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Nixa, Ozark combine for six pins and two wins by technical fall in opening round at State


COLUMBIA — Nixa and Ozark both had four first-round winners at the Class 4 State Wrestling Tournament on Thursday.

The Eagles’ Zan Fugitt, Peyton Moore, Brennan Carey and John Gholson were victorious, while the Tigers’ Damien Moseley, Nolan Moeller, Lucas Campbell and Braxton Strick also triumphed.

Fugitt, a state champ at 113 last year, closed out his match at 120 in the third period, winning by technical fall 19-3 at the 4:22 mark.

Fugitt (44-1) moves on to meet Staley’s Logan Burks (25-7) in Friday afternoon ’s quarterfinal action.

Fugitt and Seckman’s Draegen Orine (42-3) are on the same side of the bracket and thus, assuming they both win their quarterfinal match, will meet in the semifinal round Friday night. Fugitt owns two wins by decision this season over Orine.

The other side of the 120 bracket saw three freshmen prevail Thursday.

Strick needed just :52 to pin Wentzville’s Justin Little at 152.

Strick (43-3) will test his 10-match winning streak against Grain Valley’s Tanner Barker (39-8).

Looming as a possible semifinal opponent for Strick is Francis Howell Central’s Aidan Hernandez (44-1). Hernandez beat Strick 3-2 at the Winnetonka Tournament in January.

Moore beat the end of the first period by posting a pin in 1:58 against Fort Zumwalt South’s Joseph Kenney at 126. It was Moore’s 21st pin on the season.

Up next for Moore (35-4) is Blue Springs South’s Tyler Barkley (33-14).

Gholson won by fall in 3:38 opposite Liberty North’s Elmotie Williams at 285.

Next for Gholson (36-5) is Eureka’s William Nelson (26-3). Gholson, who was primarily at 220 this season, is 12-0 at 280.

Moseley recorded a pin in :40 against Blue Springs’ Aleksai Wojtkiewicz.

Moseley has won six of his last seven matches, with five of those victories coming by pin. The other win was a technical fall.

Moseley (37-8), who has posted 24 pins during his freshman season, advances to face Jackson’s Landon Vassalli (41-5).

Moeller, a 138 senior, made his debut at State by breezing to a victory by technical fall 16-0 versus Eureka’s Ryan Thornhill.

Moeller (36-11) next faces Columbia Rock Bridge’s Carter McCallister (42-0), who won a State championship at 126 last year.

Campbell won his first State match by pinning Northwest’s Lucas Ahrens at 145.

Campbell (33-9), who has won nine of his last 10 matches, next meets Liberty’s Kyle Dutton (25-3).

Carey, a sophomore, opened with a win by fall in 2:44 versus Hazelwood Central’s Bankole Ogunmolawa.

Carey (30-9) moves on to face Liberty’s Wentric Williams (36-3).

Nixa 132-pounder Aiden Ward (25-10) bounced back from being pinned in 5:18 by Timberland’s Ty Helton in the first round to pin Eureka’s William Geller in the first round of wrestlebacks.

Ozark 132-pounder Levi Maskrod (31-18) picked up his first win at State with a pin in 3:36 against Jackson’s Gavin Hicks in the first round of wrestlebacks. Maskrod lost by technical fall 21-4 to Holt’s Logan Robinson in his first match.

Ozark’s Brock Sundlie (23-10) stayed alive in wrestlebacks by winning 8-0 versus Northwest’s Tristan Staat at 160. Sundlie lost 14-2 in the first round to Liberty’s Peyton Westpfal.

Nixa’s Avry Rutherford (28-14) was pinned in 4:23 in the first round at 182 by Lafayette’s Andrew Wier, but edged Francis Howell’s Irvin Haggemann 7-5 in wrestlebacks.

Ozark 120-pounder Keaton Hurst (28-18) saw his season come to an end. He was pinned by Orine in 1:38 in the opening round and lost 8-6 to Grain Valley’s Brock Smith in the first round of wrestlebacks.

Nixa 145-pounder Nate Brower (24-22) was ousted after losing 9-4 to Seckman’s John Bamvakis and falling 7-3 to Troy’s Seth Littell.

Nixa’s Peyton Nevels (15-5) was eliminated at 220. He was pinned in 1:10 by Park Hills South’s Lucas Oitker and lost 8-0 to Francis Howell North’s Jaiden Frey.

Lady Eagles' Crahan survives upset bid

In girls action, Nixa’s Ashlyn Eli (100), Brenya Crahan (125), Cali Dupree (159) and Harmony Rust (234) all won their first-round matches.

Crahan pulled out a 6-4 overtime win versus Francis Howell Central’s Nevaeh Smith.

Eli improved to 37-0 and Crahan moved to 34-1, as they look to repeat as state champions.