The Phoenix wrestlers started their winter break by traveling south to Black River to participate in the JB Firestone Tournament. The squad earned 19 points for a 12th place finish.
Freshman Riley Horning was the sole place-winner for the Phoenix. He moved down a weight class from 182 to 170 pounds and had success at the lower weight, posting a 3-1 record on his way to a third place finish.
Horning wrestled aggressively and pinned his first opponent in 55 seconds. He lost the semifinal match by fall and dropped to the consolation bracket, where he strung together two more pins in 3:52 and 4:01 for his first tournament placement of the season.
Brendan Ortiz (145) went 1-2 on the day and lost a heartbreaker in the consolation semifinals and came one match shy of placing.
He lost his first match by a pin in 5:05 and then in his first consolation bout, built up an 11-2 lead before getting a pin in 1:31. In the consolation semifinals, his bid for a tournament placement stalled when he let an 11-9 lead slip away and lost a close 14-12 decision.
Robert Bouchonville (132) and James Thomas (152) went 0-2 on the weekend. Both wrestlers lost their initial matches by pins. In his second match, Bouchonville was ahead 10-7 before he was reversed to his back and pinned with one minute left. Thomas lost his second match by a 18-4 major decision.
The team is idle until Dec. 29 and 30 when it hits the mats at the 10-team Vermilion Holiday Duals. Wrestling starts at 3 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday.
Courtesy photos Brendan Ortiz came a match shy of placing this past weekend at the JB Firestone Tournament.