Coenen rides to state

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Cassville’s Zach Coenen high fives his coaches after securing a sectional title in an ultimate tiebreaker on Saturday in Seneca. Kyle Troutman/

4 Wildcats see wrestling seasons come to an end

It was a tough day for the Cassville wrestling team in Seneca on Saturday, as only one of the five Wildcats competing was able to punch a ticket to the State Tournament on March 11.

Zach Coenen, wrestling at 220 pounds, earned a sectional title with an ultimate tiebreaker win over Osage’s Connor Arrowood. The match, at 2-2, came down to Coenen having to precent Arrowood from escaping in 30 seconds, a task he narrowly completed.

Cassville’s Zach Coenen fights for position over Osage’s Connor Arrowood, whom he defeated in an ultimate tiebreaker for a sectional title. Kyle Troutman/

The Wildcats had two more wrestlers come within reach of qualification, only to lose heartbreakers in rounds that would have qualified them for state in a normal year without adjustments due to COVID-19.

Jake Anthonysz, wrestling at 145 pounds, lost a 6-2 decision to Harrisonville’s Brayden Talley in the quarterfinals, but he fought his way through the consolation bracket to meet Talley again in the third-place match.

With the third-period clock winding down, Anthonysz scored a takedown to tie the match and send it to the sudden-victory period. However, Talley caught Anthonysz and landed a takedown, ending the Cassville sophomore’s season.

Cassville’s Gabe Hunter fights to the end of his match with Logan-Rogersville’s Gabe Brandenburg, coming up short in a 9-6 decision. Kyle Troutman/

The Wildcats had one more work his way to possible qualification in senior Gabe Hunter. After a quarterfinal pin, the 138-pound Hunter lost a major decision to Osage’s Ryan Schepers, but he pinned his consolation semifinal opponent to earn a spot in the third-place match against a familiar foe, Logan-Rogersville’s Gabe Brandenburg.

Hunter and Brandenburg met in the district championship match in Monett two weeks prior, with Brandenburg clinching a 7-5 decision in the final period to win first. On Saturday, the match took a similar course. Hunter fought back from early points by Bradenburg, but he could not find enough to get the win, falling in a 9-6 decision.

Cassville’s two other competitors, Kurt Deaver at 106 and Gavin Moore at 132, each lost quarterfinal and consolation matches by fall. The Wildcats’ Matthew Whittenburg qualified at 126, but did not compete at sectionals.

Cassville’s Gabe Hunter holds position against Logan-Rogersville’s Gabe Brandenburg early in the third-place match. Kyle Troutman/

Full results for the Wildcats are as follows:

106: Quarterfinals - Troy Gustin (Pleasant Hill) over Kurt Deaver (Cassville) (fall, 3:27)

106: Consolation Round 1 - Wallace Gregory (Clinton) over Kurt Deaver (Cassville) (fall, 3:57)

Cassville’s Jake Anthonysz works against Harrisonville’s Brayden Talley in the third-place sectional match Saturday. Kyle Troutman/

132: Quarterfinals - Garrett Lyons (Pleasant Hill) over Gavin Moore (Cassville) (fall, 0:52)

132: Consolation Round 1 - Charlie Dulle (Osage) over Gavin Moore (Cassville) (fall, 3:50)

138: Quarterfinals - Gabe Hunter (Cassville) over Braeden Elifrits (Harrisonville) (fall, 1:17)

Cassville’s Jake Anthonysz suffered a takedown in overtime on Saturday in the third-place match at sectionals, falling in sudden victory-1. Kyle Troutman/

138: Semifinals - Ryan Schepers (Osage) over Gabe Hunter (Cassville) (major decision, 14-2)

138: Consolation Semis - Gabe Hunter (Cassville) over Easton Byrne (Reeds Spring) (fall, 2:36)

138: Third Place Match - Gabe Brandenburg (Logan-Rogersville) over Gabe Hunter (Cassville) (decision, 9-6)

145: Quarterfinals - Brayden Talley (Harrisonville) over Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) (decision, 6-2)

145: Consolation Round 1 - Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) over Lucas Bare (Hollister) (technical fall, 16-0 4:32)

145: Consolation Semis - Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) over Corey Hubkey (Osage) (decision, 13-10)

145: Third Place Match - Brayden Talley (Harrisonville) over Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) (sudden victory-1, 4-2)

220: Quarterfinals - Zach Coenen (Cassville) over Logan Smith (Nevada) (fall, 1:42)

220: Semifinals - Zach Coenen (Cassville) over Carson Miller (Harrisonville) (decision, 5-2)

220: First Place Match - Zach Coenen (Cassville) over Connor Arrowood (Osage) (ultimate tiebreaker, 2-2)

Coenen will move on to the State Championships, which will be held on March 11 at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence.

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