Clinton Red Tornadoes
Clinton, OK 73601
Record: 11-2 | Rank: 9
OSSAA Semifinals at Putnam City
|vs Broken Bow|
|@ Elk City||W||14-41|
|vs Heritage Hall||L||12-20|
| Ben Johnson
SHAWNEE -- Every wrestling team that entered FireLake Arena on Friday and Saturday scored teams points somewhere along the way. Except for the three that faced Tuttle.
The Tigers put a chokehold on the Class 4A field and breezed to their 10th straight dual state championship and 16th overall. And Tuttle did it by finishing off Wagoner 63-0 in the finals.
“Pretty good team performance,” Tuttle’s Luke Surber said. “Other than that, our team was pretty dominant.”
That’s an understatement.
The Tigers won their three duals in the tournament by a combined score of 209-0. It started with a 75-0 win over Grove in the quaterfianls, and Cache was Tuttle’s semifinal victim with a 71-0 score.
Then came Wagoner, making its first dual state championship appearance.
Tuttle’s Ryder Ramsey set the tone against Wagoner with a win by fall in only 58 seconds against the Bulldogs’ Alex O’Quinn at 132 pounds. Brady DeArmond (145), Dustin Plott (170), Carson Berryhill (195), Ashton Grounds (106) and Logan Farrell (126) also won by fall for the Tigers. Surber added a 15-0 technical fall victory at 152.
But it was Tuttle’s Reese Davis who came up with the Tigers’ biggest victory against Wagoner. Down 8-2 to Wagoner’s Braden Drake, Davis kicked it into high gear and rallied for a 14-11 win.
“I was pretty nervous about it,” Davis admitted afterward. “I wasn’t ready for the first period, but I kept my head straight and came back.”
For Davis, a freshman, it was his first time to experience Tuttle’s winning ways.
“It’s great,” Davis said. “The crowd is big and it’s awesome.”
**See results from Tuttle-Wagoner finals dual below.
3A: Perry picks up another dual state title
When you win as often as Perry does, minor bumps along the way become more noticeable. Such was the case with Perry coach Ronnie Delk, despite his team beating Marlow 38-27 for the Maroons’ 11th straight dual state championship -- and 20th overall.
“Definitely not pleased with that effort at all,” Delk told the Stillwater NewsPress.
Marlow, ranked second in 3A, managed to stay within striking distance early on in the finals. Jordan Taylor (138) and Kobey Kizarr (145) both won by fall, Marlow led 12-6 early on. But Perry did what Perry does and overpowered its opponent before the dual finished up.
Jace Burdick (170) picked up a 5-2 victory over Marlow’s Kyle Wilson, and Perry was within 15-12 at that point. The Maroons then fired off wins in five of the next six weights to take control. During that span, Kohl Owen (182) came up with a win by fall to put Perry in front 18-15, and Teaguen Wilson (heavyweight) and Gave Valencia (106) followed with pins to put Perry firmly in front 38-18.
And before the night was through, Wilson had a message for everyone in 3A.
“I think regionals and state won’t be as close,” he said.
| Ben Johnson
Postseason wrestling is here. The dual state tournament kicks things off this weekend in Shawnee at Firelake Arena. Here’s everything you need to know before the first dual begins.
*All championship duals will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Friday - Quarterfinals at noon
Choctaw vs. Owasso
Sand Springs vs. Edmond North
Broken Arrow vs. Deer Creek
Mustang vs. Jenks
Saturday - Semifinals at noon
Choctaw-Owasso winner vs. Sand Springs-Edmond North winner
Broken Arrow-Deer Creek winner vs. Mustang-Jenks
Championship dual on Mat 1
The favorite: Broken Arrow
There’s a reason the Tigers are ranked 14th in the nation, according to Intermat.com. It’s because Broken Arrow has a lot of senior-laden firepower, including nationally-ranked wrestlers, Reece Witcraft (132), Gavin Potter (195) and Zach Marcheselli (220). Then there’s Emmanuel Skillings (182), Blake Gonzalez (138) Bryce Mattioda (170) for added depth. Last weekend, Witcraft finished sixth at the Glenpool tournament, but that’s only because he injury defaulted in his final three matches. With postseason wrestling around the corner last weekend, there wasn’t any reason to push a stalwart at his weight; the Broken Arrow coaches know his importance this weekend, at regionals and the state tournament.
