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Area wrestlers qualify for state

Feb. 19—The Neosho Wildcats boys wrestling team finished in second place at the MSHSAA Class 4 District 3 championships this past weekend at Raymore-Peculiar.

The Wildcats finished with 158.5 points — behind district champion Willard's 175 points — and crowned two district champions.

Freshman Anthony Stotts (38-8) was the first Wildcat to claim a district title after a pin of Republic's Phillip George (39-11) in their 113-pound bout.

At 144 pounds, Neosho sophomore Carter Howard won an ultimate tiebreaker at 5-5 over Willard's Caleb Caldwell (25-3) en route to a district title.

Wildcat freshman Kelton Shaffer (27-10) narrowly missed a district championship after dropping a 5-4 decision to Ozark's Keaton Hurst in their 126-pound match.

Neosho sophomore Everson Tomlinson (31-17) also qualified for state, finishing third with a pin of Raymore-Peculiar's Pierce Hazen (26-19) in the heavyweight division.

Neosho freshman Lincoln Howard (25-18) qualified for state with a fourth-place finish after losing a 5-0 decision to Lebanon's Andrew Bowling (39-7) in their third-place 150-pound match.

Sophomore Chase Kivett (36-11) also qualified with a fourth-place finish after falling 4-1 to Gavin Birkett (34-6) of Raymore-Peculiar in their 165-pound third-place match. Sophomore Dayton Kivett (29-17) also was fourth at 195 pounds, after dropping a 12-0 major decision to Raymore-Peculiar's Patrick Martin (35-7).

Carthage

Carthage finished eighth at the meet with 92.5 points and crowned a pair of district champions, while qualifying four wrestlers for state.

Carthage junior Tanner Putt (38-5) claimed a district championship at 106 pounds with a pin of Lebanon's Kaleb Branch (30-14), and senior Bradyn Tate (48-2) held on for a 2-1 decision over Nixa's Aidan Ward (30-13) at 138 pounds. Junior David Recinos (33-9) qualified with a third-place finish after posting a 4-2 decision over Ray-Pec's Aidan Carver (31-11) at 215 pounds, and freshman Caden Groom (29-15) finished fourth after losing a 5-2 decision to Lee's Summit West's Zach Pruitt (32-8) at 113 pounds.

Joplin

Joplin was 14th in the 16-team field with 35 points and will send one wrestler to state. Freshman Lucas Allen (21-11) finished fourth after dropping a 6-5 match to Republic's Corbin Massey (40-10) at 106 pounds.

State wrestling championships will be held this week at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Boys Class 1 and Class 2 and girls Class 1 will wrestle Wednesday and Thursday, and boys Class 3 and Class 4 and girls Class 2 will wrestle Friday and Saturday. This year marks the 94th boys MSHSAA wrestling championships and the sixth girls MSHSAA wrestling championships.

Diamond

The Diamond Wildcats qualified three wrestlers for the Class 1 state championships after finishing 12th in the 16-team field at the Class 1 District 2 championships in Butler this weekend.

Diamond junior Brayden Clement (26-8) finished third with a pin of Holden's Andrew Johnston (19-12) at 215 pounds.

Sophomore James LaFever (19-12) was fourth after a 15-0 technical fall at the hands of Eldorado Springs' Emory Crawford (38-8) at 150 pounds, and Diamond senior Kendal King (17-2) finished fourth after dropping a 4-3 tiebreaker to South Callaway's Eli Benningfield (37-7) at 190 pounds.