From Staff reports
Tahlequah’s Mitch Sellers, Reese Davis and Hestin Lamons were already guaranteed a spot in the Class 5A state tournament before they stepped on the mat Saturday night. But they were hoping to sneak another teammate into the state tournament before the 5A regional at Edison was said and done.
Joining the Tahlequah trio at Oklahoma City’s State Fair Arena will be Paul Sargent (126 pounds) who finished third at the regional to punch his ticket to the final weekend.
“I was pretty sure about my top three guys,” Tahlequah coach James Rappe said of Sellers, Davis and Lamons and their chances for the state tournament before regional action began. “But I was pretty positive Paul and (Zech) VanFleet would make it. Both had a strong chance of getting in. VanFleet had a chance, just came up short.”
Sellers, Lamons and Davis all came up big Friday night when they wrestled in their respective semifinal matchups.
Sellers, at 132 pounds, was the first Tiger to punch his card to the state tournament, beating Piedmont’s Reece Henry, 5-0.
Davis (132) followed with a 5-2 victory over Piedmont’s Francisco Lopez, and Lamons capped off the night with a 5-1 win over Shawnee’s Corey Todd.
In the finals on Saturday, Sellers, Davis and Lamons all lost to Collinsville opponents — Will Steltzen (132), Gary Wayne Harding (138) and Dylan Helm (145).
“They wrestled like I anticipated them to,” Rappe said. “It was the first time to see Collinsville, and it was a new match for them. We would have liked to of had a different outcome, but we have four guys headed to the show and anything can happen once you get there.”
In the 3A regional at Berryhill, Keys’ Seth Fritts claimed the school’s first ever berth to the state tournament, finishing 3rd at 138 pounds with an 11-2 victory over Tonkawa’s Brandon Hurst.
“It was a pretty good feeling; I was excited for him,” Keys coach Travis Kirby said. “Getting to the state tournament as a freshman is a pretty big deal. I’m excited for him and excited for the program.”
Fritts was happy about the berth to the state tournament. But he was still frustrated about his 4-3 loss to Jay’s Brian Deleon in the championship semifinals.
“Honestly, I was thinking I wasn’t too happy with myself,” said Fritts, who qualified for the state tournament when he beat Locust Grove’s Alex Hix by fall in the consolation semifinals.
“I should have been in the finals. I shouldn’t have lost to the kid from Jay.”
For Hulbert, Bryson McGowan (195) finished third at the 3A regional and qualified for the state tournament.