Platte County senior Madeleine Stone wrestles in a 235-pound during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse. ROSS MARTIN/PC Preps Extra

Platte County sending 2 to state after placing 9th in Class 2 District 4

Stone, Burnett both place 3rd in brackets, share similar development stories in Pirates’ blue-collar program.

Platte County senior EmmaLyn Burnett and junior Madeleine Stone have vastly different levels of experience and skillsets at this point in their careers, but their stories don’t really differ much.

Platte County senior EmmaLyn Burnett works for a pin in a 125-pound match during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse.

In a program built on making the most of commitment, the somewhat unlikely duo advanced out of a deep Class 2 District 4 field in the two-day tournament hosted this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse. Burnett earned a repeat berth to the Class 2 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships, while Stone earned the trip in her first season competing in the sport.

Both placed third in their bracket — Burnett at 125 pounds and Stone at 235 pounds — and led Platte County’s ninth-place team finish.

A former honorable mention all-state swimmer, Stone made the transition to the mat this season and continually showed glimpses of potential to achieve at a high level. However, she ended up taking a difficult route through a bracket as an unseeded entrant.

Stone seemingly received a favorable draw, opposite a freshman from North Kansas City in the No. 3 spot with a 2-3 record.

Instead, Fort Osage’s Ayden Vaeao quickly scored an upset and ended up in the quarterfinals with Stone after she received a bye. The back-and-forth match featured four combined reversals in the first period, and Vaeao led 7-6 going to the third.

Platte County junior Madeleine Stone works for a pin in a 235-pound match during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse.

After Stone’s tying escape, Vaeao earned a takedown in a scramble and scored the pin in 4 minutes, 21 seconds.

Stone went to the consolation bracket and immediately reeled off three straight wins, all by fall to reach the third-place match. However, she trailed No. 4 seeded Nina Porter of William Chrisman 12-6 in the third period of a consolation semifinal. That’s when Stone went to a lateral drop — a high-risk, high-reward move she had been tinkering with in practice — and timed the effort just right.

Porter ended up on her back and pinned just 15 seconds into the third period, and Stone (24-10) went on to pin Oak Park’s Arika Miller to finish third.

Not long ago, Burnett went into the postseason as a first-year sophomore and just missed a state berth, only to return as a junior and become just the third district champion in program history. She went 1-2 in the Class 2 tournament last year and has spent most of her senior campaign ranked in the top six at 125 in the Missouri Wrestling rankings.

However, Burnett went the weekend as the No. 3 seed behind Park Hill junior and two-time defending state champion Angelina Vargas and Liberty senior Julia Breeden, who bumped up a weight class from where she wrestled the majority of the season.

Platte County senior EmmaLyn Burnett wrestles in a 125-pound match during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse.

Burnett received an opening round bye and dominated her quarterfinal with Liberty North’s Ashlynn Pershing and pinned her early in the second period. That set up a semifinal with Breeden, who gave up the first takedown and trailed 3-2 after the first period.

In the second, Breeden took Burnett down and turned her twice, the second time scoring a fall at the 3:39 mark to reach the championship match. Vargas won the bout with an overtime takedown.

Burnett (36-9) needed a consolation semifinal victory to reach the medal rounds and earn a state return. A rematch of a recent dual matchup with Park Hill South’s Temperance Lowe played out similar to the first, going scoreless to the third period. Burnett chose down and scored a reversal before turning Lowe and pinning her for the second time in three weeks.

In the third-place match, Burnett scored three of the four takedowns against Fort Osage’s Kylie Dunn and held on for a 6-4 decision, having led 6-1 with under a minute to go.

Platte County’s two qualifiers were down from a program-record five last year that included state medalist Lilly Brower, who graduated along with Hannah Mand and Haley Burge. In addition, junior Giada Cucchiara underwent season-ending surgery for a torn ACL in the preseason, keeping her off this year’s active roster.

Platte County sophomore Nicole Fernandez wrestles in a 190-pound match during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse.

That left only Burnett and a collection of developing or inexperienced underclassmen.

Platte County still managed to total 74 points and placed ninth in the final standings out of 22 teams. The Pirates were just 21 1/2 out of sixth place despite not having a finalist and putting only three in the semifinals.

