Fort Gibson Tigers
Fort Gibson, OK 74434
Record: 2-3 | Unranked
|@ Broken Bow||W||27-30|
| Ben Johnson
No introduction needed. Here are the "expert" picks for state tournaments taking place this weekend. (Oh, and listen to the podcast while you're at it!)
Ben Johnson - Edmond Memorial: There are so many players to love in this field -- Putnam City West’s Rondel Walker, Sapulpa’s Camryn Dennis, Putnam City North’s Micah Thomas, Booker T. Washington’s Bryce Thompson and so many more. But Shane Cowherd is bringing a team with talent across the board. There’s a reason the coaches in the state have the Bulldogs as the top-ranked team, so I’ll side with Cowherd and Co. over Booker T. Washington in the finals.
Michael Swisher - Edmond Memorial: The Bulldogs snuck in after losing to Midwest City and squeaking by rival Santa Fe. They’ll play better this week and bring the trophy down south.
Whitt Carter - Booker T Washington: This will be a fantastic tournament filled with teams that can win it. But I’ll take the Hornets, as they have the experience in big games and are hungry for a title. They had to watch Memorial win two in a row in Class 5A and this year their get one of their own. Another side note, BTW’s Seth Hurd is my favorite and the most underappreciated player in the state.
Ben - PC West: Reckless abandon is what the Patrios will play with this weekend, just like they’ve done all year. Not a ton of big-time scorers for PC West, but last year’s runner-up will hoist the gold ball this year.
Michael - Putnam City West: No. 1 in Oklahoma. Nationally-ranked. Haven’t lost to a team from Oklahoma. Won’t this weekend, either.
Whitt - Putnam City West: They were right there last year and had their title taken in the waning seconds by Owasso. All they’ve done this year is go 23-1 with a loss to Skyline, TX and dominate the teams inside the state of Oklahoma. Their relentless style of play and approach will be the difference, as they finish on Saturday this time and cut down the nets.
Ben - Memorial: Boone twins. It’s that simple. The Chargers have been a dynamo in 5A with two straight titles and now going for a third. Northwest Classen is good, but can Davion Warden and Co. make it to the title game and then take down the Chargers? I don’t see it.
Michael - Memorial: Lenny Hatchett has Del City playing so well, but I can’t pick against Memorial. Neither should you.
Whitt - Memorial: Let’s all be honest, this is the easiest pick from any of the classes. Bobby Allison and gang are just on another level. The Boone twins will, once again, wow the crowds at the Mabee Center with their athleticism and impact on both ends of the floor. The Chargers get another one, sending Kalib and Keylan out with a bang.
Ben - Piedmont: Per usual, the 5A girls field is pretty much anyone’s for the taking. Rogers is dangerous, but then so is El Reno with Ashlyn Evans-Thompson leading the charge. Coweta is young but talented, and East Central is always a threat. But for this year, I’ll go with the Wildcats, led by Delanie Crawford (14.8 points a game) and Maci Attalla (13.6).
Michael - Piedmont: El Reno beating Ardmore at area put the bracket in a funk as it appears loaded at the bottom. Coach Carr’s team will emerge from that and then claim gold on Saturday.
Whitt - Ardmore: They suffered a surprising and tough loss to El Reno at the area tournament last week, but I think that may work to the Lady Tigers advantage by waking them up. This team rolled through the first part of the season, losing their first game in late January. Ardmore cuts down the nets and gets its’ third gold ball.
Ben - Kingfisher: Some unbelievable talent in this field -- Broken Bow’s Josh Jones (20.4 points per game), Central’s B.J. Jefferson (16), Elgin’s Conner Slater (16.3), Kingfisher’s Trey Green (17) and Heritage Hall’s Trey Alexander (24.8). And what’s scary is a lot of these teams will return a lot of talent next season. But for now, I’m zeroing in on a Kingfisher-Heritage Hall title game for a second straight year. This time the gold ball goes to Jett Sternberger, Matt Stone, Bijan Cortes and Co.
