BETHALTO - Alton High School wrestlers had a very good day at the Steve Bradley Invitational tournament, held Saturday at the Civic Memorial gym, as a total of eight wrestlers, led by third-place finishes by William Harris and Antoine Phillips, finished in the top eight and the Redbirds finished sixth as a team.Mattoon won the tournament with a team score of 191.5 points, with the host Eagles coming in second with 188 points, Jacksonville coming in third with 168.5 points, Murphysboro was fourth with 159.5 points and Vandalia rounded out the top five with 147.5 points. The Redbirds came in sixth with 110 points.
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Aslan Merioles came in fourth for the Redbirds at 120 pounds, scoring 13 points, and went 2-2 on the day. Merioles won his first match by pin over Vaughn Hochstatter of Bloomington at 4:11, then won the quarterfinal bout over Mateo Martinez of Stanford Olympia 8-4, but lost his semifinal to Aiston Holt of Murphysboro 8-4, then was pinned in the third place match at 1:40 by Pierson Wilkerson of Vandalia.
Harris scored 18 points for the Redbirds en route to his third-place finish at 126 pounds, going 3-1 on the day. He started off with a 35-second pinfall of Mia Balota of Benton, then defeated Kaden Rios of Springfield in the quarterfinal 14-3. Harris lost his semifinal to Caleb Scott of CM by fall at 5:27, but bounced back to win the third-place match over Lane Griffin of Centralia by fall at 54 seconds. Marshall Skelton didn't place at 132 pounds, but did score four points for Alton, going 1-2 on the day. He started out with a win by fall over Parker Ray of Vandalia at 33 seconds, but was pinned in the quarterfinal match by Tyson Rakers of Highland at 3:02, then was eliminated in the second round of the wrestlebacks by Cooper Phillips of Stanford Olympia by fall at 3:31.
Chris Jones finished fourth at 138 pounds, going 2-2 and scoring 15 points. Jones started out with a pin of Brody Chester of the Eagles at 3:23, then pinned East Alton-Wood River's Jackson Mason at 2:42 in the quarterfinal, but was pinned in the semifinal by Owen Miller of Vandalia at 3:08 and was pinned in the third place match by Ben Capitosti of Mattoon at 3:31.
Yaveion Freeman finished fifth at 145 pounds, going 4-1 on the day and scoring 17 points. Freeman started off with a 35-second pin of EAWR's Lucas Morton, but then lost in the quarterfinals 6-4 to Liam Fox of Murphysboro. In the wrestlebacks, Freeman pinned Anthony Hernandez of Benton at 39 seconds, Cornell Tell of East St. Louis at 55 seconds, then won the fifth-place bout over Jackson Deutch of Waterloo by fall at 2:00.
Phillips went 3-1 on the day at 152 pounds, scoring 16 points. Phillips started out with a pin of Peyton Rose of Waterloo at 27 seconds, then won the quarterfinal bout over Luke McCoy of the CM B team 14-6. Phillips then lost in the semifinal to Bryce Griffin of the Eagles by technical superiority 17-1 at 4:47, coming back to win the third-place bout over Noah Misukonis of Bloomington 5-2.
Manny Morrissette finished in seventh place at 160 pounds, going 3-2 on the day, scoring 11 points. Morissette started of with a 2:31 pin of Sean Bechtold of the Civic Memorial B team, then was pinned at 3:09 by Abram Davidson of Jacksonville in the quarterfinal. In the wrestlebacks, Morrissette pinned David Dorsey of Champaign Central at 51 seconds, then was pinned at 2:27 by Jason Skocy of Mattoon, but came back in the seventh place match to pin Bechtold at 2:32.
Gabe Crowder went 0-2 in the 195-pound division, failing to score. Crowder lost his first-round match to T.J. Owens of Mattoon by fall at 1:41, received a bye into the second round of the wrestlebacks, but was pinned by Izaiah Dalton of Benton at 1:06, ending his day.
Kavon Newby came in eighth at 220 pounds, going 1-3 on the day and scored five points. Newby was pinned by Ethan Greenwald of Highland at 1:45 in the first round, then got a bye into the second round of the wrestlebacks, where he pinned Kale Hawk of CM at 31 seconds. Newby lost in the wrestleback semifinal by fall to James Busch of Jersey at 49 seconds, then was pinned by Greenwald in the seventh-place match at 2:50.
In the 285-pound division, Jaxon Sheets scored 12 points for the Redbirds, placing sixth and went 3-2 on the day. Sheets was pinned in his first match by Mekhi McDowell of East St. Louis at 3:47, then came back to pin Landon Schultz of Carlyle at 1:17 and Brody Nichols of Centralia at 29 seconds to reach the semifinals of the wrestlebacks. Sheets then pinned Jake Herrin of CM at 3:53, then was pinned by McDowell in the fifth-place match at 4:14.