Herald-Whig

Palmyra's Arch earns rematch with defending state champ

Palmyra's Ross Arch celebrates his victory over Matt Wuntke of Knob Noster in the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships at MIZZOU Arena Friday evening. With the win Arch would pave his way to a championship rubber match with Marceline's Clayton Stallo. Mathew Kirby
Mathew Kirby/MKirbyphotography.com
By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: Feb. 15, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Feb. 16, 2019 12:30 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Palmyra wrestling coach Josh Buatte called it a "same old, same old type thing," then quickly amended his words.

"It's going to be a little bit different this time," Buatte said. "Hopefully."

If it is, it would be historic.

Palmyra sophomore wrestler Ross Arch earned a spot in 145-pound championship match of the Class 1 state tournament at Mizzou with a 1-0 victory over Knob Noster junior Matt Wuntke in the semifinals and will get a much anticipated rematch with Marceline senior Clayton Stallo. It will be the third time the two have met this season after going head-to-head in the state title match last season.

Stallo pinned Arch in 3:49 to win last year's 138-pound title.

"Ross is wrestling a little bit different with a different kind of confidence about him," Buatte said.

Arch beat Stallo 2-0 during a dual meet in January but lost a 6-3 decision in the championship match of last week's Class 1 District 3 tournament. Such familiarity makes impeccable preparation a priority.

"We kind of game plan and go through what our mental state needs to be," Buatte said. "We know what we need to do and what we need to work on. He knows to stick to the game plan. After that, you let him be him. You let him do Ross."

It's how he won both his matches Friday. Arch advanced to the semifinals with a 4-2 decision over Mid-Buchanan's Chase Davidson.

"He stayed in really good position, and he wrestled within his limitations," Buatte said. "He scored when he absolutely had to and exploded when he needed to. He wrestled really smart when he needed to limit the mistakes."

Arch won't be Palmyra's lone wrestler bringing home a medal.

Palmyra freshman Brayden Stevens made a run through the 113-pound wrestlebacks. He scored a 19-0 technical fall over Hancock's Chass Blagg and earned a 13-2 major decision over Richmond's Conner Teat. He guaranteed himself a spot on the podium by pinning Fatima's Zakery Tune in 4:50.

Stevens (36-14) will face Seneca's Kendon Pollard in the wrestleback semifinals Saturday morning. He can finish no worse than sixth place.

"He didn't stop moving, which is good," Buatte said. "He scored when he needed to and came through when he needed to, especially at opportune times."

At 106, Palmyra sophomore Kaden Crane suffered back-to-back losses, getting pinned in 5:03 by Knob Noster's Sam Wilhelm in the quarterfinals and losing 4-2 to Mid-Buchanan's Dallas Grippando in the wrestlebacks to finish with a 38-11 mark.

At 152, Palmyra sophomore Peyton Timbrook was pinned in 22 seconds by Warsaw's Kolby Estes in the quarterfinals and suffered a 7-4 loss to Holden's Armani Graybill in the wrestlebacks, finishing with a 26-25 record.

Hannibal had two wrestlers reach the state semifinals in Class 3 before losing and both are guaranteed at least a top-six finish, while another fought through the wrestlebacks to reach the medal round.

At 132, Hannibal sophomore Tyler Leonard advanced with a 5-4 overtime decision against Grain Valley's Caleb Benahoof. He suffered a 5-2 loss to Rolla sophomore Nathan Pulliam, the state's No. 1-ranked and undefeated wrestler.

At 152, Hannibal junior Garrett Ruby (28-8) scored a 5-2 decision over Willard's Tallon Heimbach in the quarterfinals, but he was pinned in 2:39 by Jefferson City Helias junior Jackson Careaga in the semifinals.

At 160, Hannibal freshman Trevor Wilson (39-7) suffered an 8-1 loss to Kearney's Coby Aebersold in the quarterfinals but rebounded for a 10-5 victory over Springfield Parkview's Kenyen Kelber in the wrestlebacks. He then beat Lebanon's Colt Adkins 4-0 to earn a top-six finish.

At 170, Hannibal senior Vernell Hawkins (39-7) was pinned in 5:29 by Grain Valley's Hunter Newsom in the quarterfinals and rebounded to pin Fort Zumwalt East's Luke Eaton in 3:31 in the wrestlebacks. He was eliminated with a 6-2 loss to Lebanon's Jaden Ivey.

At 145, Hannibal freshman Tanner Leonard earned a 16-3 major decision over Carl Junction's Cole Stewart in the first round of wrestlebacks before getting pinned by Kearney's Caden Green in 3:44 to finish with a 38-7 record.

At 220, Hannibal senior Chase Kirby suffered a 1-0 loss to Farmington's Dalton Berg in the quarterfinals and was eliminated after getting pinned in 1:42 by Grain Valley's Jaden Worthington. Kirby finished with a 26-14 record.