Michael - Kingfisher: I live in Kingfisher. I have to pay my bills. I have to pick the Yellowjacket. Oh, and they’re really, really good. And hungry. If they get by dangerous Elgin in the quarters, look out.
Whitt - Kingfisher: The class that everyone is excited for will take center stage at the Fairgrounds for all three days. Heritage Hall beat the Yellowjackets in the title game last year and are 26-0 this year. But the star-studded Kingfisher remembers that loss last March and will want revenge. They get it and send out their seniors with a second gold ball.
Ben - Anadarko: Top half of the bracket -- Holland Hall, Muldrow, Elgin and Classen SAS -- is STACKED. Again, STACKED. That’s part of the reason I went with Anadarko. The Warriors still have their work cut out for them, but I’m rolling the dice with Kaylee Borden (12 points a game), Averi Zinn and the rest of the Anadarko team to win its third gold ball.
Michael - Muldrow: Coaches tell me Classen SAS is as talented as they’ve seen in 4A in a while. And they’re young as they start three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. That said, I’m going with Muldrow. Taylen Collins can match up with Littlepage-Buggs and Hannah Boyett can handle the pressure. And that’s just a semifinal. Don’t overlook Anadarko, either (it appears I am).
Whitt - Anadarko: A fairly wide open class, there are a handful of teams I could see winning it. I’ll go with the tradition-rich Anadarko, who beat one of the favorites, Classen, last Friday in the area finals. When the Lady Warriors get the press up and running, you better handle the pressure or things can unravel quickly.
Ben - Millwood: Kingston’s Jacob Germany is as good as it gets in this field, but I’ll side with the athleticism of the Falcons here. Give me Justin Wilson and Isaiah Williams and the rest of the Falcons.
Michael - Here’s hoping for a Kingston-Millwood final (all apologies to you other six). I’ve got personal ties to Millwood, so the fan in me is pulling for the Falcons all the way. The business side in me says Kingston won’t be denied.
Whitt - Millwood: I’ll take the Falcons to win the gold ball here. Several really good teams that you can pick here, including Kingston or Sequoyah on the other side. Ultimately, I think Millwood gets the winner of that eventual semifinal and beats them. Millwood has not lost inside the class this year and that won’t change this weekend.
Ben - Christian Heritage: Up from 2A, the Crusaders are still loaded. Tahlequah Sequoyah is probably the favorite, but I’ll side with Olivia Curtis and Rylee Langerman.
Michael - Sequoyah-Tahlequah: CHA has won the last two 2A crowns and is a sleeper, but this isn’t 2A and the Lady Crusaders aren’t as deep as they have been. Larry Callison rides into the sunset with another state championship.
Whitt - Christian Heritage: Another class with some big time teams, but I’ll take CHA to win another title as it took the jump up a class this season. They know how to win and ultimately get past Sequoyah in what would be an awesome semifinal. Side note, I am really picking my alma mater, the Sulphur Lady Bulldogs - in Toby Todd we trust.
Ben - Hennessey: Total guess here, so I’m siding with Hennessey, who -- along with Hooker -- has only lost twice this season.
Michael - Hooker: This is the most wide-open bracket in OKC, in my opinion. Any number of teams can win…and also get beat Thursday. Hooker is one of them.
Whitt - Dale: They are coming off a big win over Hooker last week to punch their ticket to the state tourney. They have played well inside the class this year, going 12-2, only losing to Cashion a month ago and Rock Creek back in January.
Ben - Dale: I’m programmed to believe that Dale wins everything when its in any state tournament field. Pirates win again.
Michael - Howe: No Cashion and no CHA this year, which have been Howe’s kryptonite the last three years. Dale is in the way, but Jalei Oglesby caps her stellar career with the gold ball.
Whitt - Latta: I’ll go with what many would consider a sleeper pick here, but give me the Lady Panthers. They are a long team and present a bunch of problems defensively. They will have to get past top-ranked Dale in the semis and it would be the rubbermatch between the two.
| Ben Johnson
Made a big podcast addition this week. Ben & Swisher are joined by the Oklahoman's Jacob Unruh.
