Fearsome foursome fly to state
Defending state champ Moore wins district bracket
In the 1960s, the Fearsome Foursome of the Detroit Lions was one of the most dominate defensive lines of all time, and the Cassville girls wrestling team has channeled that decades-old energy to qualify four of its members to state.
As a team, Cassville took seventh, but individually, defending state champion Annie Moore took first, Kelsey Harris and Kailey Artherton took third, and Faith James qualified with a fourth-place finish.
The MSHSAA Girls District 3 Tournament was held in Raymore-Peculiar, complicated by snowstorm that dropped more than 8 inches in some areas of the state.
“Saturday was a tough day because we had a different setup due to the weather,” said Nathan Fortner, Cassville wrestling coach. “They were doing as many matches as they could, so some girls wrestled four or five matches from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Some matches didn’t go our way, but in others, we battled back.”
Fortner said Moore, at 115 pounds, showed all tournament how dominant she can be.
“She met expectations,” he said. “She pinned all her opponents and pinned the girl in the championship in under a minute. This is how she has been the last two years. She pinned her way through the state tournament last year.”
Fortner said Moore is consistent and aggressive on the mat, which bodes well for her going forward.
“She, and all the girls, listens really well,” Fortner said. “We make adjustments from film and they are al good about fixing what needs to be fixed.”
Harris had an exciting run through the 110-pound bracket, and Fortner is excited for his senior to get to make the trip to state after missing out last season.
“She got fourth last year when only the top three went from sectionals, so she didn’t get to go to state,” Fortner said. “She wrestled smart and tough. In the blood round, she got a takedown and pin, and in the third-place match, she never trailed and got the takedown at the end. She was more aggressive this weekend, and she had to be because she’s a senior and this is it for her.”
The blood round refers to the semifinal round in the consolation bracket, as only the top four wrestlers qualify from districts to state. Harris, Artherton and James all won their blood round matches, many times considered to be more intense than the third or first place matches at districts because of the state qualification implications.
“In one of her matches, Kelsey got caught in a head and arm and fought it off for 1:44,” Fortner said. “She was up 6-0 when that happened, and usually, someone caught in a head and arm gets pinned pretty quickly. It’s really tough to get out of and she did, and after that long.”
Artherton, weighting in at 120 pounds, pinned her blood round opponent in 39 seconds.
“She got the takedown, put in a wing and stacked her up,” Fortner said. “She was up 13-2 in the third-place match when she got that fall. She is very technical and just has great technique.”
In all Cassville’s Monday matches, there was only one loss, as James took fourth instead of third.
“She won her blood round by a major decision and was pretty dominant,” Fortner said. “She’s just an aggressive and physical wrestler. The third-place match was close, then she got caught in a wing and tried to roll through it. Her chin strap ended up around her neck and she started panicking. There’s no tapping out in wrestling, so she ended up getting pinned. If that doesn’t happen, that’s a winnable match.”
Seasons ended for four other Lady Wildcats, including seniors and first-year wrestlers Jhandi Shears and Haley Morse.
“Jhandi had two overtime matches, her last against the girl that got second place,” Fortner said. “Haley wrestled up a weight class because she’s the same as Faith. She wrestled tough.”
Hailey Roark, a sophomore who qualified to state last year, fell short of matching the goal this season.
“She just had a bad day, and districts is a bad day to have an off day,” Fortner said. “She got caught on her back and had to battle. But, she’s a sophomore, so we still have two more years. Taylor Glidewell won a couple matches but got caught on her back. We can fix a few things, and she’s a sophomore, too.”
The 4th Girls MSHSAA Wrestling Championships will be held Feb. 17-19 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
“We will be fine-tuning, and our conditioning should be up there,” Fortner said. “We need to tweak a few areas to give us an advantage, and it’ll help when we see our brackets and paths. We saw a lot of people in other districts at the Wonder Woman earlier this year, so that will also help.”
