The O’Fallon Panthers’ recipe for success varied a bit Saturday, but for the second year in a row, the outcome was the same at the Mascoutah Invitational Wrestling Tournament.
Junior Jack Bond defeated Dylan Siebenberger, of Waterloo, by technical fall in the 160-pound final, and three teammates also won titles as O’Fallon repeated as champion of the 27-team event.
The Panthers, who also won the title in ‘12 and have placed in the top five in each of the past five years, also received wins from junior Mike Faulkner (145 pounds) and seniors Alek Ziegler (120) and Kobey Bosworth (195). O’Fallon finished with 224 points, 20 more than Southwestern Conference rival Alton (204), which won the title in both 2013 and 2014.
But unlike the titles O’Fallon won in ‘13 and ‘14, this one had a little more flair to it.
“In the past when we’ve had success here, we’ve done it by having 12-13 wrestlers in the medal rounds. Today we had eight, but we had seven wrestlers in the finals and four champions. It makes a difference when you can get kids into the championship round,” O’Fallon coach Glenn Exton said. “I thought (Jack) Bond really looked sharp today. But honestly, to be able to have seven wrestlers in the finals, I thought we wrestled very well this weekend.”
Ziegler, a former Class 3A State Tournament qualifier, defeated Zach Willard, of Carbondale, by major decision 8-0 in the 120-pound final, while Faulkner edged Courlene Wilson, of Alton, 8-5 in the 145-pound championship match.
Bosworth defeated Keyondrick Russell, of Alton, 9-4 in the 195-pound final.
O’Fallon also got second place finishes from Alex Fulton (126), Mason Hewitt (182) and Brian Ahle (220). Hewitt was pinned by Cameron Caffey, of Carbondale, in 1 minute, 33 seconds.
“The 182-pound weight class was the the toughest in the tournament,” Exton said. “You had Mason (Hewitt), Caffey and several other good wrestlers there as well.”
Collinsville (186 points), Carbondale (172) and Mattoon (157) rounded out the top five teams.
The third-place Kahoks received championships from Jevon Pargo, who beat Alex Fulton, of O’Fallon, in the 126-pound final. Collinsville senior Jacob Blaha, son of Kahoks coach Tom Blaha, defeated Zack Biasoli, of Wood River, 5-3 in the 132-pound final. Biasoli was a Class 1A state runner-up a year ago.
Other champions on Saturday included Drew Sobol, of Wood River (106); Trevor Edwards, of Mattoon (113); Ryan Chambers, of Murphysboro (138); Hunter Yahn, of Quincy (152); Connor Eaton, of Frankfort (170); and Brtt Nyswonger, of Roxana (285).