Tahlequah Daily Press

January 24, 2014

Tigers drop 5A-6 dual to Shawnee

From Staff reports

— This one was supposed to be for all the marbles. But thanks to Skiatook’s win over Tahlequah on Tuesday night, the Class 5A No. 7 Tigers were still reeling from their first district loss.

Shawnee, No. 3 in 5A, didn’t soften the blow at all on Thursday night.

The Wolves won seven of their eight matches by fall and coasted to a 46-29 win over Tahlequah at the TMAC in District 5A-6 action.

“The kids wrestled hard tonight, but Shawnee is a really tough team,” Tahlequah coach James Rappe said. “But the kids fought tonight.”

The Tigers (6-3) at one point found themselves down 22-6 but rallied to take a brief lead.

After Nick Poncho (106 pounds), Quinten Gross (113) and Bryce O’Connor (120) started the night with an injury and two pins, respectively, Tahlequah’s Zech VanFleet (126) posted the Tigers’ first win by pinning Shawnee’s Steven Smith at 2:42.

The Wolves (9-1) would go up 22-6 on Malique Lytle’s 19-8 major decision win over Wright Weavel at 132. Then Tahlequah rattled off 20 straight points, starting with Paul Sargent’s 11-4 victory over Cameron Comer at 138 pounds.

Mitch Sellers (145), Hestin Lamons (152) and Reese Davis (160) all posted victories, with Sellers and Davis winning by fall and Lamons by technical fall.

The Tigers went up 26-22 and just started to fell good, but that’s when Shawnee won the final four out of five matches.

Thomas Shepard (170), Walker Smith (182), Tristan Cain (195) and JJ Armstrong (220) all won by fall for the Wolves to wrap up the dual triumph.

“We’re excited about the win but like we told the kids, this is just step two of three,” Shawnee coach Larry James said. “I really thought Tahlequah wrestled well, and especially Lamons; he is a beast and has a bright future.”

Joseph Tucker (285) posted a 3-1 win over Shawnee’s Ryan Goodfox, but it wasn’t enough for Tahlequah in the end.

“I feel much better about tonight than I did Tuesday,” said Rappe, whose team will wrestle at Sallisaw on Tuesday.

Shawnee will be in action over the weekend at the Coweta tournament.