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O’Connell Takes COC Title; Taylor Runner-Up

Republic brought home two medals at the Central Ozark Conference championships Saturday in Ozark. Jonathan O’Connell won the conference championship at 138 pounds, while Michael Taylor finished second at 132.

O’Connell opened the tournament with a pin against Phillip Leithauser of Carl Junction, then pinned Jackson Taylor of Webb City in just over a minute. After a major decision against Nixa’s Ethan Shepherd, O’Connell pinned Bret Camerer of Neosho in the semifinals. He won a major decision (12-0) against Branson’s Caden Lorenz for the title.

Taylor started his tournament with two pins against Brantley Carter of Webb City and Riley Newsom of Ozark before receiving a bye. He followed that up with a 7-6 come-from-behind win over Holden Hughes of Carl Junction before dropping a 7-2 decision to Neosho’s Kolton Sanders in the championship match.

Taylor and O’Connell were Republic’s only two medalists.

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