The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team split a pair of duals Friday afternoon before placing a pair of wrestlers in the top three slots of their respective divisions Saturday at the Skyview Invitational in Soldotna.
The Crimson Bears, forfeiting three weight classes due to illness and eligibility troubles, topped 3A Homer in their first dual 33-23. They then fell to hosting Skyview by "about 25 points," according to head coach Bob Cox.
Bryce Saviers led the way for JDHS during Saturday's tournament action, as his only loss came in the championship to Kenai's Chris Osbekoff, the state's sixth-ranked grappler at 125 pounds.
"He wrestled a tough match (against Osbekoff), but the other guy just scored a few more points," Cox said. "Bryce isn't quick and flashy, but he thinks out there and it shows. He caught a lot of guys off guard this weekend."
Saviers won his first dual meet by forfeit before earning his win the hard way against Skyview.
Freshman Thomas Riley placed third in the tournament at 112 pounds, dropping his only loss to the meet's top seed and eventual champion - Skyview's Bryce Wilson. Wilson is currently ranked sixth in the state at 112 and also defeated Riley in Friday's dual. Riley pinned his Homer opponent in the first round of the early dual.
"Wilson's a junior and he's pretty experienced. Usually the kids at those lower weights move up as they grow, but Thomas had a tough draw with that match," Cox said. "He wrestled him real well both times, though."
Dufer Libraneo also placed third for the Bears at 119 pounds after losing to Soldotna's Wes Koch-Fuxa. Libraneo bounced back to defeat Koch-Fuxa, who was ranked sixth in the state, in the consolation bracket to take third. He eventually finished behind a pair of regional rivals from Ketchikan - Nick Martin and Ross Sandford.
"Of all weight classes, Dufer probably caught our eye the most this weekend. It was a real gutty performance to beat (Koch-Fuxa) the second time," Cox said. "It was good to see the Southeast sweep first second and third, though."
The Crimson Bears will be back in action at home next weekend as they host their annual Pilot Tournament. The wrestling will actually kick off on Thursday with a dual against Sitka at Thunder Mountain High School. Then, Colony's varsity will travel down with the usual Southeast opponents for Friday and Saturday's tournament.
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