Pair of locals aim for AA-A crowns
HUNTINGTON — A pair of Ohio Valley Class A-AA matmen will look to defend their state titles tonight when the 72nd-annual West Virginia state wrestling wraps up.
Oak Glen’s Peyton Hall and Madonna’s Alec Cook each won a pair of matches Friday to advance to the finals.
Hall, a junior who is top-ranked at 138 pounds, is now 11-0 in state tournament competition after pinning St. Marys’ Brian Rhodes in the first period with a 6-1 lead. He is seeking his third state title.
“Peyton has overwhelmed people all year,” Oak Glen head coach Patrick McGillian said. “He does the same things over and over but, when you are as good as he is, it’s hard to stop.”
Hall improved to 42-3 and will meet Point Pleasant sophomore Mitchell Freeman in the finals. Freeman is 44-6.
Cook earned his spot in the 145-pound finals with a 17-6 major decision over Bridgeport’s Aidan Gibson in the semis.
“Alec has been wrestling very focused for the last week-and-a-half,” Madonna head coach Jamie Lesho said. “He’s ready to rock and roll.”
Cook, now 48-2, will get a chance to avenge one of his setbacks when he meets Liam Lusher of Independence in the finals.
“He has already beaten Alec 8-6 this year, but this is a different setting, and Alec is really focused,” Lesho said.
Cook’s brother, Garrett, also made the finals at 220 when he was awarded a late penalty point in a 3-2 win over Bridgeport’s Kavaughn Summers.
“A lot of people were confused that Garrett bumped up to 220 this year,” Lesho said. “He thought that was his best shot at winning a title. It was his choice and he wanted to go there.
“Garrett has been wrestling phenomenal, and he knows what he wants. He’s been getting it done.”
Oak Glen’s Shawn Moore, a state runner-up last year, fell in the semifinals.
“As a coach, that loss was as bad as me losing,” McGaughey said. “I feel so bad for Shawn, but he has to bounce back and wrestle hard to get third now.”
Magnolia’s Mikey Hamrick will wrestle for sixth.