By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Even though Shady Spring won’t be a part of it, the Class AA/A Region 3 tournament could prove to be a lot of fun in less than two weeks.
Greenbrier West won the 36th annual Coalfield Conference Wrestling Tournament on its home floor Saturday, but it wasn’t a runaway. The No. 2 Cavaliers scored 183.5 points to edge fourth-ranked Independence, which was second with 178 points.
It was the fifth straight championship for the Cavs.
“That is pretty spectacular in itself,” coach Jeremy Tincher said. “That said, the two that matter are still in front of us. It would be nice to win the regional and especially to win the state tournament. I think we are definitely in that conversation.”
But Tincher knows his team is not alone.
Independence had four individual champions to West’s three. The closeness set up what should be a hotly-contested regional Feb. 15-16 — this time in the Patriots’ gym.
“It should be a close region between us and Independence,” Tincher said.
Winning titles for Greenbrier West were 152-pounder Malik Boatwright (35-0), 170-pounder Tyler Parker (36-0) and 220-pounder Cody Loudermilk (31-4).
Parker was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“Tyler’s work ethic and attitude are second to none,” Tincher said. “He is wrestling at a pace few people can keep up with. His conditioning is unbelievable.”
Champions from Independence were Will Cox (34-7) at 113, Thomas Williams (24-8) at 182, Dylan McBride (31-9) at 195 and Zach Fleshman (36-12) at 285.
Williams defeated his twin brother Trey in the 182 title match.
Shady Spring came close to crashing the party. The Tigers, who moved up to Class AAA this school term and will be in Ripley for regional action in 12 days, was third with 173 points.
The Tigers had five champions: Johnny Forren (31-2) at 120, Tyler Kosut (26-7) at 126, John Duncan (26-8) at 132, Nick Farley (27-4) at 138 and Brandon Stump (33-9) at 145.
Rounding out the top five team scores were Greenbrier East in fourth with 126 points and Wyoming East fifth with 40.
Winning titles for Greenbrier East were freshman Jasiel Kinder (32-6) at 106 and Josiah Solak (32-6) at 160.
Only six teams were able to make the trip because of more snow that hit the region Saturday. The tournament was supposed to be a two-day event beginning Friday, but many schools were not permitted to participate because their counties canceled school.
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