HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — They say it’s never over until it’s over.
There’s still one day of competition left at the 2012 Class AA-A state wrestling meet, but two-time defending champion Point Pleasant is well on its way to a third straight title following completion of Day Two competition Friday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Cabell County.
The Big Blacks advanced a program-best six grapplers to Saturday’s championship finals and they also have a dozen competitors still going strong at the 65th annual event, which has helped Point Pleasant amass a two-day team total of 181 points. That tally, which matches the school record, was last year’s winning total after the full three-day event concluded.
PPHS, which had 146 points last year and 139 points two years ago through two days of competition, currently owns a 74.5-point lead on the 43-team field. Clay County is the current runner-up through two days with 106.5 points, while Independence (86), Wirt County (83.5) and Roane County (78.5) round out the top-five team spots in Class AA-A.
Of the six Point Pleasant finalists, five will be making their first-ever appearance in an individual state championship match. John Raike (106), Micah Powell (120), Steven Porter (126), Zach Nibert (160) and Josh Hereford (170) will be making their respective winner’s bracket debuts, while Noah Searls (132) will be competing in his second straight championship final after coming up just short last winter.
Guy Fisher (113), Gabe Loggins (138), Josh Hudson (145), Trevor Hill (152), Brycen Reymond (182) and Jacob Gleason (220) are also still alive headed into Saturday, but the highest any of these half-dozen grapplers can finish is third in their respective weight classes.
Jacob Duncan (195) and Scott Duncan (285) are the lone Point grapplers to already be eliminated from the state competition. Point Pleasant, which led by 12.5 points after Day One with a score of 36 points, had one wrestler in each of the 14 weight classes this weekend — also a school record.
Point Pleasant, however, is the not the only Mason County program making noise at the Class AA-A meet this weekend. Wahama, which had two grapplers qualify, currently sits 19th overall in the team rankings with 19 points.
Sophomore Kane Roush made school history Friday night by becoming the first White Falcon to qualify for a state final individually. Roush defeated Zach Zide of Williamstown in the 152-pound championship semifinals to earn a spot in Saturday night’s final.
Classmate Randle Robie scored his first win at the state level on Thursday in the 120-pound division, but was eliminated from the tournament Friday after suffering back-to-back losses in the consolation rounds.
In all, Mason County will be represented in seven of the 14 championship matches held Saturday night.
Ripley, with 155 points, currently owns a 5.5-point edge over runner-up Parkersburg South (149.5) through two days in the Class AAA competition.
Complete results of the 2012 WVSSAC state wreslting tournaments are available on the web at wvmat.com