In addition to Burnett, Platte County sophomores Charley Sims (115) and Nicole Fernandez (190) were also in the semifinals and also one win from state berths. Fernandez entered as the Pirates’ highest-seeded wrestler at No. 2.

Fernandez (24-16) opened with a first period fall of Minnetonka’s Gabrielle Sontag and then went to the third period before pinning Liberty North’s Bailey Hulme to reach the semifinal for a rematch with Oak Park’s Kendall Angelo, the No. 3 seed.

In the prior meeting, Fernandez pinned Angelo early in the dual. This time around, Angelo went more defensive in approach and came out with a 6-1 victory by decision to reach the final.

Platte County sophomore Charley Sims wrestles in a 115-pound match during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse.

Fernandez went into the consolation semifinal against Staley’s Alayna Leslie for their third matchup of the season after splitting the first two. The match went scoreless to the third period with Leslie choosing top and eventually turning and pinning Fernandez with 51 seconds left in regulation, bringing to an end a promising second season that had included a medalist performance at KC Stampede.

A first-year member of the team, Sims held the No. 3 seed and recorded a first period pin in the opening round of the 115 bracket and then dominated Lee’s Summit’s Alexa Braton in a 13-1 major decision. The semifinal came against William Chrisman’s second-seeded Maya Saldivar, who went behind 3-2 in the second period after allowing a takedown and giving up a penalty point for grabbing Sims’ singlet.

However, Saldivar escaped in the second period to tie the score, and Sims granted her an escape to start the third. Saldivar fended off multiple attacks from Sims and avoid giving up a takedown to earn a tight 4-3 decision.

In the consolation semifinal, fourth-seeded Ashley Ngo, who was upset in the quarterfinals, reversed Sims (28-16) to her back early in the second period and came up with a pin to reach the third-place match.

Platte County junior Annabel Beeman works for a pin in a 135-pound match during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse.

Platte County went into the tournament with the deepest lineup in program history and 13 of 14 weight classes field. The Pirates were actually in third as a team after Day 1 with only junior Alivia Juarez (170) and freshmen Gwendolyn Duncan (120) and Mila Cucchiara (140) eliminated.

In total, Platte County put six into the consolation semifinals — a group that also included junior Annabel Beeman and freshman Anna Wiesehan.

Beeman came into the season in a small group of Platte County first-year wrestlers highly accomplished in other sports. She previously qualified for state in cross country and starts in soccer, while Sims also competed in the postseason last spring for the Pirates in track and field in addition to Stone’s swimming credentials.

Unseeded in the 135 bracket, Beeman (15-11) opened with a well-earned 9-6 decision but lost in the quarterfinals. She ultimately went 2-2 and bowed out against fourth-seeded Alexis Ridley of Liberty North in the consolation semifinal.

Wiesehan made a bit more of an unexpected run at 130 after drawing second-seeded and eventual champion Allison Kraemer of Fort Osage in the opening round. Immediately dropped to the backside after Kraemer’s first period pin, Wiesehan won a 12-4 major decision to close out Friday night and stay alive. That set up a consolation matchup with Truman’s fourth-seeded Dezariyah Brown, who built a 10-1 lead and had put Wiesehan to her back three times.

Platte County freshman Anna Wiesehan wrestles in a 130-pound match during the Class 2 District 4 tournament this past weekend at Pirate Fieldhouse.

However, Wiesehan closed the gap with a penalty point, escape, takedown and two near-fall points of her own in the third period. Brown appeared set to hold on for a victory after a late reversal, but in the process of trying to pin Wiesehan, she put her own shoulders to the mat — long enough for the official to award Wiesehan a defensive pin and victory.

Wiesehan dropped her consolation semifinal to third-seeded Da’Naya West of William Chrisman to finis her freshman season with a 17-24 record.

Platte County juniors Taylore Lavery (22-24, 145 pounds) and Adrianna Ciccarelli (10-19, 110 pounds) and sophomores Karrington Friddell (22-13, 100 pounds) and Gabriella Ciccarelli (15-18, 105 pounds) all lost their opening consolation matches on Saturday. A year ago, Fernandez, Friddell and Gabriella Ciccarelli were all one match away from state qualification.

Burnett and Stone competed in the state tournament next Friday and Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Burnett enters with a chance to become just the fourth medalist in program history but must do so from a No. 3 seed position.

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