Full results from districts include:
105: Round 2 - Josselynn Yates (Marshfield) over Jhandi Shears (Cassville) (Tiebreaker-1, 4-2)
105: Consolation Round 4 - Charlee Schilb (Belton) over Jhandi Shears (Cassville) (fall, 5:00)
110: Round 2 - Kelsey Harris (Cassville) over Jade Feller (Nevada) (fall, 0:51)
110: Quarterfinals - Kelsey Harris (Cassville) over Jayne Binder (Knob Noster) (decision, 6-5)
110: Semifinals - Rose Le (Parkview) over Kelsey Harris (Cassville) (decision, 4-2)
110: Consolation Semis - Kelsey Harris (Cassville) over Victoria Dunn (Ozark) (fall, 2:09)
110: 3rd Place Match - Kelsey Harris (Cassville) over Josey Crisp (Diamond) (decision, 3-0)
115: Round 1 - Annie Moore (Cassville) over Alyxandrea Keifert (Marshfield) (fall, 2:33)
115: Round 2 - Annie Moore (Cassville) over McKenzie Gormley (Lebanon) (fall, 1:39)
115: Quarterfinals - Annie Moore (Cassville) over Annabelle Govoro (El Dorado Springs) (fall, 0:25)
115: Semifinals - Annie Moore (Cassville) over Kendall Young (Nixa) (fall, 0:57)
115: 1st Place Match - Annie Moore (Cassville) over Louzella Graham (Seneca) (fall, 0:55)
120: Round 2 - Kailey Artherton (Cassville) over Dakota Stinger (Branson) (fall, 0:29)
120: Quarterfinals - Kailey Artherton (Cassville) over Charlene Barnum (Bolivar) (fall, 0:51)
120: Semifinals - Kaylyn Rogers (Lebanon) over Kailey Artherton (Cassville) (major decision, 11-0)
120: Consolation Semis - Kailey Artherton (Cassville) over Lauren Patrick (Belton) (fall, 0:39)
120: 3rd Place Match - Kailey Artherton (Cassville) over Alissa Hughey (Marshfield) (fall, 4:10)
130: Round 1 - Hailey Roark (Cassville) over Lily George (El Dorado Springs) (fall, 1:25)
130: Round 2 - Ari Brown (Warrensburg) over Hailey Roark (Cassville) (decision, 12-6)
130: Consolation Round 3 - Hailey Roark (Cassville) over Addy Wade (Knob Noster) (fall, 2:44)
130: Consolation Round 4 - Charlie Gregg (Holden) over Hailey Roark (Cassville) (fall, 2:55)
135: Round 1 - Faith James (Cassville) over Ursula Sandford (Camdenton) (fall, 0:24)
135: Round 2 - Faith James (Cassville) over Jilian Ramirez (Neosho) (fall, 0:37)
135: Quarterfinals - Faith James (Cassville) over Macie James (Marshfield) (fall, 3:50)
135: Semifinals - Bailey Joiner (Lebanon) over Faith James (Cassville) (fall, 3:24)
135: Consolation Semis - Faith James (Cassville) over Clarice Wheeler (Ozark) (major decision, 9-1)
135: 3rd Place Match - Savanna Franklin (Belton) over Faith James (Cassville) (fall, 2:08)
141: Round 2 - Kirsten Bruegel (Seneca) over Haley Morse (Cassville) (fall, 1:04)
141: Consolation Round 3 - Rylee Meredith (Belton) over Haley Morse (Cassville) (decision, 8-1)
194: Round 2 - Madison Henry (Knob Noster) over Taylor Glidewell (Cassville) (fall, 3:07)
194: Consolation Round 3 - Taylor Glidewell (Cassville) over Wilma Burgos Flores (Camdenton) (fall, 0:39)
194: Consolation Round 4 - Taylor Glidewell (Cassville) over Ryleigh Strunk (Harrisonville) (fall, 2:14)
194: Consolation Round 5 - Jordan Wilson (Waynesville) over Taylor Glidewell (Cassville) (fall, 1:52)