Mangum, OK 73554
Record: 7-4 | Unranked
|vs Comanche||Missing Score|
|@ Rush Springs||W||34-35|
|vs Carnegie||Missing Score|
OSSAA State First Round at Mooreland
WEEK 6 Rankings
| Ben Johnson
(__) - previous rank
1. Owasso (1) - 5-0
2. Broken Arrow (2) - 4-1
3. Jenks (4) - 2-3
4. PC North (5) - 5-0
5. Union (3) - 1-4
6. Norman (6) - 4-1
7. Westmoore (7) - 5-0
8. Moore (8) - 3-2
9. Mustang (10) - 3-2
10. Edmond Santa Fe (9) - 3-2
1. Bixby (1) - 5-0
2. Stillwater (2) - 5-0
3. Del City (4) - 4-1
4. Muskogee (6) - 5-0
5. Sapulpa (5) - 4-1
6. Choctaw (7) - 3-2
7. Booker T. Washington (3) - 2-3
8. Ponca City (10) - 3-2
9. Midwest City (8) - 2-3
10. Deer Creek (NR) - 3-2
1. Bishop McGuinness (2) - 4-1
2. Carl Albert (2) - 4-1
3. Edison (3) - 4-1
4. Tahlequah (5) - 5-0
5. Collinsville (6) - 4-1
6. Piedmont (10) - 4-1
7. Noble (NR) - 4-1
8. El Reno (7) - 4-1
9. Duncan (8) - 3-1
10. Pryor (9) - 4-1
1. Bethany (1) - 5-0
2. Tuttle (2) - 5-0
3. Wagoner (3) - 4-1
4. Poteau (5) - 4-1
5. Bristow (6) - 4-1
6. Clinton (3-2
7. Broken Bow (7) - 4-1
8. Weatherford (4) - 3-2
9. Central (9) - 5-0
10. Cache (10) - 3-2
1. Heritage Hall (1) - 4-0
2. Lincoln Christian (2) - 5-0
3. Plainview (3) - 3-1
4. Berryhill (5) - 5-0
5. Sulphur (6) - 5-0
6. John Marshall (4) - 4-1
7. Perkins-Tryon (7) - 5-0
8. Lone Grove (8) - 5-0
9. Stigler (10) - 4-1
10. Checotah (NR) - 4-1
1. Metro Christian (1) - 5-0
2. Sperry (2) - 5-0
3. Vian (3) - 4-1
4. Millwood (4) - 4-1
5. Holland Hall (5) - 4-1
6. Washington (6) - 5-0
7. Jones (7) - 4-1
8. Beggs (8) - 4-1
9. Kingston (9) - 4-1
10. Adair (10) - 4-1
1. Cashion (1) - 5-0
2. Stroud (2) - 5-0
3. Pawhuska (3) - 6-0
4. Rejoice Christian (4) - 5-0
5. Thomas (5) - 5-1
6. Pawnee (6) - 5-0
7. Minco (7) - 6-0
8. Christian Heritage (8) - 4-1
9. Mangum (NR) - 5-0
10. Dibble (NR) - 5-1
1. Shattuck (1) - 5-0
2. Regent Prep (2) - 5-0
3. Dewar (5) - 5-0
4. Burns Flat-Dill City (6) - 4-1
5. Laverne (7) - 4-1
6. Weleetka (8) - 3-2
7. Cherokee (3) - 4-1
8. Davenport (4) - 4-1
9. Canadian (9) - 5-0
10. Seiling (NR) - 5-1
1. Southwest Covenant (1) - 4-0
2. Pond Creek-Hunter (2) - 5-0
3. Covington-Douglas (4) - 4-2
4. Maysville (5) - 4-0
5. Coyle (6) - 4-1
6. Midway (7) - 6-0
7. Tyrone (3) - 4-1
8. Graham-Dustin (9) - 3-1
9. Boise City (8) - 4-1
10. Sharon-Mutual (NR) - 3-2
*Photo by Trey Hunter/Piedmont Gazette
Andrew Crow commits to OU
| Ben Johnson
Brent Marley worked tirelessly to circulate Andrew Crow’s game film. Rejoice Christian’s head coach wanted Crow, his star running back and defensive back, to receive the attention he was due.
It finally paid off Wednesday.
Crow’s accomplishments landed in the lap of Drew Hill, director of player personnel at the University of Oklahoma. From there, it didn’t take much time for OU to extend an invitation Crow’s way.
Now Crow will head to Norman in the fall, tweeting his commitment to the Sooners on Wednesday.
