The McDonald County boys' wrestling team had two individual first-place finishes, and the Mustangs took sixth place overall Friday and Saturday at the Kyle Thrasher Memorial Tournament at Francis Howell High School in O'Fallon.
Whitfield took first place overall with 249.5 points, followed by Hillsboro 248, Staley 170, Francis Howell Central 131, Belton 121, McDonald County 216, Fort Osage 115.5, Jackson 109.5, Northwest (Cedar Hill) 106.5, Francis Howell 100, Hannibal 99, Fort Zumwalt North 92, Lafayette (Wildwood) 83.5, Fort Zumwalt South 81, Troy Buchanan 79.5. Rock Bridge 75, North Point 66.5 and Lee's Summit West 62.
A total of 42 schools were in attendance.
"Overall, I was very pleased with the way our team performed," said McDonald County coach Josh Factor. "Our guys are starting to figure out what it's like to compete as a team. Although we had two guys (Levi Smith at 144 pounds and Cross Spencer at 150) out of our lineup, we had several guys step up and score us some critical bonus points in this tournament that kept us in the team race. We, as a coaching staff, constantly drill into our team, 'The team comes first.' For all those that say wrestling is an individual sport, that's not the case in our program. We have high expectations for this team in the postseason, and to meet those expectations, it's going to take every member of our team doing their part."
McDonald County juniors Samuel Murphy (215) and Jayce Hitt (285) each won championships in their respective weight classes, while Blaine Ortiz (138) placed fourth and Colter Vick (175).
"This was probably the second toughest tournament -- behind the Kansas City Stampede -- that we have competed in this season, with six of the top 10 Class 3 teams in the state and several of the top Class 4 schools as well," Factor said. "Any time our wrestlers see this level of competition, it's only going to make us better. As they say, 'Iron sharpens iron.' Now we just need to work on getting all of our guys healthy and ready to compete for us in February when it counts the most."
Murphy (35-1) won his first two matches by fall and then picked up a major decision win, 13-3, in the quarterfinals over Matthew Kirkpatrick of Northwest (Cedar Hill).
Murphy defeated Holt's Richard Meyer by fall (6 minutes) in the semifinals, and then he defeated Gavin Gallman of Fort Osage by a 6-4 decision in the finals.
After receiving a first-round bye, Hitt (15-0) had two straight fall victories, which landed him in the semifinals.
Hitt defeated Jackson's Noah Gibson by a 4-0 decision in the semifinals. Then he dispatched Marquette's Alex Bray by fall (1:13) in the finals.
Ortiz (33-6) wound up wrestling six matches overall, finishing 4-2. He won his first three matches by fall, including a fall (6:00) victory against Ty Shelton of Timberland, who was ranked No. 4 in Class 4 at 138, which Factor said "was a huge win for us in the quarterfinals round."
Ortiz lost in the semifinals 3-0 to Whitfield's Alexander Rallo by a 3-0 decision, but he came back to win a consolation semifinal by sudden victory against Aidan Schoen of Lafayette Wildwood.
Ortiz fell in the third-place match by a 1-0 decision against Staley's Logan Burks.
Vick (29-9), who also went 4-2, won his first two matches by fall and his third by a 3-0 decision over Rickson Taylor of Desmet, who's ranked No. 4 in Class 3 at 175, before falling to Troy Buchanan's Brett Smith by technical fall in the semifinals. Vick also lost a decision match 8-6 in the consolation semifinals before coming back and defeating Hillsboro's Eddie Hines by fall (1:37) in the fifth-place match.
The Mustangs also picked up some points in other weight classes.
At 106, Eberson Perez (14-11) went 1-2 overall, while Robinson Yoshino went 3-2 overall at 113.
Huxley Wardlaw (9-21) went 1-2 at 165, while Malosi Sosef was 1-2 at 190.
The Mustangs' dual against Springfield Glendale and Parkview on Tuesday was postponed, and a makeup date was not available at press time.
The Mustangs are scheduled to host an Assembly Dual against Carl Junction at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Mustang Arena. The match will also double as the McDonald County senior night.
Mustangs defeat Marshfield
McDonald County picked up a 48-21 victory at Marshfield on Thursday, Jan. 26.
The Mustangs recorded nine victories on the mat.
At 106, Eberson Perez defeated Garon Whitlock by a 9-6 decision, while Dominic Cervantes beat Jonas Steen by fall (1:39) at 126.
Blaine Ortiz defeated Keelan Stewart by fall (1:46) at 138, while Levi Smith topped M.J. Gritts by a 10-3 decision at 144.
Brady Bogart defeated Peyton Woolman by fall (3:49) at 157, while Colter Vick beat Tyce Jones by fall (1:44) at 175, and Malosi Sosef over Eli Reynolds by 9-3 decision at 190.
Samuel Murphy defeated Erik Tomanek by sudden victory, 15-1, at 215, and Jayce Hitt defeated Austin Croy by fall (1:38).
The Mustangs also picked up a forfeit victory for Robinson Yoshino at 113.
Marshfield picked up four wins.
Takoda Gritts beat Paden Vance by fall (4:47) at 120, while Tanner Davidson beat Ayden Ball by fall (1:59) at 132), Joseph Martin over Cross Spencer by 6-3 decision at 150, and Levi Fuller over Kevin Molina by fall (1:30) at 165.
McDonald County fell 47-6 to Marshfield in the girls' match on Thursday, Jan. 26.
The Lady Mustangs' only win came at 155 pounds, where Helen Martinez-Mazariegos defeated Marshfield's Abygail Spencer by fall (1:21).
Marshfield had five mat victories: Alyxandrea Keifert defeated Ellysia Wasson by fall (2:39) at 110, Macie James over Jaslyn Benhumea by technical fall (18-2, 5:58) at 120, Ariaha McIllwain over Rylie Huston by fall (3:01) at 135, Camryn Elliott over Jazmynn Brewer by fall (0:46) at 145 and Isabella Whitlock over Gisel Aragon by fall (3:19) at 170.
Marshfield received forfeit victories at 105, 130 and 140.
Double forfeits were called at 100, 115, 125, 190 and 235.