By BEN JOHNSON
At the Inola tournament in early January, Keys' Seth Fritts dominated Jay's Kaleb Reece with a technical fall victory en route to the tournament title.
The same could not be said Saturday at the Maverick Conference Tournament finals at Wagoner High School.
Fritts and Reece were tied at 2 early on, but Reece scored the final four points to snag the 160-pound crown at the Hughes Event Center.
"We've wrestled him three times," Jay coach Jeff Stapleton said of Reece going against Fritts. "The first time we had a big lead and ended up getting head-locked to lose late in the match. The second time, he owned us and tech-falled us. So (Reece) had a really good tournament, where he wrestled smart and wrestled well."
Shortly after the tournament concluded, Reece was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler for the upper weights.
For Fritts, it's his second time this year not to win an individual title. He finished first at the Poteau, Pawhuska and Inola tournaments, while also coming in fourth at the Tuttle tournament.
Tiger toppled in 126 finals: Sequoyah's Will Tiger put together a valiant effort just to make it to the 126-pound finals. Once he made it there, he ran into a buzzsaw.
Tiger — coming off a last-second, 13-12 win over Wagoner's Trenton Miller in the semifinals — lost by a 14-1 major decision to reigning Class 5A state champion Donald Cannon of McAlester in the finals on Saturday.
"It was a big win for him and got him to the finals," Sequoyah coach Brad Jones said of Tiger's triumph over Miller. "We didn't come away with a championship, but we did gain some good match experience and got to face some top notch competition."
Cannon is certainly that.
After winning it all at 120 pounds last season, Cannon has bumped up a weight class, where all he's done is post win after win this season — except for a loss to Tuttle's Blake Dauphin in the finals of the Mid-America Nationals in Enid in December.
Tiger, the No. 3 seed in Wagoner, posted three victories before struggling against Cannon, who received two byes as the No. 1 seed and only needed two wins to reach the finals.
Riders crack top 10: Thanks to Bryson McGowan's championship at 220 pounds, Hulbert posted a ninth-place finish with 70 points at the conference tournament.
However, the Riders only other top-four finisher was Laz Chavez, who lost in the consolation finals at 126 to Miller of Wagoner.
Sequoyah, Cougars finish 11th, 12th: Sequoyah posted a 12th-place finish with Tiger leading the way at 126. The Indians wrapped up the weekend with 54 points, which was 15 points behind Cleveland in 10th.
"Overall, not a bad tournament," Jones said. "The matches we were supposed to win, we won. At one point or another, we're going to have to have an upset or two; that's how you become successful in this sport."
Keys had Fritts in the finals and John Haeberle in the consolation finals at 145 pounds, where he lost 2-0 to Poteau's Roderick Hornbuckle. The Cougars capped off the weekend with 37.5 points in 12th place.
"Our guys didn't wrestle to their ability (on Saturday)," said Keys assistant coach Izack Wilson, who was filling Travis Kirby's role while Kirby was away due to a prior engagement. "We had big matches that we were supposed to win, and we didn't get the job done."
Now both clubs will turn their focus to regional competition in a couple of weeks.
"We didn't come away with a championship, but we did gain some good match experience and got to face some top-notch competition," Jones said. "We're geared up for regionals, and we'll be ready to go in a few weeks."
Before both Keys and Sequoyah head to Pawhuska for regionals in late February, Keys will be at Webster on Feb. 13 for duals against both Webster and Bishop Kelley. The dual was originally scheduled for Tuesday but has been moved.
Black Diamonds win another title: Another week, another tournament championship for Sallisaw. On Jan. 25, the Black Diamonds claimed the Paul Post Classic crown on their own home turf, and on Saturday Sallisaw struck again to win the Maverick Conference Tournament championship.
Posting 211.5 points, Sallisaw edged out Wagoner (204.5) by seven points. Jay was third with 180.
"We're feeling pretty good, but we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do," said Sallisaw coach Mikel Delk, who had three individual champions — Gabe Taylor (145), Cale Wilson (182) and Jadon Davenport (195) — at Wagoner.
"We obviously didn't have 14 champs, and that's not where we want to be.
"...We wrestled OK in my eyes, but did enough to win (the title). Now we just have to get ready for dual state."
McAlester (163.5) and Fort Gibson (134) rounded out the top five.
Outstanding wrestlers: At the lower weights, Wagoner's Trey Ivy (106) and Derick Shrum (132) tied for Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Ivy beat McAlester's Dalton Rippy 3-2 in the finals, and Shrum pinned McAlester's Hunter Scott at 3:38.
Maverick Conference Tournament - final results
1. Sallisaw - 211.5
2. Wagoner - 204.5
3. Jay - 180
4. McAlester - 163.5
5. Fort Gibson - 134
6. Poteau - 92
7. Greenwood (Ark.) - 79.5
8. Vian - 76.5
9. Hulbert - 70
10. Cleveland - 69
11. Sequoyah - 4
12. Keys - 37.5
t13. Stilwell - 37
t13. Van Buren (Ark.) - 37
15. Okmulgee - 33
16. Quinton - 27.5
17. Talihina - 18
18. Parkview - 5.5
106: Trey Ivy (Wagoner) dec. Dalton Rippy (McAlester), 3-2
113: Jesse Hodge (Jay) dec. Ryan Waltman (Fort Gibson), 5-1
120: Devin Anderson (Poteau) dec. Trestin January (Jay), 10-6
126: Donald Cannon (McAlester) maj. dec. Will Tiger (Sequoyah), 14-1
132: Derick Shrum (Jay) fall Hunter Scott (McAlester), 3:38
138: Taylor Compton (Greenwood) dec. Chance Blount (Sallisaw), 4-2
145: Gabe Taylor (Sallisaw) maj. dec. Jim Wilson (Cleveland), 11-0
152: Tucker Hoffman (Wagoner) dec. Tyler Myles (Cleveland), 3-2
160: Kaleb Reece (Jay) dec. Seth Fritts (Keys), 6-2
170: Malachi Wood (Stilwell) fall Jeremiah Sirmans (Jay), 2:20
182: Cale Wilson (Sallisaw) fall Justin Cates (Fort Gibson), 3:43
195: Jadon Davenport (Sallisaw) fall Logan Wood (Fort Gibson), 1:49
220: Bryson McGowan (Hulbert) dec. Riley Smith (McAlester), 7-1
285: Derek Marshall (Wagoner) dec. Dillon Kinsey (Van Buren), 3-2