Even without a full complement of wrestlers, Lee’s Summit North closed out its tournament schedule with a strong showing.
The Broncos captured third place Jan. 27 in the Lydia’s Lights Blue Springs South Wrestling Tournament, the last big event for many teams before the postseason begins with district tournaments in less than two weeks.
North had three finalists and three third-place finishers while scoring 309 team points, which trailed only team champion Waynesville (518.5) and runner-up Platte County (447) in the 14-team field.
“If we had had everybody here, I think we would have been in the hunt for second, if not pushing first,” Broncos wrestling coach Mick Cronk said. “But the kids we had here wrestled hard and wrestled well.”
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North’s three finalists all lost their championship matches and finished second.
Platte County’s Cody Phippen, a two-time state champion with a 38-3 record, pinned Hunter Ross late in the second period of the 126-pound division final.
Triston Jones dropped a 15-5 major decision against Waynesville’s Michael Cassidy in the 145 title bout, while Logan Thornton suffered a tough 5-4 loss versus Waynesville’s Andrew Lietold in the 195 final.
“It was a good match,” Cronk said. “We just got out-scrambled in a situation. We’ll see that kid again at districts.”
Caden Schweitzer (113), Jaden Duran (138) and Lane Overton (152) all finished third for the Broncos.
Schweitzer and Overton won their third-place matches with pins.
Those performances helped North overcome the absence of Cody Steinbrugge (106), Adrian Castaneda (160) and Zane Ragland (182), who Cronk said were sidelined by “sickness and other issues.”
Cronk expects to have all three wrestlers back Wednesday night when the Broncos wrestle their final dual of the season at Rockhurst.
“Everyone will be back,” Cronk said. “We’re just trying to get healthy for the stretch run here.”
Lee’s Summit is coming down the stretch of what has been a long season for a young team. The Tigers only finished eighth with 194.5 points at the Blue Springs South tourney but found something to celebrate in placing a season-best three in the finals.
Trevor Wishne got pinned by Waynesville’s Thomas Brady in the championship match at 106, but Wishne was only down 2-0 before getting cradled early in the second period.
Wishne, a junior, lost a 10-0 major decision against Brady earlier in pool competition.
“He’s really starting to fight harder and compete more in every situation and position,” Lee’s Summit coach Jay McGovern said. “And that’s helping him out a lot.”
McGovern said sophomore Lorenzo Turney also had a tough match in the 113 final, losing a 4-0 decision against Blue Springs South’s Jazmin Robertson.
Finally, senior Grant Parrish reached the 170-pound final before losing a 17-2 technical fall versus Park Hill South’s Cameron Gillespie.
“Their attitudes are really good and you would think with how badly we’ve been doing, our attitude would be going down,” McGovern said. “But no, it’s gotten better and that’s what you want to see.”
Lee’s Summit will join Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West in the Class 4, District 3 meet Feb. 9-10 at Drury University in Springfield.