Tigers win holiday tournament

Special to the JournalDecember 25, 2013 

With the weather turning a little dicey outside, the Lee’s Summit Holiday Tournament got a little frantic inside to get all the matches done and the Lee’s Summit Tigers needed them all to capture the title.

John Hogan pinned Vince Spalitto of Rockhurst for ninth place in one of the last matches of the tournament to give the Tigers the team win with 207 points, edging Francis Howell, who had 205.5 points.

“I thought it was an awesome tournament,” said Tigers head coach Jay McGovern. “Everybody contributed to the win. If we don’t have a full lineup, we don’t win the tournament by a point and a half. It was a full team effort.”

Lee’s Summit West, despite not having any wrestlers in the 220- and 285-pound classes, came in third with 181.5 points in front of Columbia Rock Bridge by 11 points.

Lee’s Summit North finished in 10th with 108.5. Four other schools crowded in behind the Broncos with over 100 points.

The tournament rushed to get the tournament concluded before the brunt of the storm hit, putting wrestlers’ endurance to the test.

“It was kind of a crazy tournament trying to get everything in,” said LSN head coach Cameron Clover. “Every team is in the same situation. For the most part, we didn’t look out of shape. We looked about like everyone else.”

Alan Olivas led the Tigers by winning the 126-pound bracket. Olivas pinned all three opponents in round robin. He won by tech fall over Danny Robinson of Kickapoo in the quarterfinals and Lawyer Beckum of Lee’s Summit West in the semifinals, both by 17-2 scores. For the gold, he pinned Williams Chrisman’s Derek Williams in 42 seconds.

“(Olivas) has a motor that doesn’t quit,” McGovern said. “He wears people out because he is not afraid to go for six minutes and push the pace and he never gets tired. He breaks people mentally because he pushes the pace so much.”

Beckum placed fourth, losing 7-3 to Jacob Gajewski from Francis Howell Central.

Jake Woods finished as the LSW’s only champion without a close match the 138-pound class. He breezed his way through the round robin, pinned Matthew Graham (McCluer North) in the quarterfinals, beat Anthony Franicevich (Camdenton) 7-2 and finished with a 7-1 decision over George Barth (Park Hill South).

With a second-place finish, Keegan McCormick led the Broncos. Up against Samuel Crane of Columbia Rock Bridge and down 7-4, McCormick got an escape in the final minute, but couldn’t come up with a takedown to tie it up, falling 7-5.

“(Crane) is a two-time state champ. He doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes,” Clover said. “I thought Keegan gave himself a chance to win. And that’s all you can ask against that level of competition, to not beat yourself.”

McCormick earned all pins in the round robin, a 14-3 win over Steffon Frassett in the quarterfinals and 6-0 victory against Dylan Komperda from Francis Howell.

Austin Eveler made it to the championship for LSW in the 132-pound weight class and fell to Noah Teaney 16-3 after pinning four opponents and earning a major decision and a decision in route to the second-place finish.

Tyler Nelson also got silver for the Titans at 195. Hauck pulled the plug on the match in the middle of the second period of the championship match against Francis Howell Central’s Joey Ziegler after Nelson injured his right ankle.

For the Tigers, Brady Daniels fell 10-0 to Connor Flynn of Francis Howell in the championship bout of the 160-pound bracket.

Trey Broker and Ali’l Loyola both earned bronze for the Tigers in the 120- and 220- pound weight classes, respectively.

“Ali’l Loyola, he is against the No. 1 ranked guy in the state (at) Kickapoo and goes into overtime and almost beats him,” McGovern said. “And then he beats the kid from Liberty for third-place match that got second in state two years ago. He is starting to know how good he is and I think that’s going to help him in the long run.”

Tony Grant beat Loyola 6-4 in sudden victory in the semifinals before Loyola took a 9-4 decision over Keyen Braughton.

Titan Ryan Waits and Tiger Skyler Reid dueled it out for third place in the 106-pound bracket and Waits edged out Reid 6-5.

“Skyler Reid, getting fourth, is starting to understand what he’s got to do to win those close-type matches,” McGovern said. “And that’s what this tournament makes you understand, how to win those close matches, because that’s a hard thing to get through mentally.”

DJ Brasfield-Thogerson also came in third for the Titans.

In the 113-pound bracket, Bronco Austin Hanson won each of his four round robin matches handedly, but got pinned in 24 seconds in the quarterfinals by William Chrisman’s Larry Danforth.

“He hadn’t been challenged so far this year. He maybe underestimated the competition. People come after you and beat you and I think that’s what happened to him,” Clover said. “He needs to learn how to get started quicker.”

LSW head coach Ethan Hauck could not be reached before press time.

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