Watch out for… Choctaw
The Yellowjackets are the real deal, and they proved that again last season with a dual state championship. A lot of key pieces are back from last season -- Colt Newton (126/132), Gabe Johnson (145) and Zane Coleman (170) -- but there are a lot of young pieces around them. Choctaw has had some impressive dual performances this season, including a 63-18 win over Edmond North last week. The Yellowjackets also beat Deer Creek 37-28 to open the season.
Keep an eye on… Mustang
Likely a two-horse race in the 6A field, but the Broncos have a few stars of their own -- Keegan Luton (132), Cameron Picklo (138) and Tate Picklo (160). The question will be, where will the rest of Mustang’s points come from? Mustang is 19-2 in duals this season with the only losses against Tuttle (54-13) and Allen, Texas (43-28). And having wins against other teams -- Deer Creek, Owasso and Edmond North -- in the 6A dual state field will inspire confidence, but Broken Arrow will be quite the obstacle for the Bronco, if the two collide in the semifinals.
Storyline to know: There hasn’t been a repeat champion in 6A since Ponca City in 2004-2005
Seven different teams have claimed the 6A dual state crown since 2010, including Broken Arrow and Choctaw doing it twice. Choctaw
Prediction: Broken Arrow 33, Choctaw 21
These two were supposed to meet in January, but the dual was called off because of poor weather conditions outside. But here’s where the big showdown happens. The Tigers, minus a dual state title since 2011, have quality pieces nearly top to bottom, and then their standouts who are likely to secure bonus points. However, if Witcraft is hobbled for the Tigers, that could throw everything out the window and make for a free-for-all in the 6A field.
Friday - Quarterfinals at 4 p.m.
Piedmont vs. Coweta
Collinsville vs. Lawton MacArthur
Skiatook vs. Altus
Duncan vs. Durant
Saturday - Semifinals at 2 p.m.
Piedmont-Coweta winner vs. Collinsville-Lawton MacArthur winner
Skiatook-Altus winner vs. Duncan-Durant winner
Championship dual on Mat 2
The favorite: Skiatook
The Bulldogs were oh so close last year, finishing as the 5A dual state runner up in 35-18 loss to Lawton MacArthur. But this could be the beginning of something special for Skiatook. Only Trey Bowman (113), Cash Calfy (182) and Korbin McLaughlin (220) are seniors, so Skiatook is poised to begin some prolonged success. Skiatook will lean on Josh Taylor (126), Cougar Anderson (152) and Owasso transfer Richie Lee (160). Skiatook has also been a tremendously tough dual team, too. The Bulldogs have knocked off Vinita, Owasso, Wagoner, Sperry and Collinsville this season.
Watch out for… Collinsville
This will come as no surprise but the Cardinals are stacked again at the lower weights. Cameron Steed (106), Jordan Williams (113), Rocky Stephens (120), Garrett Strickland (120), Eli Benham (126), Caleb Tanner (132) and Connor Henson (138) is a formidable group that can rack up points in a hurry for the Cardinals. But Collinsville’s fate will rest in the hands of the wrestlers at the heavier weights, and if they can steal points then the Cardinals could be in store for their first dual state crown since 2015.
Keep an eye on… Piedmont and Duncan
Piedmont doesn’t have a ton of firepower, but it has Braden Culp (170) and Josh Heindselman (285), so it has some key pieces to come up with some big points. Same goes for Duncan, who has Hunter Jump at 160.
Storyline to know: Only three schools have won dual state titles since 2011. Lawton MacArthur is the reigning champion with titles in 2017 and 2018, and Coweta won a championship in 2016. But before that, it was Collinsville winning gold from 2011 to 2015.
Prediction: Skiatook 39, Piedmont 19
This is the year. This is when Skiatook finally captures that elusive dual state title. The Bulldogs take what they learned from last year’s finals and get over the hump. All that said, the competition for the team title at the state tournament in a few weeks will be fascinating to watch.
Friday - Quarterfinals at 6 p.m.
Tuttle vs. Grove
Vinita vs. Cache
Wagoner vs. Clinton
Cushing vs. Mannford
Saturday - Semifinals at 2 p.m.
Tuttle-Grove winner vs. Vinita-Cache winner
Wagoner-Clinton winner vs. Cushing-Mannford winner
Championship on Mat 3
The favorite: ?????
