Headed 4 state
Half of Lady Wildcats’ sectional wrestlers move on
Half of the Lady Wildcats competing in the girls wrestling Sectional 3 on Saturday punched their tickets to the state tournament, and as a team, Cassville finished second in the tournament.
For Cassville, Annie Moore took first place at 112 pounds, Kailey Artherton finished third at 122, Hailey Roark earned third at 132 and Faith James took second at 137.
Lebanon won the event as a team with 139 points, with the Lady Wildcats taking second with 94 and Marshfield in third with 74.
Seasons ended for another four Cassville wrestlers: Zoey Stanton at 102; Kelsey Harris at 117, who just missed qualification by finishing in fourth place; Ryleigh Burnette at 174; and Taylor Glidewell at 235.
“The girls wrestled really well,” said Nathan Fortner, Cassville wrestling coach. “There are 48 teams at that sectional, and there are no easy matches. To get four in the top three of their brackets is pretty awesome.”
Moore was a standout for Cassville, winning all three of her matches by pin in 1:28, 1:56 and 5:21.
“Annie pinned her way through the whole tournament and just had a really good day,” Fortner said. “She’s very consistent in how she wrestles. She’s a strong athlete, and she’s really just meaner than most of the competition, which helps in this sport.”
Artherton was pinned in her semifinal match, but bounced back well to earn a spot at state.
“Kailey had probably the toughest bracket in the whole state for her weight, and there are a lot of really good wrestlers in that group that aren’t going to state,” Fortner said. “She did what she’s been doing all year. It was the second week in a row she lost to [Nixa’s Brenya Crahan], and that girl is ranked really high in the state. Kailey did a great job refocusing after that loss and not letting it affect her, and she ultimately did what she set out to do and qualified for state.”
Another close qualification, Roark defeated a district opponent for the second time in as many weeks, West Plains’ Lianna Ward, en route to a third-place medal.
“Hailey has really turned it on at the right time,” Fortner said. “She’s a freshman, and for her to qualify for state, that’s a big deal. I expect big things for her every time she steps on the mat.
“She was beat in the semifinals by the girl that took second, and she bounced back and didn’t let that phase her. She doesn’t get too worked up about anything.”
Fortner said James was possibly on her way to a title, but was forced to tap out with an injury in the championship match.
“In my mind, Faith won that tournament,” he said. “She was ahead in the final and her toe got caught in the mat and she rolled her ankle. She beat the No. 1 seed in the semis, [Lebanon’s Dream Cunningham], and that’s a girl she had lost to in districts, so she avenged that one. She was behind and caught the girl on her back and pinned her.
“Her ankle is good now, and she will be ready to go at state.”
Fortner said he is proud of all his Lady Wildcats, especially given the difficulty of such a large sectional tournament.
“It’s not an easy region, and to come in second as a team shows how much all the girls competed,” he said. “Even the ones that didn’t make it to state got us points and helped us finish second.”
The heartbreaker of the day was Harris, a junior, who battled back to the bubble match but lost to Odessa’s Emma Lewis in a 4-0 decision.
“She lost a heartbreaker,” Fortner said. “There aren’t enough good things to say about Kelsey. It just wan’t her year.”
Fortner said Burnette, also a junior, was one match away from qualifying, and Stanton and Glidewell showed well as freshmen.
“They have plenty of time to get back and qualify for state,” he said. “I am proud of all of them.”
Full results for the Lady Wildcats follow:
102: Quarterfinals - Jasmine Alcantara (Raytown South) over Zoey Stanton (Cassville) (fall, 1:13)
102: Consolation Round 1 - McKenzie Gormley (Lebanon) over Zoey Stanton (Cassville) (fall, 0:24)
112: Quarterfinals - Annie Moore (Cassville) over Kaitlyn DuBois (Belton) (fall, 1:28)
112: Semifinals - Annie Moore (Cassville) over Adeline Cottongim (Lebanon) (fall, 1:56)
112: 1st Place Match - Annie Moore (Cassville) over Josey Crisp (Diamond) (fall, 5:21)
117: Quarterfinals - Emma Lewis (Odessa) over Kelsey Harris (Cassville) (decision, 5-2)
117: Consolation Round 1 - Kelsey Harris (Cassville) over Emily Thomassen (Nixa) (fall, 3:45)
117: Consolation Semis - Kelsey Harris (Cassville) over Markayla Lottie (Raytown South) (decision, 7-6)
117: 3rd Place Match - Emma Lewis (Odessa) over Kelsey Harris (Cassville) (decision, 4-0)
122: Quarterfinals - Kailey Artherton (Cassville) over Nina Lapee (Knob Noster) (fall, 2:34)
122: Semifinals - Brenya Crahan (Nixa) over Kailey Artherton (Cassville) (fall, 1:58)
122: Consolation Semis - Kailey Artherton (Cassville) over Natalie Stewart (West Plains) (fall, 2:26)
122: 3rd Place Match - Kailey Artherton (Cassville) over Nina Lapee (Knob Noster) (fall, 4:32)
132: Quarterfinals - Hailey Roark (Cassville) over Parker Croft (Raymore-Peculiar) (fall, 0:46)
132: Semifinals - Quincey Glendenning (Lebanon) over Hailey Roark (Cassville) (fall, 0:27)
132: Consolation Semis - Hailey Roark (Cassville) over Lianna Ward (West Plains) (fall, 1:39)
132: 3rd Place Match - Hailey Roark (Cassville) over CheyAnn Johnson (Pleasant Hill) (fall, 3:29)
137: Quarterfinals - Faith James (Cassville) over Tatum Westendorf (Raymore-Peculiar) (Major Decision 13-2)
137: Semifinals - Faith James (Cassville) over Dream Cunningham (Lebanon) (fall, 4:32)
137: 1st Place Match - Tasia Lee (Holden) over Faith James (Cassville) (Injury)
174: Quarterfinals - Ryleigh Strunk (Harrisonville) over Ryleigh Burnette (Cassville) (fall, 0:33)
174: Consolation Round 1 - Ryleigh Burnette (Cassville) over Brynn Watson (West Plains) (fall, 4:33)
174: Consolation Semis - Kiana Massie (Marshfield) over Ryleigh Burnette (Cassville) (decision, 3-2)
235: Quarterfinals - Claire Pritchett (Nevada) over Taylor Glidewell (Cassville) (fall, 0:43)
235: Consolation Round 1 - Kamryn Salyer (Belton) over Taylor Glidewell (Cassville) (fall, 1:21)
The girls wrestling State Tournament will be on March 9 at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence.