Panther Classic has 29-team field despite no teams from W.Va.

Despite not having a school from West Virginia, the Ohio Coatings Panther Classic Wrestling Tournament has a field of 29 teams entered for Saturday’s event at Buckeye Local High School in Connorville.

The Mountain State is staging its regional tournaments this weekend for area teams in East Fairmont (Class A/AA) and Morgantown (Class AAA). The top 4 qualifiers in each weight class advance to the state tournament in Huntington on Feb. 21-23.

Nineteen of the entrants are from the Buckeye State. The other 10 are from Pennsylvania.

Ohio squads in addition to the Panthers are Beallsville, Bellaire, Bridgeport, Cambridge, Dublin Scioto, East Liverpool, Edison, Harrison Central, Hilliard Bradley, Indian Creek, Martins Ferry, Newcomerstown, River, Shadyside, Steubenville Catholic, Tri-Valley, Union Local and Warren Local.

Keystone squads are Chartiers Valley, Conneaut, Hampton Township, Jefferson Morgan, North Allegheny, North Catholic, Trinity Area, West Allegheny, West Mifflin and Westinghouse.

Action begins at 9 a.m. in the pool tournament.

Several top-notch matmen will be featured during the day-long event.

Bridgeport’s Tino Kusic (170) was an OVAC Ron Mauck Tournament runnerup, while teammate Mason Kuneff (160) finished fourth. The Panthers’ own Brian Palmer Jr. (132) finished third, Charles Smith (170) was seventh and Shayne Christian (182) and Zac Cesario 9220) finished eighth. Bellaire’s Joseph Bonfini (120) and Cody Albaugh (160)were eighth-place medalists; Cambridge’s Aubrey Antill (126) was fourth; Edison’s Hayden Johnson (126) was eighth; East Liverpool’s Skyler Wooley (220) was third; Harrison Central’s Blayne Erwin (195) was sixth and Cody Gamble (285) was third; Indian Creek’s Mitch Wukelich (152) finished seventh; and the Martins Ferry trio of Richie McFarland (182) was fifth; Drake Dobson (195) third and Donte Lewis (285) eighth.

A total of nine Pa. wrestlers are ranked, according to the Post-Gazette newspaper, in the top six of their weight classes. All ranked wrestlers are in Class AAA.

North Allegheny leads the way with five. Leading the way is Ty McGeary (160) and Jon Hoover (170) who are both second, while Dylan Coy (106) is fourth. Frederick Junko (126) and Ben Grafton (220) are both listed in sixth.

West Allegheny’s Jordan Walters (126) is fourth; Chartiers Valley’s Zach Macy (138) is third; Hampton’s Justin Hart (195) second and Trinity Area’s Cole Whitmer (195) sixth.

Senior Night Shutout

West Liberty University sent its two senior wrestlers out with a bang, uh, make that a booming bang!

The Hilltoppers laid a 50-0 blasting of visiting Ohio Valley University. However, the Flying Scots helped out with six forfeits in the 10 bouts.

Logan Kemp continued his fine solid season with a major decision to move to 16-2. He is currently ranked No. 6 nationally in the 197-pound weight class.

West Liberty closes out its regular-season schedule on the road Feb. 13 with a 7 p.m. dual at Waynesburg before returning home in preparation for hosting the 2019 NCAA Division II Super Region 3 Tournament on Feb. 23 at the ASRC.

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