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Close calls spur on Shawnee Heights star wrestler Maranda Bell

Rick Peterson

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Shawnee Heights star junior wrestler Maranda Bell, currently ranked No. 2 in the Division I girls state rankings, has suffered tough losses the past two weeks in matches that went down to the wire against top-ranked Washburn Rural senior Dajia Anderson.

But Bell thinks those defeats -- 4-2 on a last-second takedown at regionals and 8-7 last week at sub-state -- has actually raised her confidence level entering Thursday's Division I state tournament at Park City's Hartman Arena (12 p.m. start).

"I have gained confidence from them,'' said Bell, who will take a 28-4 record into the state meet. "I know what I can do and I know what I'm capable of and I think I can use that.''

MarandaBellactionShawnee Heights' Maranda Bell (left) and Washburn Rural's Dajia Anderson could go head to head for a third straight week if both make it to the finals of the Division I state tournament at Hartman Arena. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

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Rural's Smith looking to erase memory of tough loss with state wrestling crown

Rick Peterson

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

It’s been a full year, but Washburn Rural senior standout wrestler Rebekah Smith still hasn't got a heartbreaking loss at last year’s girls state tournament out of her mind.

But instead of sulking about that 4-3 loss to Abilene’s Lindsey Buechman in the 170-pound semifinals, Smith has used it as motivation as she takes aim on the 155-pound championship in Thursday’s Division I state tourney at Park City’s Hartman Arena. 

“I was down by 1 point and there were 18 seconds left,’’ Smith said about her semifinal loss. “I was in neutral and I tried to get a takedown at the very end and they didn’t count the takedown, which cost me that match.

“Ever since that match I’ve been striving harder and harder. Every day and every competition that moment sticks in the back of my mind and that pushes me to keep going.’’

 RebekahSmithactionWashburn Rural senior wrestler Rebekah Smith has her sights set on the 155-pound state title after finishing 3rd as a junior. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

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