Missouri wins Metro Classic 28-27

By Michael Smith
Check out all the photos from Mark Lundy.

Park Hill senior Chris Bizzle may not have gotten the desired result at the Class 4 Missouri State High School Wrestling Championships earlier this month, but he still finished his high school career with a win.

At the state tournament, the Trojan senior fell one match short of earning a state medal as he fell in the consolation semifinals. But at Tuesday’s 29th annual Metro Classic, his match decided who won the dual featuring some of Kansas City’s best senior wrestlers in Missouri and Kansas.

Bizzle represented team Missouri and wrestled up from 195 pounds to 220 for the event. He got a short-time takedown in the final 10 minutes of his match against Louisburg’s Alec Younggreen to earn a 3-1 victory and help Team Missouri edge Team Kansas 28-27 at Avila University.

Team Missouri now leads the all-time series 19-10.

After his win, the wrestlers of Team Missouri leaped out of their seats to celebrate with Bizzle, who leaped into the arms of some of his teammates. The Park Hill senior then ran into the stands to hug his coaches from his school.

“Fast hands, fast feet, can’t be beat,” Bizzle said. “That’s what my coaches tell me all the time. I just went out there and did it.

“I knew (Younggren) was more tired than I was and I was more conditioned. I kept on going and I knew he would make a mistake and that’s what happened. I came out with a (win).”

And the post-match celebration couldn’t have been any sweeter for the senior.

“I think that was the highest vertical I’ve ever had in my life,” Bizzle said of the leap into his teammates. “My old teammates and coaches were here and I am just blessed to be here.”

His win gave Team Missouri a seven-point margin and it needed all of those points as three-time Kansas state champion Ethan Kremer of Mill Valley pinned Raymore-Peculiar’s Tyson King in the final match for six team points.

Every win for Team Missouri was crucial, including Blue Springs’ Korbin Shepherd’s 15-0 tech fallvictory against Louisburg’s Cade Holtzen in the 126-pound weight class.

Shepherd dominated his match from start to finish, getting three near-falls, three takedowns and a reversal to highlight his win against a three-time state medalist.

“My coaches say, ‘Don’t go out there to win. Go out there to dominate,’” Shepherd said. “I went out there to put on a show and score as many points as I can. Scoring points is fun and that is what the crowd wants to see.”

Shepherd admitted he was disappointed that he didn’t get the pin. He had 22 during his 32-0 regular season.

“I wanted the pin for more team points, but I was still glad I got the tech,” Shepherd said. “(Holtzen) was a good wrestler. Hats off to him.”

Grandview’s LJ Davenport also finished his high school career with a win after taking second place at state at 138-pounds. He defeated Silver Lake’s Kai Allen as Davenport got a late takedown in the third period to help pad his 11-6 victory.

“It felt pretty good (to get a win),” Davenport said. “That kid was pretty good. I don’t think I really took a shot. I scored off his shots. I shot right in after defending his shots. I didn’t really ride on top. On my feet is where I am at my best.”

Also winning for Team Missouri were Liberty’s Kage Lenger (132), who earned a 14-8 decision against Bonner Springs Cruz Lara; Odessa’s Gavin Gross, who earned a 17-2 tech fall against Turner’s Byron Kirkwood four takedowns and three near falls; Odessa’s Bryce Palmer, who pinned Olathe South’s Bobby Thomas in 3:22 after hooking in a cradle; and Raymore-Peculiar’s Coleton McElliott, who won 4-2 over Lansing’s Jacob McLain following a reversal and near fall in the third period.

Missouri – 28
Kansas – 27

113 – Trevor Andrew – KS DEC Antonio Rizzi – MO – 3-0 KS
120 – Joe Triscornia – KS DEC Cayden Dotson – MO – 6-0 KS
126 – Korbin Shephard – MO Teched Cade Holtzen – KS – 6-5 KS
132 – Kage Lenger – MO DEC Cruz Lara KS – 8-6 MO
138 – LJ Davenport – MO DEC Kai Allen – KS -11-6 – MO
145 – Johnny Akin – KS DEC Garrett Deason – MO – 11-9 MO
152 – Gavin Gross – MO Teched Byron Kirkwood – KS – 16-9 MO
160 – Bryce Palmer – MO Pinned Bobby Thomas – KS – 22-9 MO
170 – Coleton McElliott – MO DEC Jacob McLain – KS – 25-9 MO
182 – Jared Simma – KS Pinned Jake Evinger – MO – 25-15 MO
182 – Brodie Scott – KS DEC Aaron Barnhill – MO – 25-18 MO
195 – Caiden Casella – KS DEC Hunter Newsome – MO – 25-21 MO
220 – Chris Bizzle – MO DEC Alec Younggren – KS – 28-21 MO
285 – Ethan Kremer – KS Pinned Tyson King – MO – 28-27 MO