Tahlequah Daily Press

TDP Sports Blog

February 28, 2014

High school wrestling - state tournament predictions

(Continued)

- Collinsville wins again in 5A: I was told by one 5A coach this week that Lawton MacArthur has all the tools to unseat Collinsville as the Class 5A champion. And yes, it's plausible. After all, Collinsville coach Wes Harding sounded like a coach who knew that his was vulnerable after last week's 5A East Regional at Tahlequah High School. But I picked against Collinsville for the dual state tournament and I'm not doing it again this week. I say the Cardinals win their fourth straight 5A crown (but it'll be closer than some think).

- Tuttle and Perry win 4A/3A crowns (shockingly): When it comes to suspense, it's anything but in the lower two classes. Tuttle and Perry are wrestling powerhouses and there's no denying it. So, once again, both will leave Oklahoma City on Saturday night with team titles.

- Cherokee County gets two state chamions: In all, seven wrestlers from Cherokee County — Tahlequah has four and Keys, Sequoyah and Hulbert have one each — going to Oklahoma City. There are three (Tahlequah's Hestin Lamons (152) and Reese Davis (160) and Hulbert's Bryton McGowan (220) going as regional champions. And I like Lamons and McGowan to claim state championships. I'll take Lamons to beat Lawton MacArthur's Brok Williams in the finals, and I predict that McGowan knocks off Davis' Braden Ruth for a championship. It's hard to pick Davis to win a title with Altus' Cameron Loving in the mix, in addition to Chickasha's Triston Hill — who Davis could meet in the semifinals if he beats Lawton MacArthur's Colton Jump in the first round.

- Gary Wayne Harding becomes a four-time state champion: In what could amount to a slam dunk, I'll take Gary Wayne Harding to win his fourth individual crown in four years for Collinsville. Harding is nearly unstoppable — with only one loss this season (at the Kansas City Stampede) — and I don't see many in the 138 field even hanging with him this weekend. His next challenge will come when he arrives on campus at Oklahoma State.

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TDP Sports Blog

Ben Johnson has been the sports editor at the Tahlequah Daily Press since 2009. He's a Broken Arrow native and a graduate of Oklahoma State University. He's also an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.

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