Jordan Conaway's right arm was locked in the clutches of Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Jason Alexander on Friday night during the New Oxford Invitational Wrestling Tournament.

The only problem was the 103-pound Alexander didn't exactly know where to go from there.

In an obvious case that demonstrated veteran skill and experience, Conaway executed a simple counter, circling around Alexander before earning a takedown to force an early lead.

The junior went on to win his match by major decision, 12-4, and added two pins in Pool A for good measure in advancing to the championship stages of the tournament today.

"He was wrestling back, so I was kind of flirting around with him," Conaway said of the match, which was his last of the night. "The first two matches weren't like that, but he was better technically, so I couldn't do that. I kind of just chain-wrestled with him."

New Oxford senior Jake Kennedy (3-0) went unscathed in Pool C at 171 pounds, Nick Rebert (3-0) was in top form in Pool B at 152 and Jared Hagerman (3-0) was composed in Pool D of 140.

All three, plus James Eline (2-1) at 215 and Kyle Dayhoff (2-1) at 145, secured berths in today's championship brackets, set tentatively for 9 a.m.

At 171, Kennedy was anxious about potentially squaring off against reigning District 3 Class AAA 160-pound champ Kenny Court, who also went undefeated Friday in Pool A.

"My goal was to make it to the finals," Kennedy said.


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"Hopefully I'll be able to reach the championship against Kenny Courts from Central Dauphin."

In a tournament that featured 15 schools across the state, including Bellefonte, Blue Mountain, Central Dauphin, Line Mountain, Philipsburg-Osceola and Pittsburgh Central Catholic, among others, New Oxford head coach Dave Conaway believed his team held its own.

"I think it's real important to wrestle teams on your schedule that are tight matches and make you work," coach Conaway said. "They make you better. Wrestling people you blow out all the time doesn't make you better.

"So making this tournament tougher helps our better kids and helps our average kids know that they're going to get a little better."

Back for another go were the Rams, who are the defending District 3 and PIAA Class AAA champs from a year ago. They were tough draws for anyone.

"I like it," the elder Conaway said.

Back at 103, Alexander was hoping to initiate the bout in his favor early. In what seemed to be a premeditated move, the lightweight attacked and in doing so caught a piece of Conaway"s arm.

Conaway was patient, though, and calmly switched the point of attack 48 seconds into the first period. He led 4-1 after the frame and added two more takedowns in the second stanza, improving his lead to 8-3.

"I take shots, but I do it quickly," he said of his approach Friday, which focused on a speedy attack.

Kennedy, meanwhile, relied on a bevy of instinct and natural ability to create two technical falls and a major decision, his last win of the night.

On display was his improved shooting, which was a technique he worked on entering the season.

"I have a little bit of all of it," he said. "I don"t have it all in one spot, but I have a little bit of everything."
cmull@eveningsun.com