ONA, W.Va. — The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
A trio of large-school perennial powers all fell by the wayside on Saturday as the Point Pleasant wrestling team scored three head-to-head victories during a quad match held at Cabell Midland High School.
The Big Blacks cruised past Johnson Central (KY) and host Cabell Midland by respective scores of 59-12 and 55-12, then faced their most formidable challenge of the season in a battle of top-ranked teams.
PPHS — currently ranked first in Class AA — ultimately posted a 9-5 mark against Parkersburg South — the top-ranked team in Class AAA — in the finale while securing a 32-27 victory.
Point Pleasant went 32-10 overall in the trio of dual contests, which included 14 wins by pinfall and a single technical fall. The Red and Black suffered only five losses by pinfall as well.
The Big Blacks had seven grapplers end the day with perfect 3-0 records, with Derek Raike (132) being the only PPHS participant to win all three of his matches by pinfall.
Christopher Smith (126) and Justin Bartee (138) each recorded two pinfalls while going unbeaten in their respective weight classes. Bartee also notched a 20-5 technical fall win against PSHS.
Both Isaac Short (120) and Zac Samson (160) landed a pinfall apiece en route to 3-0 marks, with Samson also securing a 6-5 decision at 170 pounds against the Patriots. Parker Henderson (106) and Wyatt Wilson (152) were both unbeaten with a trio of decisions in their respective divisions.
Mackandle Freeman (113), Mitchell Freeman (145), Logan Southall (170) and Jacob Muncy (285) all went 2-1 overall in their respective matches.
Southall recorded two pinfall wins before suffering his lone setback against PSHS at 182 pounds. Both Freemans and Muncy had a pinfall win apiece, but all three also lost their respective bouts against Parkersburg South.
Brayden Connolly (182), Juan Marquez (195) and Wyatt Stanley (220) all went 1-1 overall, with Connolly claiming a 7-3 decision against Cabell Midland. Both Marquez and Stanley notched winning decisions against the Patriots.
Nick Ball suffered a pair of setbacks in different weight classes, falling at 195 pounds against JCHS and 220 pounds against CMHS.
The Big Blacks went 11-3 with eight pinfall wins against Johnson Central. PPHS was also 12-2 with five pinfall wins against Cabell Midland.
It was the first time all season that an opponent finished within single digits of Point Pleasant in a dual contest.
Point Pleasant returns to the mat on Friday and Saturday when it travels to Alliance (OH) for the Top Gun Invitational.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.