The Knoxville Panthers finished in second place at the Sectional Wrestling Tournament held in Albia Saturday.

Eddyville-Blakesburg won the team title with 218 points with Knoxville next in the seven team field with 184.5.

Coach Doug Hatch’s KHS squad also advanced six wrestlers on to the 2A District Meet which will be Saturday in Knoxville starting at noon.

The top two wrestlers in each weight class at the District will move on to State competition in Des Moines Feb. 20-22.

Knoxville crowned two champions Saturday as Luke Spaur and Gavin Montalvo, two talented freshmen, each won their weight classes.

Spaur (120) will take a record of 27-4 into District action while Montalvo (170) stands at 20-6 overall.

Spaur pinned a wrestler from Central Decatur in 1:24 and in the finals he flattened Brodie Connor of Albia in 1:47.

Montalvo (170) also had a quick day with a pin over Matt Logsdon of Centerville in 1:17 and a fall over Gavin Shaw of Albia in 1:39.

Also moving on to District action will be Marco Alejo (106), Gabe Gordon (126), Hayden Hatch (132) and Nash Linsley (160).

Linsley is 26-13 after winning one of two matches Saturday. The win was by fall.

Hatch, Gabe Gordon and Marco Alejo each were 2-1 Saturday to move on.

Alejo (29-11) had to win a wrestle-back match. He did so by beating Tyler Schutt of EBF by technical fall 16-0.

Gabe Gordon (27-8) had two pins Saturday, the fastest being in just 13 seconds in the first round.

Hatch (14-13) moved on with a pair of decisions.

Odds and Ends

Every Knoxville wrestler Saturday won at least one match. Despite not moving on Koby Gordon had two wins Saturday as he finished the season (23-18) at 145 pounds.

JJ Beaver (138) finished the year at 24-18, Jax Bellon was 15-8 overall at 152.

Wyatt Darnell (182) was 19-15 for the year, Jared Landsperger (195) finished at 15-17 and Steven Metcalf (220) was 2-5 overall. Both of Metcalf’s wins were Saturday and they were by pin.

Beaver, Bellon and Metcalf were all 5th, Koby Gordon 3rd, Darnell and Landsperger with both 4th Saturday.

Coach Hatch stated, “The battle between the top three teams was very close, so every win, every pin we got was huge for our team. Jax, JJ, Steven and Marco all had to help us make up points as we had to come from behind and they all came through with big wins in the final round, three pins and a major.”

Regional Duals

By finishing second as a team the Panthers qualified for the Regional Dual Tournament. They faced Winterset Tuesday night in Winterset. The Huskies are ranked No. 7 in Class 2A.

Sectional Scoring

Eddyville-Blakesburg 218; Knoxville 184.5; Centerville 177; Albia 160.5; Central Decatur 113; Clarke 101; Chariton 98.

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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