Poplar Bluff wrestler Kendrick Gordon wins SEMO Conference Tournament

Sunday, January 20, 2019

FARMINGTON - Poplar Bluff senior Kendrick Gordon had the best tournament of his career to win the SEMO Conference Tournament on Saturday.

Gordon won the heavyweight division as the Mules finished fourth overall.

"Had a fantastic tournament, the best version of him we've seen this year. Not only won it but dominated everyone he wrestled. He found a new level this weekend so we are super excited for him," Poplar Bluff coach Kelton Thompson said. "He's figuring it out at the right time."

Following pool play, Gordon (22-9) beat Sikeston's David Rowland 9-1 in the quarterfinals. He then pinned Ste. Genevieve's Clayton Vaughn in 3:12 in the semifinals.

That set up a championship match with Jackson's Braxton Green.

After a scoreless first period, Gordon took a 4-2 lead in the second with a pair of takedowns while Green earned two escapes.

Gordon added a third takedown at 1:07 in the third period to come away with a 6-2 decision.

Poplar Bluff had five wrestlers finish in the top four and another five finish fifth.

"Overall it was a good effort. Probably the best tournament we've had this year," Thompson said.

John Smothers (170 pounds) finished second, Wyatt Lazaleier (182) was third while Quinten Bell (126) and Jake Lawrinenko (132) took fourth.

Gatlin Taylor (106), Garret McClure (138), Kade Richardson (145), Gavyn Hays (220) and Justin Mitchell (160) all finished fifth. Luke Welborn (195) took ninth and Colton Jackson (152) was 10th.

Smothers pinned his way to the championship and went through New Madrid Central's Jacob Wicker in the semifinals, who beat Smothers earlier in the season.

Smothers was beating Sikeston's Trent Elliott 4-0 in the first period after getting a takedown and a nearfall, but with 5 seconds left in the period, Elliott got a reversal and pin.

"He had the kid on his back and ended up getting reversed and caught," Thompson said.

Lazalier lost in the quarterfinals to Hillsboro's Zach McNees, then pinned Kennett's Hayden Higgins and advanced after a forfeit in the consolation semifinals.

He then pinned North County's Jase Odie with 41 seconds left in the third period to finish third.

Bell lost a close match 3-1 for third place against Park Hills Central's Dawson Bevens. Jake Lawrinenko lost 7-0 against Farmington's Drew Felker in his third-place match.

"We have five guys medal, probably could have had 10. We opened up Saturday on fire," Thompson said. "I think we only dropped one match that round."

Jackson won the tournament with 610.5 points while Farmington finished second (467.5), Sikeston was third (416.5) and Poplar Bluff was fourth (408).

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