BETHALTO — Mattoon's wrestling team won the 39th annual Bethalto Civic Memorial Holiday Tournament Saturday, scoring 173 points to nip Vandalia, who finished second with 168 in the 18-team meet. Mattoon also won the tournament last season.
Garrette Branson, who competes in the 220-pound weight class, was the lone Green Wave champion. Branson was also named the Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament. He pinned all three of his opponents, including East Alton Wood River's Zach Kincade in 2:59 in the championship. Branson is undefeated at 9-0 and has won four straight championships at the holiday tourney.
Nate Eldridge was the lone runner-up finisher for Mattoon. He is in the 132-pound weight class and beat Jabali Maatuka (Central) by pin in 2:36 to reach the championship before falling to Peyton Swigonski of Benton by fall in 4:36.
Six MHS wrestlers placed fourth in Jeremiah Jones (120-pound weight class), Derek Owens (160), Michael Brown (170), Logan Retzer (182), Cayden Collings (195) and Gabe Bradbury (285). Hayden Stanley (126) and Rick Wright (106) placed fifth for the Green Wave.
Ten of the 11 MHS wrestlers earned a place medal, and the 11 combined for a 28-15 record.
The Green Wave is to play host to Olney Tuesday.