By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief, with Morgan Miller, Staff Writer
It was a strange night for the #1 Sandite varsity wrestling team (6-0), as half of them didn't even get to touch the mat. The Bixby Spartans (0-5) forfeited the first half of the night's matches, so nobody from 106-145 got to wrestle.
Cody Mathis (8-8) wrestled up from his normal 145 to 152 for the first time since December, taking on Gavin Staton for the first time this season. Staton took an early lead with a 2-point takedown. Mathis got the escape, then briefly took a 3-2 lead with a reversal, but Staton reversed it back for the 4-3 lead. With 12 seconds left in the second period, Mathis escaped to even things out going into the third. Staton took the down position and scored an escape leaving Mathis fighting for a takedown, but unable to find it and suffering a 5-4 decision.
At 160 it was Zane Basma (18-9) taking an early 7-0 lead over Phillip Tyree with a pair of near-falls before finally letting his opponent out to take him down for the third time, this time for good. The two had yet to meet this season, and after a 1:50 fall, Tyree is unlikely to want to encounter Basma again.
170 Bryton Beck (6-11) got off to a hot start against Max Guyer, scoring a 2-point takedown early on. He scored an easy escape to start the second period, then got the takedown for a 5-0 lead before finally letting Guyer up just to take him down once again. Beck had a slight mishap where he struggled so hard to prevent an escape that he put himself off balance and inadvertently gave up a takedown. He quickly corrected that mistake with a reversal before letting Guyer out with a 9-4 lead. The match ended with one more takedown shortly before the buzzer and Beck broke a three-loss streak with an 11-4 decision and nearly all the riding time.
Lane Lettich (4-4) saw action at 182 against state-placer Jared Kerr. Lettich scored first with a pair of 2-pt takedowns, each punctuated by an escape for a 4-2 lead. In the second period, however, Kerr started off with an escape and then scored a takedown, and Lettich broke free to tie things up 5-5. Both wrestlers began to tire out and big moves became few and far between. Lettich took a brief 6-5 lead to start the third. Lane tried to score a takedown with a trip, but Kerr ended up on top for the lead with 40 seconds left. With under 30 to go Lettich fought his way free and sent the match into overtime where Kerr got the takedown for sudden victory, 9-7.
At 195 Zach Sims (14-16) rematched 2015 Regional Runner-Up Cody Adams, whom he had an 0-3 record against in previous matches. Most recently Adams defeated Sims by 7-2 decision this past weekend at the Bobby Lyons Invitational. Sims had Adams on one leg for nearly ten seconds before Adams managed to squirm out of it and take Sims down instead. Sims tied things up with a pair of escapes, but was taken down once more shortly before the end of the second period. Adams took the down position for the third period and never managed to escape, but despite riding him the entire period Sims was unable to score points and gave up a 4-2 decision.
The Sandites forfeited 220 to allow Delvin Jordan to continue resting a tweaked ankle and wrapped up the night at 285 with Gage Fain (6-14) against Austin Hiser. Fain qualified at 220 but has been wrestling up to heavyweight for most of the season. Despite being drastically outclassed in terms of weight, he had no problem scoring a quick takedown and turning it into a pin in only 1:07.
From there Riley Weir (15-8), Michael Ritchey (12-11), Blake Sargent (22-7), Jack Karstetter (22-6), Daton Fix (27-0), Derek Davis (6-2), and Beau Bratcher (27-4) all accepted forfeits for a final score of 57-15.
Erin Kennedy was named Homecoming Queen and was escorted by Beau Bratcher, Blake Sargent, and Marshall Tate. Other Queen candidates include: Blyte Lester escorted by Daton Fix and Sage Singleton, Shelby Tillman escorted by Jack Karstetter and Zane Basma, Madison McIntosh escorted by Payton Scott and Bryton Beck, and Chandler Lindsey escorted by Trace Fleischman and Zach Sims.
The Sandites return to action Thursday night at Putnam City.