The Neosho wrestling team opened the 2012-2013 campaign in championship fashion on Saturday, besting Lebanon 394.5-248.5 to win first place at the Neosho Tournament.

The Neosho wrestling team opened the 2012-2013 campaign in championship fashion on Saturday, besting Lebanon 394.5-248.5 to win first place at the Neosho Tournament.

Belton took third in the event with a score of 211.5, and were followed by Willard (179.5), Branson (156.5), Kickapoo (148), Columbus, Kan. (132), McDonald County (96) and Glendale (38).

At 106 pounds, Neosho freshman John Williams took first place after an 11-0 major decision over Lebanon’s Beushausen in the finals. Williams also took down Beushausen in the first round in a 12-3 major decision as well, before pinning Jacobs (Glendale) and Daniel DeSantiago (McDonald County) to reach the final.

Freshman Kyler Rea won the 113 class on a 10-5 decision over Burns (Lebanon). Rea also scored victories over Fenzl (Belton), Cook (Kickapoo) and Knadle (McDonald County). River Buttram won the 120 class with a 21-3 technical fall over Creel (Columbus). Buttram’s other victories came over Wisdom (Willard), Hulland (Branson) and Lundgren (Lebanon).

Other results for the Wildcats by weight class were:

113 — Toby Friend finished in fifth place after pinning Cook (Kickapoo) in 1:46. He also had a first round victory over Engel (Branson), second round loss to Burns (Lebanon) and a third round loss to Brookman (Neosho). Brookman, meanwhile, took fourth place after a loss to Fenzl (Bolivar) in the third place match, 11-4. He lost to Burns in the first round, and defeated Engel in the second.

126 — Dakota McGarrah first place technical fall over Rogers (Lebanon) 24-9 in championship with other wins over Bedwell (Bolivar), Traynor (Branson) and Rogers (Lebanon). Kirschner finished in seventh for the Wildcats after a forfeit. He lost in the first round to Dubois (Willard), defeated Freeman (Columbus) in the second and fell to Comer (Glendale) in the third.

132 — Nate Rodriguez first place pin over Crook (Willard) in 3:09. Other wins over Georges (Kickapoo), Colbert (Glendale), Chevalier (Bolivar).

138 — Jason Hall-Box fifth place pin over Green (Kickapoo) in 3:16. First round loss to Loderhose (Willard), second round loss to Dalton (McDonald County) and third round victory over Rabideau (Branson).

145 — Kyler Hostetter third place pin over Zigmund (Branson) in 59 seconds. First round loss to Porter (Kickapoo), second round victory over Rich (Lebanon) and third round victory over Dalton (McDonald County).

152 — Sam Williams took second place after a finals loss to Watkins (Columbus), 1-0. First round win over Woodring (McDonald County), second round win over Carnes (Branson) and third round decision over Palmer (Lebanon).

160 — Chance Branstetter took second after being pinned by White (Columbus) in the finals in 37 seconds. First round decision over Muwwakil (Bolivar), second round win over Holub (Branson) and third round loss to McDown (Columbus).

170 — Garrick Fausett collected a third place decision over Roark (Columbus), 4-0, after losing to him in the third round. First round pin over McGee (Kickapoo), second round decision over Adams (Branson) and third round decision to Roark, 4-2.

182 — Austin Hailey won the championship with a decision over Beushausen (Lebanon), 3-2. First round major decision over Eveland (Willard), second round pin of Pepper (Branson) and third round major decision over Hiltner (Bolivar).

195 — Jacob Brock first place decision over Grant (Kickapoo), 4-1. First round pin of Schmitt (Lebanon), second round major decision over Barnes (Branson) and third round pin of Whitney (Bolivar). Ben Elledge, meanwhile, took fifth with a 3-2 decision over Barnes. He also had a first round pin of Anderson (Willard), second round loss to Houser (Columbus) and a third round loss to Grant (Kickapoo).

220 — Christian Lopez finished second after losing a decision to McDonald County’s Jordan Moffett in the finals, 4-3. Lopez opened with a victory over Lewis (Branson), took a major decision over Randle (Columbus) in the second round before dropping Foote (Kickapoo) on a decision in the third round.

285 — Aaron Clardy won the title after scoring a major decision over Goin (Bolivar), 14-2. Clardy also picked up victories in the first round over Lucas (Lebanon), second round over Mondy (Branson) and third round over Dodson (Willard).

“It’s a starting point,” Wildcats coach Jeremy Phillips said. “We’ll make evaluations and they’ll get back to work. It was really an opportunity to see where we’re at, to get back in the practice film and target things that we know we’ve got to improve upon.

“We’ve got to stay hungry. Hopefully this is an eye-opener for some of our kids in their evaluations that they’re not where they need to be if they want to finish their season at the state tournament. I did see strides made from the week we had from wrestle-offs until now. Hopefully we can make those same strides every time we step on the mat.”

A pair of Wildcats echoed those feelings.

“I guess today was kind of a stepping-stone towards state,” Buttram said. “It (went) pretty good.”

Rodriguez, who entered the season ranked No. 19 in the nation, said there is still room for improvement.

“The team, we kind of fell at some places, but we did alright,” he said. “We came out ahead. There’s always room for improvement.”

DeSantiago finished fifth for the Mustangs at 106 with a pin over Smith (Willard) in 52 seconds. Nathan Knadle took eighth at 113 after being pinned by Engel in 45 seconds. Trevor Young grabbed third at 132 with a 4-1 decision over Chevalier (Bolivar).

Jacob Dalton took third at 138 after scoring a major decision over Bates (Lebanon), 18-8. Christopher Dalton was sixth after being pinned by Rich (Lebanon) in 3:19 during the fifth place match. Dylan Woodring finished eighth at 152 following a loss to Carnes (Branson) in the seventh place match. Nathan Araujo finished eighth at 160 after being pinned by White (Kickapoo) in 1:01. Terry Woolwine was also eighth at 170 when he fell to Hodges (Bolivar).

Andrew Coberley was decisioned by McMillen (Willard), 12-9, in the seventh place match at 182.