Huntington High takes down Point Pleasant, 48-24
HUNTINGTON -- The big guns for the Huntington High and Point Pleasant wrestling teams performed as expected when they went out for a match.
So the next thing to look for was possible surprises. Huntington's Chase Childers filled that role at 126 pounds. In his match against Micah Powell, Childers capitalized on a reversal in the third period for two points to give the sophomore a 5-2 win over the senior and Class AA/A state runner-up a year ago.
That early success helped the Highlanders, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA in West Virginia, defeat the No. 3 Black Knights, 48-24, in a duel Thursday night at Archer-Lucas Gymnasium.
"His match was a key match," Highlanders coach Rob Archer said of Childers. "He faced a big challenge and responded."
"I liked being the underdog," said Childers, who's climbed from the junior varsity ranks a year ago to No. 5 in the state in his weight class in the latest West Virginia Coaches Association ratings. "From the second period on I was more relaxed."
Then came the decisive reversal in the final period.
"I thought it would come down to the wire," Childers said. "I knew the next points were big. I'm in the mix now. This shows I can do something."
Point Pleasant, which had won three straight Class AA/A state titles until getting moved up to Class AAA for 2012-13, forfeited five weight classes. Of the nine that went to the mat, the Highlanders had a 5-4 edge.
Huntington's Logan Grass (113) and Justin Arthur (145), No. 1 in their weight class, both won by pin. So did heavyweight Toney Kitts.
For the Black Knights, Noah Searls (138), Trevor Hill (170), Brycen Reymond (182) and Jacob Starcher (195) all won by pin. Searls is ranked No. 1 and Hill and Reymond each are No. 4. Powell is No. 9 at 126.
"We have a few holes," Point Pleasant coach John Bonecutter said. "Not one wrestler was held out on purpose."
John Raike (No. 3 at 113), Guy Fisher (No. 1 at 120) and Josh Hudson (No. 4 at 145) did not see action.
"We've got to get healthy," Bonecutter said. The flu and injuries have slowed the Black Knights this season.
The big match between Searls and Huntington's Billy Waldeck didn't come off. Waldeck, a senior, sat out for disciplinary reasons.
"The kids attacked OK," Archer said. "A solid B."
Huntington's next start is Feb. 2 in the Mountain State Athletic Conference Tournament at Parkersburg High's Memorial Fieldhouse.
Point Pleasant has a tri-match Saturday at home against North Marion, John Marshall and Oak Glen.
"I'm not pleased with how we wrestled overall," Bonecutter said. "This was a wakeup call. We've got some things to fix."