High School Sports

Pelion matmen have big day at CN tournament

Pelion’s fledgling wrestling program had perhaps the best showing in its brief history last weekend at the Cardinal Newman Christmas Classic tournament.

The Panthers of coach Mike Griffin had a strong third-place finish behind champion Gilbert and host Cardinal Newman, ringing up 156 team points. In all, seven Pelion entries place during the one-day event.

At the top of the list was Troy Israel, who went 3-0 to win the 145-pound championship. Israel defeated CN’s Chris Palevich in the title bout.

Otherwise, heavyweight Ray Middlesmith claimed the runner-up prize, Jacob Huggins (119), Alex Koon (140) amd Mitch Boyette (215) all had third-place finishes and John Patterson (152) and Chris Settle (160) placed fourth.

Middlesmith finished with a 3-1 tournament record, losing to Leon Watts of archrival Gilbert in the finale. Huggins and Koon both went 4-1 on the way to consolation titles, rebounding from quarterfinal setbacks in the wake of first-round wins. Boyette checked out at 3-1. Patterson and Settle both finished with 3-2 tourney marks.

Prior to the Saturday event, Pelion pushed Gilbert to the limit before dropped a 38-36 dual-match decision to the Indians.