LIMA - Half of the six Paulding wrestlers that participated at the Lima Senior Spartan Invitational placed on Saturday.

Dawson Lamb led the way with a third-place finish while Jeremiah Smith came in sixth and Jesse Shaffer seventh. As a team, the Panthers scored 47 points to end up 15th out of 20 teams.

“Our team placement does not do our wrestlers justice with the amount of hard work and great matches that they wrestled,” Paulding head coach Brian Porter said. “We lost a few matches due to little mistakes, a few matches due to lack of experience and a match or two just from not having confidence in ourselves. But overall we’re making good progress to becoming better and more proficient wrestlers.”

Lamb, competing in the 157-pound class, went 3-1 with three pins over Shaun Murphy of Edgerton (3:09), David Wermuth of St. Mary’s (0:51) and Jason Dues of Spencerville (1:22) in the opening round of action, with his only defeat coming against Jake Hurst of Mechanicsburg, the eventual champion. The Paulding junior pinned Kaedn Settlemire of Liberty-Benton in 3:20 in the third-place match.

“Dawson had a great day with a rough semifinals match against a returning state-placer,” Porter said. “This loss was a good test for him to see his progression. His only other loss this season was to another state-placer and this time we started to hold our own.

“Dawson is making adjustments and finding his proper wrestling style to score in big matches,” Porter added. “Once he finds that right footing, I think Dawson can end up having a great season this year.”

Smith won two of three matches to start off the invite, losing to Kade Wireman of Allen East before decking Sir Horrison of Lima Senior (4:11) and Zayden Martin of Ashland Crestview (6:14). The Paulding senior then won on a 7-3 decision over Brayden Stover of Mechanicsburg before dropping his final match at 144 pounds to Isaac Torsell of St. Mary’s to place sixth.

“Jeremiah had a rough first draw but battled his way back to a placing match,” Porter noted. “He’s getting to be a tough kid. Jeremiah is just finding the weight class to fit his style and I think he’ll start winning some big matches. We know we have a few things to work on but he’s starting to look good.”

Shaffer had forfeit wins over Dajuan Hood of Rogers and Noah Goens of Shawnee sandwiched around a fall over Raymond Barlow of Edgerton (1:31) before being pinned by Matthew Balderma of Fostoria. Shaffer was then defeated by Levi Grace of Crestview to finish seventh.

“Jesse looked like a different wrestler this week,” Porter said of the 138-pound sophomore. “He came out ready to wrestle and had a determination and grit we haven’t seen before. He lost to a couple good kids but looked way more comfortable in his wins today.”

Sheridan Matty went 1-2 for the Panthers at 132, with the win being a pin over Bryce Williams of Lima CC in 1:03.

Cayden Breier at 175 and Marciano Murdock at 214 each lost their three matches for the Panthers at the Lima Senior Invite, which was won by St. Mary’s with 294.5 points. Mechanicsburg was second with 252 followed by Liberty-Benton at 200. Allen East 191, Coldwater 140.5 and Spencerville 137 rounded out the top teams at the invitational.

“Overall, all of our wrestlers worked hard today and I think we can become a tougher team then we are now,” concluded Porter, whose squad is back in action this coming Saturday at the Crestview Duals.