Lee wins State title in 189 division, Hornets 13th overall

LITTLE ROCK — Bryant’s O’Dell Lee followed up his individual victory in the 7A/6A-Central Conference wrestling meet with a[more] victory in the 189-pound division at the Arkansas High School championship held at UALR’s Jack Stephens Center.

The two-day meet concluded on Saturday with Conway claiming the State title for Class 7A-6A with 255.5 points. Fayetteville was second with 236 points. Bryant finished 13th in the 20-team field with 97 points, just beating out Fort Smith Southside (94.5) and just 0.5 behind Rogers.

Lee, along with Tyler Mann of Little Rock Central, were nominated for the 7A-6A Outstanding Wrestler but Central’s Tanner Mann earned the award.

Conway’s Ray Sessions was nominated coach of the year.

In addition to Lee’s performance, the Hornets’ Brandon Powell (112) and Conner Goshien (140) earned fourth-place finishes.

Lee earned a bye in the first round of the meet then pinned Lucas Ardemagni of Van Buren, a rival he had met in the conference meet as well. In the quarterfinals, Lee pinned Mountain Home’s Tyler Starich. He won the semifinal by decision over Bentonville’s Kylan Larsen, setting up the final against Searcy’s Brett Siler. Lee managed a pin at the 1:56 mark to take the title.

Powell also received a first-round bye then pinned Alec Phann of Fort Smith Southside to reach the quarterfinals where he won by decision of Springdale Har-Ber’s Dylan Collins. In the semifinal, however, he ran into Searcy’s Jacob Copier who, by a decision, sent Powell to the consolation bracket where he decisioned Fayetteville’s Alex Baysinger to earn a chance at third place. But, in a rematch with Si Nhamnouane of Van Buren who beat him in the title match at the conference meet, Powell had to settle for fourth by decision.

After his bye, Goshien pinned Dillon Johnson of Jonesboro to advance to the quarterfinals against conference foe C.J. Egle of Little Rock Catholc. Goshien’s decision put him in the semifinals but there he ran into Russellville’s Henry Reyes, the winner in the weight class at the conference meet, who took the match by decision. In the consolation bracket, Goshien dispatched Caboth’s Sean Palmer then went double overtime in a re-match with Egle before losing by decision.

Bryant also earned team points from Michael Smith (215), Levi Brady (160), Harley Burks (145) and Brett Blend (135).

Smith was sent to the consolation bracket after a second round loss to Mountain Home’s Dalton Reed. He came back, however, to win by forfeit over Jacob Lambert of Searcy before losing to Har-Ber’s Phillip Mason in the consolation quarterfinals.

Brady had a bye at the start but then ran into Rogers Heritage wrestler Paul Coonce who pinned him at the 1:37 mark. In the consolation bracket, he came back to oust Springdale’s Alex Wenger before losing in the quarterfinals to Har-Ber’s Garrett Comer who got the pin at the 5:06 mark.

Burks also lost after a first-round bye in a major decision to Cortez Miles of North Little Rock. He advanced past Moises Garduno of Rogers on an injury default in the consolation round then earned a decision over Cordell Casey of Russellville. But Isaac Smith of Southside decisioned Burks in the consolation quarters.

Blend started the meet with a loss to Cole Bundy of Rogers Heritage. He too came back in the consolation round with a win over North Little Rock’s John Traylor. After dispatching Russellville’s Marlin Cuevas, Blend was ousted by Cabot’s Kyle Wheeler.

The Hornets were also represented by Zach Simmons (119), Alex Hughes (125), Alex Zeiner (130), Hunter Schelle (152) and Austin May (171). Simmons was pinned by Conway’s Conner Lusby then lost a decision to Fayetteville’s Bryan Arroyos. Hughes absorbed a loss to Victor Perez of Heritage then was pinned by Southside’s Zach Moore. Ziener was pinned by Tylor McMurtrey of Heritage then Justin Moore of Rogers. Schelle ran into a familiar foe in Catholic’s Richard Pellegrino, losing by decision, then was pinned by Rogers’ Brandon Mulcahy. May lost by decision to Searcy’s Jamie Mottu as well as Lucas Raleigh of Heritage.

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