By BEN JOHNSON
STILWELL — Hulbert’s Bryson McGowan and Vian’s Cale Mays took plenty of time sizing each other up. The two finalists in the 195-pound championship bout at the Maverick Conference Tournament spent basically an entire period circling the mat with their arms entangled.
Yet, it was McGowan that was slapped with a stalling penalty as the first two minutes expired.
“I don’t believe it was,” Hulbert coach Mickey McGowan said of the infraction. “Nevertheless, the referee called it and he got beat.”
The one point awarded to Mays loomed large in what turned out to be a 3-2 decision victory over McGowan at an energized Stilwell Activity Center.
“I just want to overlook that,” said McGowan, a sophomore who was going for his second straight tournament title, after finishing first at the Carmen Classic in Pawhuska last week. “That kind of stuff doesn’t happen at big tournaments.”
Despite the penalty, McGowan rebounded in the second period with a takedown of Mays to take a 2-1 advantage. Mays, though, would counter with an escape to send the bout into the third period tied at 2.
Then, after deciding to start on bottom in the third period, Mays scored an escape point with 47 seconds left. After that, time ran out before McGowan could tally another takedown.
“He’s tough,” McGowan said. “I just have to work twice as hard to come back.”
Prior to the showdown with Mays, McGowan rehashed his last matchup with Mays.
“Last year, at the Vian dual, he was beating me 2-0,” said McGowan, who reached the finals with a 7-0 decision win over McAlester’s Riley Smith. “Then, in the third, I got pinned.”
McGowan also made a promise before the finals started.
“It won’t happen like that this year,” he said.
He stayed true to his word. Now, he has a couple of weeks to game plan for a likely rematch with Mays at the Class 3A regional tournament in Berryhill.
“It’s good to see him,” McGowan said. “One point, that’s not very hard to catch; I catch people a lot. I just have to work more.”
McGowan’s second-place finish helped Hulbert earn an eighth-place finish in the team standings. The Riders finished with 55 points, which was 2 1/2 behind Webbers Falls for seventh.
The Riders had two wrestlers come up short in the consolation finals. Matthew Clay (106) and Hunter Reagan (132) both suffered losses to finish in fourth place.
“We had a good tournament, team-wise,” Mickey McGown said. “We weren’t the best, but we’ve had some people get hurt. But we’ll be ready for the regional tournament.”
Topping the team leaderboard on Saturday night was Wagoner with 198.5 points. For the Bulldogs, it’s their second straight tournament crown, after beating the field at the Coweta tournament last week.
“We’re doing well right now,” Wagoner coach Micco Charboneau said. “We’re wrestling well, and this is when you want to be wrestling well.”
The Bulldogs, who went into the finals with a 177.5 to 157 lead over Vian, ended up beating the Wolverines by 26.5 points. Wagoner had the most first-place finishes, including a riveting 5-2 win by Roman Rodriguez over Vian’s Rowdy Simon, the No. 1 seed.
“All year he’s stepped up. He’s beaten a lot of good kids this year,” Charboneau said of Rodriguez. “...We expected some good things from him this year, and he has not disappointed at all.”
Wagoner’s other first-place finishers were Travis Greer (106), Brad Boswell (145) and Derek Marshall (220).
For a couple of local teams, not much success was found in Stilwell.
Peril set in before the tournament even started for Keys.
The Cougars — who finished the tournament with 13 points — showed up Friday without Brent Gladd (126), Seth Fritts (145) and John Haeberle (152). Gladd was absent because of an illness, and Fritts said he had to sit out the weekend after injuring some ligaments in one of his knees during last week’s Pawhuska tournament.
The highest finishes for Keys was Christian Hemmerich (106) and Kenneth Brown (160), who were both eliminated in the consolation semifinals. Brown, who finished second at the Pawhuska tournament, was ousted by Jay’s Remmington White by an 11-9 decision.
Placing one spot higher in the team standings was Sequoyah. The Indians ended up with 17 points in 13th place.
Sequoyah had one wrestler that almost reached the consolation finals. Connor Boyd lost a 7-6 decision to Sallisaw’s Gus Shell in the consolation semifinals.
Maverick Confernce Tournament results
1. Wagoner 198.5.
2. Vian 172.
3. Jay 157.
4. Sallisaw 119.5.
5. Poteau 101.5.
6. Stilwell 100.5.
7. Webbers Falls 57.5.
8. Hulbert 55.
9. McAlester 51.5.
10. Fort Gibson 47.
11. Okmulgee 41.
12. Quinton 29.
13. Sequoyah 17.
14. Keys 13.
15. Talihina 8.
106: Travis Greer (Wagoner) dec. Anthony Chew (Vian), 15-1.
113: Tyson Hume (Webbers Falls) dec. Trestin January (Jay), 10-4.
120: Donald Cannon (McAlester) fall Tyler Johnson (Wagoner), 1:59.
126: Wyatt Sheets (Stilwell) dec. Derick Shrum (Jay), 5-0.
132: Chance Blount (Sallisaw) fall Brett Vastine (Vian), 2:41.
138: Tyler Tustin (Poteau) dec. Gabe Taylor (Sallisaw), 3-1.
145: Brad Boswell (Wagoner) fall Brian Deleon (Jay), 3:25.
152: Keaton Sheets (Stilwell) over Tucker Hoffman (Wagoner), forfeit.
160: Landon Decker (Vian) maj. dec. Fischer Medlin (Wagoner), 11-3.
170: Cale Wilson (Sallisaw) fall Derek Francis (Poteau), 3:59.
182: Roman Rodriguez (Wagoner) dec. Rowdy Simon (Vian), 5-2.
195: Cale Mays (Vian) dec. Bryson McGowan (Hulbert), 3-2.
220: Derek Marshall (Wagoner) fall Mickey Brown (Stilwell), 2:31.
Hwt: Tre Locust (Vian) fall R.J. Wofford (Webbers Falls), 3:58.
106: Treyson January (Jay) fall Matthew Clay (Hulbert), 0:53.
113: Alex Lockwood (Wagoner) dec. Gus Shell (Sallisaw), 6-0.
120: Devin Anderson (Poteau) dec. Francisco Sam (Stilwell), 11-3.
126: Tristan Crutchfield (Sallisaw) dec. Garret Maher (Wagoner), 9-3.
132: Trenton Miller (Wagoner) dec. Hunter Reagan (Hulbert), 9-6.
138: Cole Wheeler (Jay) fall Ryan Drake (Wagoner), 2:38.
145: Colton Olivares (Fort Gibson) fall Peyton Knell (Quinton), 2:40.
152: Kaleb Reece (Jay) fall Woody Click (Sallisaw), 1:22.
160: Remmington White (Jay) fall Kyle Kingrey (Poteau), 3:40.
170: Logan Wood (Fort Gibson) dec. Zach Peterson (Fort Gibson), 20-17.
182: Malachi Wood (Stilwell) fall Khy Mote (Poteau), 3:28.
195: Riley Smith (McAlester) fall Gabe Sanchez (Poteau), 2:34.
220: Steve McGlorie (Okmulgee) fall Cody Monholland (Vian), 0:41.
Hwt: Daylon Brewton (Poteau) dec. Luke Haggard (Jay), 2-0.