Just kidding. It’s Tuttle. Duh! The Tigers aren’t ranked 10th in the country for nothing. Tuttle is loaded top to bottom. Try to find a weakness in the Tigers’ lineup. It’s not possible. Dustin Plott (170) might be the best wrestler in the state, regardless of class. He’s ranked third in the country and has lost only once in two seasons. He’s on track to start winning college championships in a few years. Then there’s Luke Surber (152) and Carson Berryhill (195) who are both nationally ranked. Just one heavy hitter after another for Tuttle.
Watch out for… Vinita
Alex Prince (120), Lane Enyart (145), Zach Wattenbarger (170) and Brodi Miller (195) are all solid, but the problem for the Hornets is their placement in the bracket. A quarterfinal victory over Cache would mean a meeting with Tuttle on Saturday, and good luck with that.
Keep an eye on… Cushing
The biggest drama in the 4A field will be who wins the bottom half of the bracket to advance to the finals against Tuttle. The Tigers are balanced from top to botto and could get there, but beating a team like Wagoner in the semifinals would be a challenge.
Storyline to know: There used to be a time when Cushing and Bristow owned the 3A class at dual state. (Class 4A now is what 3A used to be up until 2009). Now 4A belongs to Tuttle, who hasn’t let any other team touch the dual state trophy since 2009.
Prediction: Tuttle 59, Cushing 9
What would be great is if all the dual state champions wrestled in a round robin-style event afterward. It would be great to see Tuttle matched up against the 5A and 6A champions. But we can only dream until that day.
Friday - Quarterfinals at 2 p.m.
Perry vs. Vian
Jay vs. Pawnee
Comanche vs. Mangum
Marlow vs. Sperry
Saturday - Semifinals at noon
Perry-Vian winner vs. Jay-Pawnee winner
Comanche-Mangum winner vs. Marlow-Sperry winner
Championship on Mat 4
The favorite: Perry
The Maroons have had far more dominating teams in the past, but Perry is once again putting forth a balanced attack. Ryan Smith (113), Dylan Avery (132), Hadyn Redus (152) and Teaguen Wilson (285) are all rock solid. Once again it’ll be difficult for other teams to cripple Perry’s chances at claiming another dual state championship.
Watch out for… Comanche
Konner Doucet (220) -- ranked sixth in the country -- drives Comanche’s success. Beyond him, there are plenty of quality depth to score points, and even some bonus points.
Keep an eye on… Sperry
The Pirates are a longshot to win a football championship and then a dual state title, but the Pirates have some stout wrestlers. Bryce Carter (170) leads the way with a 28-2 record, despite mostly 5A-6A wrestlers this season.
Storyline to know: His stay in the dual state tournament might not last long since Vian will be a sizeable underdog, but watch Vian’s River Simon at 182 pounds. Recently signed with Army to wrestle and play football, and he’ll likely be matched up with Perry’s Kohl Owen.
Prediction: Perry 26, Comanche 24
I might be crazy but I think Comanche has a solid chance at upending Perry. The Indians knocked off 6A No. 2 Choctaw on Jan. 22, but not long before that Perry beat Comanche by 20. But when the dust settles, it’ll be Perry hoarding its 11th straight dual state title.
| Ben Johnson
Tuttle went west and struck gold over the weekend. Not far from gold rush areas in northern California, the Tigers won the 2019 MidCals Tournament in Gilroy on Saturday.
Luke Surber (152), Dustin Plott (170) and Carson Berryhill (195) each won their weight class, and Tuttle recorded 305 points to win the tournament after finishing second in 2018.
“I was proud of our guys,” Tuttle coach Matt Surber said. “They had the right attitude heading the tournament, knowing they were prepared and ready to go. They also knew it was going to take each and every one of them wrestling tough for us to be in position to win the team title.
“It was a full team effort, placing 12 in the top eight.”
Plott wrestled six times during the tournament, and he recorded five wins by fall and one by technical fall. In the finals, he pinned Bakersfield’s Jarad Priest at 1:16 to repeat as a MidCals champion for the second straight season. In Plott’s five wins by fall, only one made it to the second period -- and it ended at 3:09.
“Dustin continues to be impressive and totally dominating the weight class,” Surber said of Plott, who’s ranked third nationally at 170, according to Intermat.com. “He’s such a hard worker and never settles with where he’s at in his development.”