“After countless phone calls from several people, mainly Coach Marley, I was able to get my film, state and accomplishments in front of Coach Hill and the staff at OU,” Crow told Skordle. “(Hill) contacted me after, and we went from there.”
Crow will serve as a walk-on for the Sooners, but it’s the goal Crow had in place all throughout his senior year at the small private school in Owasso.
“Playing at OU has always been a dream of mine,” said Crow, who rushed for 2,620 yards and 48 touchdowns his senior year. “I can’t put into words how blessed I am to be able to play at such an amazing program, and I think I’ll be able to show my skill set and make an impression when the opportunity comes.”
All of it is pretty remarkable, considering a harrowing night Crow endured in November. During the week leading up to Rejoice Christian’s Class A semifinal matchup with Christian Heritage, Crow was in a car accident that left his vehicle totaled.
Crow was able to play, but the soreness was palpable throughout the entire game against the Crusaders.
“The car wreck was very traumatic, and I still can’t believe I walked away from the crash unharmed that night,” Crow said. “I just kept trusting God that if football was meant to be in my future then it would be and he provided.”
Crow will head to OU after helping the Eagles’ basketball team with the 2A state championship. But when asked to quantify where the OU commitment ranks, Crow said it stands in a category by itself.
“It’s hard to compare this one,” he said. “My teammates and coaches were always a huge reason for my high school awards. This is an amazing accomplishment, for sure, so I feel like it’s the cherry on top to finish out my amazing high school career.”
3A/4A dual state roundup: Tigers’ Ten: Tuttle breezes to another dual title
| 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.
DUAL STATE: Previews and class predictions
| 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.
SKORDLE NOTEBOOK: Tuttle wins big in California
| 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.
SKORDLE NOTEBOOK: Bixby's Blankenship bursting onto the scene
| Ben Johnson
Bixby has been stingy when it comes to hoarding football championships. The Spartans have won four of the past five Class 6AII championships, and don’t expect them to slow down anytime soon.
What Bixby hasn’t claimed often since the turn of the century has been wrestling titles. Nic Roller’s individual championship at 220 pounds in 2016 has been the Spartans’ only crown since 1998.
But freshman Zach Blankenship is out to change all of that.
At 120 pounds, Bixby’s wrestling phenom is 24-0, and that includes four tournament championships to his credit so far.
“I didn’t really think I’d be having the season I am now,” Blankenship said. “I’m just thankful that I’ve been having this much success.”
Bixby came up short in its pursuit of the District 6A-7 crown on Tuesday night with a loss to Jenks, but Blankenship posted two victories and collected another one by forfeit. Those came only days after winning the Jerry Billings Invitational at Sapulpa, where he won by fall at 1:43 in the 120 finals against Collinsville’s Rocky Stephens, a 5A state champion at 113 last season.
“Zach has risen to the occasion and made a name for himself in the high school realm,” Bixby coach Brock Moore said. “He goes hard every second of every match and makes good things happen. He wants to wrestle the best guys he can. He’s fun to watch and coach.”
To reach the finals in Sapulpa, Blankenship won by fall against Sand Springs’ Riley Weir, who won last year’s 113 championship in 6A.
“His most impressive win so far might’ve been at Sapulpa, where he beat two-time state champion Riley Weir,” Moore said. “And that’s saying a lot for someone who has 21 wins by fall this season.”
Blankenship started the 2019 calendar year by winning the Larry Wilkey Invitational at Jenks. He knocked off Stillwater’s Cade Nicholas 4-2 in the finals.
“As a freshman, he has won four tournaments and has also been named the most outstanding wrestler at each of those tournaments, too,” Moore said. “I haven’t ever seen or known of another freshman to do that.”
Announcing his presence at the varsity level, Blankenship won the 120-pound division at the Perry Tournament of Champions in December. He cruised through the entire field with all of his victories by fall, including pinning Edmond Memorial’s Garrett Johnson at 3:32 for the 120 crown.
Not bad for someone who was wrestling among the junior high ranks not too long ago.
“The biggest difference between varsity and junior high has been the kids I’ve had to wrestle,” Blankenship said. “In junior high, the kids I had to wrestle were usually my age and size. In varsity, I’ve had to wrestle a lot older and bigger kids, which has made it a lot tougher.
“I’m just fortunate to have great coaches and parents who help me get better every tournament.”
‘Wrestleback’ Wildcats win Carl Albert tourney
It was Skiatook, Duncan, Piedmont and Altus vying for the Malcolm Wade Invitational crown at Carl Albert on Saturday, and with a quick glance it doesn’t appear as though Piedmont fared well. But on the contrary, Piedmont managed to claim the team title with only one individual champion.
