LEWISBURG — Tri-County North held the 22nd annual Panther Invitational, hosting 11 teams – including National Trail and Twin Valley South – on Saturday, Jan. 16.
Brookville was the overall winner of the tournament, securing 267.5 points while Tri-County North finished fourth (118), Trail came in seventh (107) and South ended up ninth (22).
Out of the area schools, Tyler Gray (182) from North was the only wrestler to reach the top of the podiums, but there were several in the top four from around the county.
In the 106-pound weight class, Derek Nugent from Trail was the runner-up as was his teammate Josh Cook for the 145-pounders. Other Blazers finishing strong were Cade Carter (113) and Lane Hurd (195), who both ended in third, while Donnie Pegg (170) finished fourth in his class.
“Overall, I was proud of my team. We were down a few guys and are very young, so having so many podium finishes was very good,” said Trail head coach Michael Eyler.
For North, Chayse Eby (120/126) took home a runner-up finish while Hunter Heck (106) and Wyatt Hutchins (220) were both third place finishers and Dylan Curtain (152) came in fourth.
“We came up just short of the task at hand. I don’t like saying that I’m satisfied because we can always do better,” said North head coach Brad Statzer. “Some bad draws or simply mistakes during matches ended up costing us points. All and all, we didn’t wrestle too bad. We are young. With no seniors on the team, there are areas that we are growing in daily. One is that when we are able to win, we do so by pinning our opponents or scoring much needed bonus points for our team.”
South’s only placer on the day was Skyler Straszheim, who ended the day in fourth for the 182-pound weight class.
The Coach of the Tournament award went to Brookville’s coach Tyler Bey and the Outstanding Wrestler Award went to Triad’s Jake Thompson (170).
North will compete in the Triad Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 23 while South and Trail will face-off in the Blazer Invite at Trail on Thursday, Jan. 21. That match starts at 5 p.m.
Trail will also head to Eaton for a tournament on Saturday, Jan. 23.
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.