Bruins start strong in Tournament of Champions

Friday, December 15, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:26 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The return of Rock Bridge’s Tournament of Champions made for a successful Friday for the Bruins wrestling team.

Three Bruins juniors, 135-pound Taylor Crane, 140-pound Kyle Lewis and 152-pound Charlie Lay, went undefeated against wrestlers from St. Joe Central, Parkview and DeSmet, all but assuring their inclusion in Saturday’s championship bracket.

Lewis’ final match ended with the score tied 2-2 in quadruple overtime, but Lewis won the decision via a new overtime rule implemented this year. “If you prevent the bottom guy from scoring during that final overtime, then you win the match,” Rock Bridge coach Brook Harlan said.

“That’s something that I hadn’t seen yet, so I’m glad I got that out of the way and saw how that works,” Harlan said of the new rule, half-jokingly.

Friday’s matches made up three rounds of the round-robin segment of the tournament, which is broken into five rounds with two pools of five teams. The top four wrestlers in each weight class from each pool advance to the championship bracket, which is scheduled to begin at noon Saturday. The final two rounds of round-robin matches begin Saturday at 9 a.m. at Rock Bridge.

After a promising start, Harlan is optimistic about the Bruins chances.

“I would hope we’re getting about eight to 10 guys into the championship bracket, so I think we’re doing pretty well with that,” Harlan said.

The Bruins begin Saturday against Mexico and finish round robin play with a bye, which Harlan believes gives them a slight advantage.

“We’re going to have time to prepare for the championship bracket,” Harlan said. “We’re going to wrestle in the morning, we’ll get warmed up and just get ready for the championship bracket.”

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