward to making a statement. I'm not scouting anybody. Whoever is out in front of me is who I'm going to wrestle and wrestle my best."

Strick (30-2) capped a streak of four straight Branson Tournament championships this past weekend by beating Bolivar's Riley Beckman (30-2) in the 157 title tilt.

Hioping for a shutout, he lamented giving up a reversal to Beckman.

"When I was on top, I had a tilt and let it slip. I could feel it slipping, but I couldn't get out of there quick enough," Strick said. "That's when he was able to reverse me.  I also wish I had been more aggressive on my feet."

Overall, Strick was proud to emerge from a bracket that featured six wrestlers with 23 wins or more. In the semifinal round, he pinned Carl Junction's Marcus Lopez in 1:00.

"It was good competition and I took it to them, which is what I like to do," he said.

Strick led Ozark to the team championship. The Tigers totaled 210.5 points.

Ozark's Teagon Patterson made it to the 113 final, before being pinned in 1:22 by Carl Junction's Lukas Walker. 

Patterson (17-3), a freshman, was giving up three years of experience to Walker (27-1), a senior, a two-time state medalist.

In the semis, Patterson pinned Korbin Rogers in 2:26.

The Tigers' Peyton Greer (26-6) lost 3-2 to Neosho's Nico Olivares (19-4) in the 285 final.

Greer picked up a pin in 2:48 against Rolla Brock Horton in the semis.

Ozark's Keaton Hurst (19-9) was third at 126, as was Brock Sundlie (21-6) at 165.


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