Tahlequah Daily Press

February 14, 2014

Dual state preview, predictions

Sports Editor

Class 6A: Stillwater has never claimed a dual state championship and the its last state title was in 1970. The Pioneers could change all of that on Saturday in Yukon. With Andrew Nieman (106 pounds), Benny Teegarden (126), Kaid Brock (132), Tristan Moran (138), Joe Smith (145) and Chandler Rogers (170) leading the way, Stillwater may have just enough to hoist the dual state trophy. Reigning dual state champion Edmond North — with the Dixon triplets (Joe, Lance and Andrew) at 182, 225 and 285, respectively — and Broken Arrow can't be overlooked, though. The winner of Edmond North-Broken Arrow in the semifinals will give Stillwater a run for its money in the finals. Prediction: Stillwater has just enough to beat Edmond North in the finals, 30-25.

Class 5A: Neither No. 1 Collinsville nor No. 2 Lawton MacArthur should face much resistance in making it to the finals this year. It'll be a rematch of the 2013 finals, which Collinsville won 31-24 for its third straight dual state crown. This might be Lawton MacArthur's best chance to claim a dual state crown since 1990, with Garrett Shaw (225) and Dillon White (170) at the higher weights to counter's Collinsville's attack of Gary Wayne Harding (138) and Will Steltzlen (145). Also, a fun first-round matchup will be Altus vs. Shawnee, but the winner will get MacArthur. Prediction: MacArthur avenges last year's dual state finals loss and tops Collinsville this year, 29-27.

Class 4A: Cushing is 3-1 on its home mat this season, and it'll need all the help it can get from its own venue on Saturday. The second-ranked Tigers figure to get all they can handle from No. 4 Sallisaw in the quarterfinals and Vinita — who is tied with Cushing for second — in the semifinals. But, Cushing may be the best threat to unseat top-ranked Tuttle, which has won the last four dual state titles. Tuttle's combination of Beau Guffey (120), Blake Dauphin (126), Brik Flippo (132), Dayton Garrett (138) and Dakota Head (152) may be too much to overcome, though. Prediction: Tuttle with just too many weapons en route to a 36-24 win over Cushing in the finals.

Class 3A: As the No. 1 seed in the field, Perry got a tough draw with No. 6 Chandler in the quarterfinals and either No. 5 Locust Grove or No. 4 Plainview in the semifinals. But, daunting challenges are nothing new to Perry, which posted  impressive tournament victories in Yukon and Cushing this season. Led by Noah Nida (120) and David Thomas (160), the Maroons figure to notch their sixth straight dual state championship. Prediction: Perry beats Blackwell for the second time this season, 36-30, only this time its for a trophy.

Dual state schedules

(Classes 5A-6A at Yukon; Classes 3A-4A at Cushing)

Class 6A

Quarterfinals - all at noon

Edmond North vs. Muskogee

Broken Arrow vs. Southmoore

Stillwater vs. Midwest City

Yukon vs. Union

Semifinals - both at 2 p.m.

Edmond North-Muskogee winner vs. Broken Arrow-Southmoore winner

Stillwater-Midwest City winner vs. Yukon-Union winner

Finals - 6:30 p.m.

Class 5A

Quarterfinals - all at 10 a.m.

Lawton MacArthur vs. Western Heights

Shawnee vs. Altus

Collinsville vs. Piedmont

Del City vs. Coweta

Semifinals - both at 2 p.m.

MacArthur-W. Heights winner vs. Shawnee-Altus winner

Collinsville-Piedmont winner vs. Del City-Coweta winner

Finals - 6:30 p.m.

Class 4A

Quarterfinals - all at noon

Tuttle vs. Mannford

Catoosa vs. Harrah

Vinita vs. Clinton

Cushing vs. Salliasw

Semifinals - both at 2 p.m.

Tuttle-Mannford winner vs. Catoosa-Harrah winner

Vinita-Clinton winner vs. Cushing-Sallisaw winner

Finals - 6:30 p.m.

Class 3A

Quarterfinals - all at 10 a.m.

Perry vs. Chandler

Locust Grove vs. Plainview

Jay vs. Kingfisher

Blackwell vs. Tonkawa

Semifinals - both at 2 p.m.

Perry-Chandler winner vs. Locust Grove-Plainview winner

Jay-Kingfisher winner vs. Blackwell-Tonkawa winner

Finals - 6:30 p.m.