Jacob & Swisher recap the highlights and the championship moments from the Class A & Class B state tournaments.
Then the guys break down the state tournaments from 2A through 6A. And of course, PREDICTIONS! (Most sure to go wrong, in Ben's case).
And as always, thanks for listening!
| Ben Johnson
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Zane Coleman stepped off the podium and started fielding multiple requests. Everyone inside Jim Norick Arena wanted to snap a photo with the newest member of the four-time state champion club.
The Choctaw senior joined the exclusive membership with a 1-0 victory over Broken Arrow’s Bryce Mattioda, making it 37 wrestlers to be share the lofty accomplishment.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Coleman, the 170-pound senior who did it with his dad, Benny Coleman, coaching him to all four championships. “I dreamed about this forever, and now that it’s come true I couldn’t be happier.”
Finishing as Class 6A’s Most Outstanding Wrestler of the state tournament capped Coleman’s career and wrapped up a 41-1 season. He’ll soon depart for Tempe, Arizona, where he’ll join the Arizona Sun Devils program.
“They have a great coaching staff,” Zane Coleman said, “and I think we’re the No. 2 recruiting class right now, so we have good things coming.”
Class 3A wrap-up
Perry wins another title; Bridge Creek claims first individual crowns
The state’s preeminent wrestling program did what it normally does to end each wrestling season: pose with a trophy to memorialize another team championship. For Perry, that’s now 43 team championships. The closest to the Maroons? Tuttle and Midwest City with 16.
“It’s pretty awesome to win as a team,” Perry’s Ryan Smith told the Stillwater NewsPress. “Since I’ve been a freshman, we’ve won every year. All of my teammates did what they’re supposed to do.”
Smith picked up one of three individual championships for the Maroons. Smith beat Walters’ Remington White, 4-2, to capture the 113 title. Dylan Avery (132) and Hadyn Redus (152) claimed the Maroons other two championships.
- Smith, DePron lead Bridge Creek: The Bridge Creek Bobcats had waited long enough, so Kolton Smith made sure to make quick of his opponent. Smith, at 126 pounds, pinned Marlow’s Anthony Orum in 58 seconds to claim Bridge Creek’s first individual championship.
Then Kolby DePron followed at 145 with another title, picking up a 10-8 victory over Geary’s Landon Holt to double up the Bobcats’ hardward in one evening.
“It feels insane,” DePron said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. … I hardly remember the match. Just an adrenaline rush; I went out and barfed everywhere.”
- Marlow finishes second: Perry was too far out of reach, but Marlow still made plenty of noise in the championship matches on Saturday night. Tyler Lawson (106) picked up a title with a 6-2 over Vian’s Braylen Rodgers, and Kobey KIzarr pinned Pawhuska’s Price Perrier at 6:57 to pick up the Outlaws second title.
Perry topped the 3A leaderboard with Marlow in second place with 91 points.
- Other 3A titles: Vinita’s Alex Prince won the 120 crown with an 8-3 win over Newkirk’s Dayton Cary. Sperry’s Bryce Carter beat Comanche’s Cade Cook 6-4 at 170 pounds. Blackwell’s Drake Barbee (182) pinned Inola’s Brody Jenkins at 2:33.
All three became first-time champions.
Checotah’s Cade Shrosphire beat Marlow’s Tyler Lavey, 3-2, in an ultimate tiebreaker. Vian’s River Simon (182) pinned Perry’s Kohl Owen at 3:41. Comanche’s Konner Doucet picked up a 15-0 technical fall over Berryhill’s Nico Lopez for the 220 crown, and Davis’ Cooper Webb won the heavyweight crown by pinning Perry’s Teaguan Wilson at 1:20. All four became repeat champions. It was the second for Shrosphire, Simon and Webb, and Doucet picked up his third in three years. He’ll attempt to become a four-time state champion as a senior next season.