Luke Surber’s matchup in the finals was against Poway’s Aaron Gandara, who is ranked 16th in the country at 152. Surber, ranked 15th, beat Gandara by major decision, 8-0, and was ultimately named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
“Luke has been so tough on top all year, and that’s been his biggest asset,” said Matt Surber, Luke’s father. “Gandara has been nationally ranked all season, so he knew he’d have a tough finals matchup. Scoring the first takedown early in the match was key since that’s Gandara’s best position, and that allowed (Luke) to control him from the top position. He didn’t give up a single point all tournament, so that shows the kind of dominant weekend he had.”
Berryhill, the No. 2 seed at 195, knocked off Gilroy’s Ryan Reyes, the No. 1 seed, 2-0 in the finals.
Garrett Steidley (113) and Ryder Ramsey (132) both finished in second place, while Brady DeArmond (145) and Reese Davis (120) each won their respective consolation bracket to finish in third.
“It’s not the ideal time of year to travel and compete in a super tough tournament like this one, but I feel with this being our third year (in California), we handled the whole trip well. We made some adjustments with travel times and the upcoming schedule, so that our guys will be rested up and recovered from the trip. We try to wrestle the best competition we can find week in and week out, and this is a great tournament to attend.”
Tuttle, now ranked 10th in the country, also mixed in some fun on the trip. In 2018, the Tigers were able to sightsee around San Francisco, and this year they penciled in some spare time in Monterey.
“We arrived late Wednesday night in Gilroy, and the plan is for Thursday to be a prep day for the tournament,” Surber said. “This year, we got up and drove an hour south to Monterey. It was a great little trip. We spent four hours there just sightseeing, walking around the ocean front and of course everyone got to see some fresh seafood. It’s just another opportunity for our guys to hang out and spend time together.”
Wrestling notes- Dual state tournament teams have been finalized, but brackets won’t be released until Monday. In 6A, Broken Arrow, Choctaw, Mustang, Edmond North, Sand Springs, Deer Creek, Jenks and Owasso will be in the field, and Owasso and Jenks will dual Thursday to determine seeding at dual state.
In what figures to be the most wide-open field, Skiatook, Collinsville, Piedmont, Duncan, Lawton MacArthur, Altus, Durant and Coweta will be in the 5A field.
The 4A teams consist of Tuttle, Cushing, Wagoner, Vinita, Cache, Mannford, Grove and Clinton. Tuttle will be chasing its 10th straight dual state title and 16th overall.
Perry, in search of its 11th consecutive dual state title and 20th overall, will compete against Comanche, Marlow, Jay, Sperry, Vian, Mangum and Pawnee in the 3A field.
- Perry won the 4+4 tournament at home last weekend. The Maroons finished with 223 points, and Choctaw was second at 192.5. Gabe Valencia (106), Ryan Smith (113), Hadyn Redus (152) Kohl Owen (182) and Brandon Speikers (220) each picked up first-place finishes for Perry.
Choctaw had four individual champions: Colt Newton (132), Gabe Johnson (145), Zane Coleman (170) and Marquonn Journy (heavyweight).
- Wagoner won the Maverick Conference Tournament with 258 points. Jay was a distant second with 135 points.
- Cushing won the Hub City Tournament in Clinton with 292.5 points, and Marlow (244.5) and Cache (200) rounded out the top three.
| Ben Johnson
Drake Vannoy was pressed for time with wrestling season around the corner. Jenks’ football season didn’t end until Nov. 30, and the Trojans were slated to open their wrestling campaign less than a week later.
Good thing Vannoy had a championship pedigree to rely on.
The junior wasted little time reacquainting himself with the mat, starting the 2018-2019 wrestling season with a first place finish at the Chuck West Invitational in Bristow.
“My performances are starting to improve as I’m getting back into wrestling shape after football,” Vannoy said. “I’m starting to like the pace and intensity that I’m going at.”
And it would be hard to find any detractors right now, especially after coasting through the 152-pound field at the Jay Hancock Invitational in Yukon last weekend. Vannoy advanced to the finals with four wins by fall, and he capped the tournament off with a 19-2 technical fall triumph over Edmond North’s Jayden Villalobos.
“Drake has been dominating this year,” Jenks coach Ray Weis said. “He has had some learning matches, but he really imposes his will in most matches.”
