Though the Westland High School wrestling team may lack depth, the Cougars have still managed to turn in strong showings.

Though the Westland High School wrestling team may lack depth, the Cougars have still managed to turn in strong showings.

The Cougars enter the Wendy's Invitational at Tiffin High School on Tuesday and Wednesday coming off an impressive effort at the Tournament of Champions at Worthington Kilbourne on Dec. 19.

Despite competing with just eight wrestlers, Westland finished third in the 10-team field with 177 points, behind Kilbourne (288) and Dublin Jerome (187).

A strong showing in the finals helped Westland pull ahead of fourth-place Olentangy Liberty (173.5) in the team standings.

Thomas Worthington (158), West (124.5), Brookhaven (113), Westerville South (107), Pickerington Central (26) and Worthington Christian (8) rounded out the field. Senior Sean Clutter again led the Cougars, finishing first at 135 pounds.

Clutter improved to 14-0 on the season, with all 14 wins coming by pin. Clutter capped his perfect day at Kilbourne by pinning Jerome's Brad Myers in the finals in 3 minutes, 25 seconds.

"I had no clue I was going to be like this," Clutter said. "I thought I was just going to start out like last year and have a couple of tough matches. There was a lot more hard work over the summer and wrestling practice is a lot tougher now."

Scottie Haslam, who missed the first two tournaments of the season with a thigh muscle pull, returned to the lineup and took first at 119. Haslam defeated Kilbourne's Nick Varazashvili in the finals 16-3.

Westland's other champion was Zach King, who pinned (2:57) Kilbourne's Jedidiah Bressman in the final at 215.

Other place finishers for the Cougars were Cameron Ray at 125 (second), Jordan Finney at heavyweight (second), Jesse Carmack at 171 (third), Alec Morstadt at 152 (fifth) and Eric Holbrook at 160 (fifth).

"Sean is wrestling well, but we still have a lot of season left and he'll face a lot stronger challenges," coach Roger Branham said. "The tournament wasn't as strong as I thought it was going to be, but I'm happy with the way our kids wrestled."

The Cougars have their sights on the Wendy's Invitational.

Last season at Tiffin, Maumee edged Elida for the team title 177-173. This will be Westland's first appearance in the event.

"I like these two-day tournaments because usually you have 20, 25 teams in them, so you run into more competition and that's what you have to have to prepare these kids for later in the season," Branham said.

•The boys basketball team closes out the year with non-league road games against Reynoldsburg on Monday and Marysville on Wednesday.

The Cougars are 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Central Division, and hopes to snap a three-game losing streak.

Westland is coming off losses to Worthington Kilbourne 49-41 on Dec. 18 and Thomas Worthington 45-33 last Tuesday.

Against Kilbourne, J.J. Smith led the Cougars with 15 points.

Yusuf Abdi was Westland's high scorer with 16 points in the loss to Thomas. Last season, Reynoldsburg defeated Westland 74-63.

The Raiders are 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio.

Westland and Marysville last met in the Division I district tournament in 2007, with the Monarchs winning 75-62.

Marysville is 0-5 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Cardinal.

•The girls basketball team returns to action on Jan. 5 when it plays host to Upper Arlington.

The Cougars are 1-5 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Central, with their latest effort a 72-29 loss to Thomas last Tuesday. Logan Horn led the Cougars with 10 points.

Kilbourne defeated Westland 57-34 on Dec. 18. Hiba Abdi led the Cougars with nine points.