Class 4A wrap-up
Long breaks McLain’s title drought; Tuttle picks up title No. 16
McLain’s TJ Long put the Titans back on the wrestling map at State Fair Arena. In perhaps the match of the night, Long went back and forth with Tuttle’s Logan Farrell in the 126-pound title bout before ultimately picking up a 12-10 win in sudden victory.
It was McLain’s first individual championship since 1977 (Greg Hawkins at 178 pounds).
“It sounds like I just wrote my name in the record books,” Long said.
Long, last year’s runner-up at 126 pounds, capped his senior season at 36-0.
“I lost in the finals last year,” Long said. “And I said, ‘that’s not happening this year. I’m known for clutch situations, so I was like, ‘I got this.’”
- Tuttle wins again: There was never a doubt -- even before the weekend started -- as to who would claim the 4A championship. Tuttle made it look easy again, claiming 229 points to cruise to its 16th championship in its program’s history.
“I transferred to Tuttle my eighth grade year to experience this, and it’s great,” said Plott, ranked third nationally at 170 pounds. “The group of guys we have right now is like a family. We hang out a lot, and we’re all really close.”
Garrett Steidley (113), Ryder Ramsey (132), Brady DeArmond (145), Luke Surber (152), Plott and Carson Berryhill (195) each picked up individual crowns for the Tigers. Reese Davis (120), Farrell (126), Bryce Dauphin (138), Harley Andrews (160) and Kavan Guffey (182) were all runners-up at their respective weights.
-- Cascia Hall sophomore Eli Griffin picked up a 9-1 major decision win over Cushing Luke Ahrberg for his second title in two years. The Commandos have claimed at least one individual title every year since Mike Bizzle won the school’s first in 2002.
-- Heritage Hall’s Val Park beat Dauphin 3-0 for his third consecutive championship. He became the school’s fourth wrestler to win at least three individual championships, with Rodrick Mosley being the most recent with his title at 152 last season.
-- Cushing picked it first individual championships since 2014. Jacob Ahrberg finished the season 26-0 with a 9-8 win over Tuttle’s Harley Andrews. Gage Hockett followed at 182 and beat Tuttle’s Kavan Guffey 3-2 in an tiebreaker. Hockett finished the season 32-0.
-- Bristow’s Luke Fortney pinned Poteau’s Seth Ford at 3:06 to claim the 220 championship, Bristow’s first since 2007.
-- Other 4A champions included Wagoner’s Braden Drake (120) and Blanchard’s Ryder Wiese at heavyweight.
Class 5A wrap-up
Collinsville, Skiatook split 5A title; Borror wins for a 3rd time
The pressure was sitting squarely on Korbin McLaughlin’s shoulders. The Skiatook senior needed a victory at 220 pounds for the Bulldogs to have a chance at the Class 5A championship.
Collinsville was leading Skiatook 137 to 133, and a win by decision by McLaughlin would be enough to pull the Bulldogs even. Anything better than that would give Skiatook the championship outright, two weeks after celecrating a dual state title in Shawnee.
McLaughlin wound up beating Claremore’s Seth Seago, 4-1, meaning Skiatook and Collinsville both left Jim Norick Arena with first-place honors.
Collinsville finished with four individual champions, including junior Caleb Tanner (132) beating Skiatook’s Cody Francis, 9-0, for his third title in three years. Two Cardinal freshmen claimed their first titles: Cameron Steed (106) and Jordan Williams (113). Rocky Stephens (120) followed with a title by posting an 8-0 win over Carl Albet’s Jayston Cato.
Skiatook sophomore Josh Taylor (126) picked up his second championship in as many seasons with a 9-3 win over Collinsville’s Jordan Cullors. Then the Bulldogs’ Cougar Anderson capped an unbeaten season (38-0) by pinning Piedmont’s Landis Scoon at 4:36 for the 152 crown.
For Collinsville, it’s the Cardinals’ second straight championship, and Skiatook claimed its first title since 1987.