And he’s been doing it since bursting onto the scene as a sophomore last season. Vannoy settled for a third place showing at last season’s Class 6A regional tournament, but he avenged his regional loss to Broken Arrow’s Brady Mattioda with a convincing victory between the two in the state tournament. Vannoy would eventually claim a state championship at 152 pounds, and this year he’s out to defend it.
“Drake is learning what it is like to be a defending state champion,” Weis said. “He has learned that everyone is going to wrestle him differently and he has to be intense every match. That has made him a better competitor and wrestler.”
With a fourth place finish at the Las Vegas Classic and a second-place showing at the Larry Wilkey Invitational, Vannoy said his main focus is to constantly put his opponents on the defensive.
“The biggest key to my success is my conditioning and ability to push the pace,” he said.
Jenks has two regular season duals left against Union and Owasso, and the Trojans will wrestle in the Glenpool tournament before venturing into postseason play, which includes dual state, regionals and the state tournament at the end of February.
**The last major tournament week of the basketball season means more than championship trophies and bragging rights.
It’s also the last chance for teams to make a major push before Monday’s rankings are submitted.
Those rankings are the last ones before the OSSAA releases playoff assignments for Classes 2A, 3A and 4A.
So, for a team like Bethany, which currently sits at No. 11 in 4A, could a win against No. 1 Kingfisher in the finals of the Buckle of the Wheatbelt (IF both make it there) be enough to vault the Bronchos into the highly-valued top-eight?
That’s what teams on the edge of the top-eight, whether in or out this week, will be looking to achieve in the biggest tournament week of the year.
**When Oklahoma City Public School Superintendent Sean McDaniel revealed three possible plans as part of its “Pathway to Greatness” initiative to the district school board Tuesday night, there was one glaring fact that would affect the state’s basketball landscape.
Each plan listed a number of potential school closings within the district. A few schools were listed in all three of them. One of them was Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High.
Barely a decade old, Centennial is already considered a basketball power.
It won back-to-back 3A championships in 2011 and 2012 and has contended for a title nearly every year since.
The Bison aren’t necessarily a power player this year. They’re currently 4-9 with two of those wins against home-school program OKC Storm North.
However, much of the rest of their schedule has been a brutally-tough one and the Bison will be a team nobody wants to see come playoff time.
But with the future of the school basically decided, what will become of the program?
Where will the current and future roster be going to school in the future?
What about head coach Kendal Cudjoe, part of one of the most respected basketball families in OKC?
All of that has yet to be decided, but when it happens, there will be a void in 3A and a boost to other programs who benefit from the school’s closing.
**A team to watch? How about the Clinton boys.
Not necessarily known for their basketball prowess, the Red Tornadoes are 12-3.
They staked their claim to be ranked Tuesday by knocking off No. 4 Anadarko, 61-48.
They’re the No. 1 seed in this week’s Tishomingo Invitational. A win there - or at least a strong showing - and the Reds just might be ranked come Monday afternoon.
It likely won’t affect their playoff draw much, but it will be a big boost to a program no doubt overshadowed by football.
**If you tuned into our Publics & Privates OKPreps Podcast this week, you heard me say Class B is as far down as I can remember.
That goes for boys and girls.
Doesn’t mean there aren’t quality teams on either side, but the depth and level of quality just isn’t there like it was three, four, five and more years ago.
On the podcast, I was specifically talking about Class B girls.
And - literally - as we were recording that last Friday night, Seiling was hammering home that point.
Class A’s top-ranked Ladycats took Hammon out to the ol’ proverbial woodshed with a 70-32 beating.
Now, there’s no shame in losing to Seiling. It is a team, after all, with two Division I signees in Macy and Karly Gore,
They embarrass lots of foes.
And I don’t think the margin of victory would be quite so much should the teams play again.
But, still, there’s a large gap between the best teams in A and the best teams in B.
That hasn’t always been the case.
*****Michael Swisher contributed to this report
| Ben Johnson
It's time to break down championship games for Classes 5A, 4A and 3A -- or I like to call it, the “no east side teams allowed” preview. For real, just look at whose left in these three championship games.
As for the quality in these three games, it’s top notch. You have perennial powers, grind-it-out ball clubs and no shortage of extraordinary talent.
Looking for something to do on Friday night in the Oklahoma City area? You have plenty of options, stretching from Yukon to Edmond.
Now, here are your game previews….
*All games scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Friday