Knights put two in wrestling finals
HUNTINGTON - Parkersburg South and Point Pleasant distanced themselves in their respective team races on day two of the State High School Wrestling Tournament.
Cabell Midland advanced two wrestlers from Friday’s matches to Saturday Class AAA championship matches in Big Sandy Superstore Arena while Friday night’s session had the shocker of the tournament with Huntington High two-time state champion Zane Lanham losing. Zach Dillon from Cabell Midland, a junior in the 182-pound weight class, faces Anthony Carman from John Marshall in the finals.
Ivan Vaughn, the 195-pounder for Cabell Midland is a senior taking on Dustin Swisher of Hampshire in the finals. Carman, a John Marshall senior, defeated Lanham, 6-1, in the semifinals at 182 pounds. Lanham, a senior, won the 182-pound title last year and was the 152-pound champion as a sophomore. Lanham’s loss was only his second this season. Lanham declined comment after the match. Earlier this week Lanham was indicted by a Cabell County grand jury on a charge of sexual abuse and battery.
Lanham was arraigned by Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson and released on a $10,000 bond. He is represented by attorney Rich Weston.
He is due to return to court March 19. Point Pleasant in Class AA/A has five athletes in the finals -- Isaac Short (106), Christopher Smith (113), Derek Raide (120), Justin Bartee (126) and Mitchell Freeman (138). Other Class AA/A finalists include Jamie Ward from Winfield at 152 pounds and Antonio Servicz of Wahama at 220 pounds. Huntington High losses by Lanham, London Bowen (113) and Clayton Stewart (170) hurt the Highlanders’ chances of repeating as state runner-up.
Lanham had also been the last chance for the Highlanders to claim at least one individual state title. The Highlanders were successful with several wins in the consolation bracket that gives them multiple chances to take home as high as third place. Huntington High’s losses were Wheeling Park’s and Parkersburg’s gains.
Both schools were able to move into second and third respectively in the Class AAA team standings ahead of the Highlanders. Parkersburg South, looking to earn its eighth Class AAA state championship in 10 years, has eight wrestlers from the 14 weight classes in the finals and leads with 212.5 points.
Wheeling Park is second (150), Parkersburg third (116.5) and Huntington High fourth (105.5). John Marshall (84) is fifth and Cabell Midland (83.5) sixth. Point Pleasant, ranked first in Class AA most of the season, had strong showings in both sessions Friday.
The Big Blacks concluded Friday with 164 points to easily go ahead of second-place Independence with 104. If it can hold on, Point Pleasant will have its first state title since 2012.