Panthers’ Pillars rallies in third period to position himself to chase spot on podium


Palmyra's Brayden Pillars, left, looks to gain control of Cole Camp's Grant Rodriguez during their match in the Class 1 state tournament Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. | Photo courtesy Will Johnson

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Palmyra junior Brayden Pillars is one victory away from the podium.

Pillars went 2-1 on Wednesday’s opening day of the Missouri Class 1 boys state wrestling tournament at Mizzou Arena and will need to win a blood round match Thursday morning to guarantee himself a top-six finish.

Pillars (37-10) will face Tipton’s Paxton Pyle (37-15) in the wrestleback quarterfinals at 165 pounds. 

The Palmyra grappler opened with a 7-1 victory over Cole Camp’s Grant Rodriguez, gaining control in the second period with a takedown and a two-point nearfall after Rodriguez started on bottom and escaped. A reversal to start the third period gave Pillars a cushion.

In the quarterfinals, Maysville senior Brendan Barton pinned Pillars, knocking him into the wrestlebacks.

Pillars rallied in the third period to defeat California’s Kwynnon Duvall 7-6. Pillars trailed 6-4, started in the bottom position, escaped and used a takedown with 1:03 remaining to take the lead. He rode Duvall for the final minute to earn the victory.

Palmyra sophomore Tyler Spicknall was eliminated in the second round of wrestlebacks. Spicknall opened with a forfeit victory before suffering a 15-0 technical fall loss to St. Pius X junior Dillan Chisam. He was eliminated after being pinned by Sherwood’s Blake Eads in 4:30.

Spicknall finished the season with a 27-8 record.

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