- Borror bests 182 field: Piedmont’s Austin Cooley jumped out to an early lead against Coweta’s Talon Borror. But Borror didn’t let that last long, rallying to pin Cooley at 2:43 to pick up his third consecutive championship.
“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it,” Borror said. “Now it’s time call it a career.”
Well, high school career, that is. Borror wrapped up his senior varsity stint at 38-2 and now will head to Norman and join the Sooners.
“We’re building a good team and have a lot of good recruits coming in,” Borror said. “Looking to make a run at the top.”
- Hicks prevails for Durant’s 1st title: Durant’s Cody Hicks trailed early on, but he rallied for a 6-4 win over Glenpool’s Gage Hight. Now Hicks will forever be known as the first Durant wrestler to win an individual championship for the Lions.
And he celebrated accordingly by jumping into his brother’s arms.
“He’s eight years older than me, and he’s always worked with us,” Hicks said of his brother, Colby. “(To jump into his arms) was an amazing moment.”
-- Other 5A champions included Altus’ Kobi Gomez (138), Lawton Mac’s Christiain Maldonado (170) and Matthew Santos (195) and Duncan’s Hunter Jump (160), a former champion at Lawton Mac before moving to Duncan.
Piedmont’s Josh Heindselman, named 5A's most outstanding wrestler, also picked up his second state championship at heavyweight by pinning Lawton Mac’s Montana Phillips at 3:13.
Class 6A wrap-up
Tigers back on top with 6A crown; Mustang nabs 4 titles
If there’s ever a constant about Class 6A, it’s that the teams like to pass around the team championship. Sure enough, it was Broken Arrow’s turn again with the Tigers claiming their first crown since 2015.
Broken Arrow was the lone 6A team to crack the 100-point barrier and compiled 158 points by weekend’s end. Mustang was second with 96, and Choctaw was third at 75.
The Tigers’ Jackson Cockrell (113) and Jared Hill (120) both lost in the finals before Reece Witcraft registered Broken Arrow’s first individual title at 132. Witcraft toppled Owasso’s Zeke Washington -- for the second week in a row -- with a 6-3 decision for his second straight state championship.
Broken Arrow sophomore Emmanuel Skillings (182) nabbed his first championship with a 5-1 victory over Owasso’s Taylor Fleming, and then Zach Marcheselli (220) etched his name into the Oklahoma record book with his fourth state championship. He made history by beating Edmond North’s Jake McCoy 10-4 in his final varsity match.
For Broken Arrow, that’s now two four-time state champions after Brandon Tucker accomplished the feat from 2000 to 2003.
- Mustang crowns 4: Mustang threw the biggest party on the outskirts of the 6A mat inside State Fair Arena on Saturday night. It had been since 2005 that the Broncos snared an individual state championship, so Mustang made sure to celebrate accordingly for each of the four titles.
Tucker Owens (113) claimed Mustang’s first title with a 9-0 victory over Cockrell of Broken Arrow. Then John Wiley, the No. 4 seed out of the West Regional, picked up a 5-1 win over Stillwater’s Carter Young for title No. 2 for Mustang.
Tate Picklo followed at 160 and pinned Putnam City’s Rene Martinez to cap off an unbeaten 43-0 season. The Broncos’ final state title was courtesy of Judson Rowland and his last-second, 11-10 win over Deer Creek’s Carson Savage.
-- Choctaw claimed three individual championships. Coleman won at 170, Gabe Johnson (145) knocked off Deer Creek’s Micah Lugafet, 9-4, and heavyweight Marquonn Journey beat Jenks’ Caleb Orr, 3-1.
- Other 6A champions included:
-- Bixby’s Zach Blankenship: Won the 120 title as a freshman with a pin of Broken Arrow’s Jared Hill at 5:12.
-- Ponca City’s Spencer Schickram picked up the 138 title with a 10-0 major decision over Broken Arrow’s Blake Gonzalez.
-- Jenks junior Drake Vannoy picked up his second championship by beating Sand Springs’ Scott Patton, 5-1.