By Eric Wade
Nevada Daily Mail
HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- The Nevada Tigers wrestling squad finished off the first-semester portion of the 2012-'13 tournament schedule Saturday at the Harrisonville Holiday Tournament.
Tigers head coach Devin White knew right from the start, before the season even began, that the toughest tournament the Tigers were be a part of was scheduled right before the holiday break. With 35 teams from 24 schools in attendance, this year's tournament didn't disappoint.
"Our toughest tournament is going to be right before Christmas break," White said during the preseason. "It's going to be the Harrisonville tournament. That one there is tough, but I'm glad we have it where it's at."
Three different states were represented in this year's tournament with schools coming in from across the state of Missouri, as well as Deer Creek, Okla., and Sparta, Wisc. Of the 10 wrestlers Nevada took to the tournament, three came out of opening-day action undefeated and three more won at least two matches in the tournament's first four rounds.
Slade Stiles and Dayton Miller have been the bright spots of the Tigers' lineup all season, winning a combined 37 of 40 bouts in their respective weight classes. The dominance those two have shown throughout the year continued right on through this weekend's tournament as Stiles and Miller went a combined 14-2 with one bye apiece on their way to third-place finishes in their respective brackets.
Miller's only loss in the 106-pound bracket came in the semifinals when Raymore-Peculiar's Miles Robinson beat him by a final score of 4-2. Miller went on to take third with a pin victory over Drew Ditter, St. Charles West, in 3 minutes, 17 seconds. Odessa's Dakota Miller defeated Robinson in the first-place match.
At 120 pounds, Stiles suffered his only loss of the tournament and first of the season when Seneca's will Roark defeated him by major decision, 11-2, in the semifinals. Stiles went on to take third with a 12-0 major decision victory over Sparta's John Roddick, while Roark won the tournament with an injury default victory over Cameron's Trevor Burkhart in the finals.
Colby Smith nearly echoed the success of Stiles and Miller in the 220-pound bracket as he finished the tournament with a record of 6-2. Those two losses brought his overall season record to 18-4 and occurred in the semifinals when Kirksville's Logan Summers beat him by a 5-2 decision and in the third-place match when Deer Creek's Austin Loomis earned a 5-1 decision victory to push Smith's overall finish back one spot to fourth.
The next best finish for the Tigers came when Johnathon Ireland and Dalton Shunkwiler took 11th in the 152- and 145-pound brackets, respectively. Colton McDowell took 14th at 126, while Scott Swink earned the Tigers' second 14th-place finish of the tournament at 170.
Daxtyn Osburn took 15th at 138 and Josh McDowell finished 17th at 160. Tucker Wingert rounded out the order for the Tigers when he took 20th at 285.
As a team, the Tigers finished 17th with 438 points. Kirksville won the tournament, followed by Smithville, Cameron, Sparta and Deer Creek to round out the top five. The hosting Wildcats of Harrisonville finished 11th overall.
Though the Tigers are done with tournament competition until January, there is one more dual on the scheduled when White's squad heads back on the road to take on Webb City on Thursday. That dual is set to start at 5:30 p.m.