WILLIAMSPORT — The Clearfield Bison wrestling team performed very well to kick off the 2015-16 season at the Tom Best Memorial Top Hat Tournament at Williamsport HIgh School Friday night.
In third place out of 20 teams, the Bison have four semifinalists and 12 out of 14 still alive in the two-day tourney.
Reaching the semis slated for Saturday morning are number one seeds Matt Ryan at 106 and Luke McGonigal at 170, number two seed Travis Ogden at 195, and number four seed Josiah McClarren at 138.
Sophomore Ryan picked up two falls and will face number five seed Jeremy Zydallis from Jersey Shore in the semis. Fellow sophomore McGonigal also picked up two falls and will face off with the number four seed Hunter O’Connor, also from Jersey Shore. Those two early season match ups could have big end-of-season implications, as District 4’s Jersey Shore will be at the Clearfield High School for the District 4-9 Championships in February.
McClarren, a senior, posted two regular decisions and now will look for an upset over the number one seed, Jimmy Hoffman from Hazelton, to reach the finals. And, finally, defending Top Hat champion Ogden received a bye and a fall to reach the semis against the number three seeded Isaac Porter from Central Mountain.
Alive in the consolations after winning opening round matches – #8 seed Jude Pallo at 113; #4 seed Logan Gilbert at 145, #5 seed Tallin Norris at 152; #8 seed Zane Morgan at 160; #2 seed Levi Wisor at 182; and #5 seed Nate Lash at 285.
Also still alive, after receiving opening round consolation byes, are Alec Graham at 120 and #8 Hunter Bumbarger at 220.
Eliminated were Quentin Edwards at 126 and Hunter Blake at 132. Edwards won a preliminary bout, then was beaten by the #1 seed and lost in the consolation round. Blake lost 1-0 to the #8 seed in his first round bout, then lost 4-2 in the consolations to drop out.
The Bison have accumulated 66 team points, while tournament leader Jersey Shore has 86 points and current tourney runner-up Central Mountain has 79.5 points. Just behind Clearfield in the team standings are Hazelton with 64, Line Mountain with 63, South Western with 60, and Muncy with 57.