The Wildcats, led by Josh Heindselman’s triumph at 285, finished with 242.5 points and won the tournament title. Skiatook (226) and Duncan (219) rounded out the top three.
“We were excited to win it,” Piedmont coach Erik Ford said. “We knew we had a chance going into the tournament. On Saturday, it was really exciting to see our guys score a lot of bonus points and really wrestle well on the backside of the bracket to give us the push that we needed.”
In the final match of the tournament, Heindselman recorded a pin at 2:37 against Lawton MacArthur’s Montana Phillips, who won last year’s 5A championship at heavyweight.
“Josh has been really impressive,” Ford said of the University of Oklahoma signee. “He weighs about 225 right now, so he is really wrestling up a weight. He has found another level as far as his movement and attacks go. His pressure and constant attacking has been the most impressive part about his wrestling this year. It has really allowed him to negate some of the size that he is giving up against heavyweights.”
Piedmont finished the tournament with 10 wrestlers recording top-six finishes. Tabor McLure (138) and Landis Scoon (152) both came in second place, and Mitchell Lance (132), Braden Culp (170) and Austin Cooley all posted third-place finishes atop the consolation bracket.
“Our guys learned that they can wrestle with some of the top 5A teams in the state,” Ford said. “…Our guys understand that winning the Carl Albert tournament is huge for our program, but they also know that our end-of-season goals as individuals and as a team are what we have been working for all year. And we’ll continue to work on those going forward.”
Other wrestling notes
- Edmond North picked up 194.5 points and won the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference (COAC) Tournament title on Saturday. Mustang was second at 191.
- Tuttle cruised to the Greg Henning Invitational crown on Saturday with 362 points.
Prep hoops notes
- There’s a new No. 1 in Class 6A boys after Edmond Memorial beat Edmond Santa Fe 56-42 in the championship game of the Bishop McGuinness Classic. Edmond Memorial was ranked fifth Saturday and moved up to 6A’s top spot, while Edmond Santa Fe dropped from No. 1 to third. Booker T. Washington is second in between the two.
- Crushing the field in the Putnam City West Invitational wasn’t enough to move Heritage Hall (14-0) to the top of the 4A coaches’ poll. The Chargers are still second behind top-ranked Kingfisher (11-1). Heritage Hall’s Trey Alexander scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Chargers’ win over PC West in the finals.
- It's a big week for the state's two smallest classes as playoff assignments will be released Friday by the OSSAA (as if 95 percent of the coaches don't already know, through the grapevine, where they're headed). We're told David Glover, who makes the assignments for 4A and below, was about 99 percent finished with the assignments early this week. A committee meeting was held Wednesday, which generally leads to a few tweaks. Most of those are host sites, although sometimes teams are moved to different regionals or areas as a result of those meetings. No doubt a lot of people will be up in arms once the assignments are released, but that happens every year. What it does signify is that the playoffs are near and we all love that part of the season.
- One of those small school teams got a big boost during the holiday break. The Duke boys, already undefeated and ranked second in Class B, added Jameson Richardson to the roster at the beginning of this semester. Richardson, a 6-foot-8 junior forward with a load of versatility, transferred from his hometown of Mangum. He averaged right around 20 points and was a solid rebounder and rim protector for Mangum in his eight games prior to the move. Duke was already manhandling most opponents before his arrival, but hasn't been played closer than 18 points (61-43 over Granite last week) since his arrival.
- Next week is the biggest tournament week of the basketball season and it will be loaded with top matchups. However, a couple of No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdowns already took place during girls championship games during last week's slate. In Class 2A, top-ranked Dale held off No. 2 Howe 65-55 at the Kingston New Year's Classic. Howe's Jalei Oglesby was "held" to 31 points. "She missed a few shots and eventually fouled out or she would have had more," said first-year Dale coach Eric Smith, who led Alva to a pair of titles and got Frontier to last year's Class A title game. "She is unbelievable." Dale, led by Lacey Savage's 18 points, improved to 14-1 with the victory, which very well could have been a state championship preview. Down in Class B, No. 1 Hammon defended its Warrior Classic championship by earning a 50-44 come-from-behind win over No. 2 Lomega. Last year, Hammon was No. 2 when it beat No. 1 Lomega in the finals and it carried that momentum to a state championship. This time around, Hammon had to outscore its guests by seven in the second half to win. Five different Lady Warriors scored at least six points, led by 13 from Halee Morris. Kenedie Walker scored seven of her 10 in the fourth quarter. Lomega got 14 points each from Mady Meier and Courtney Fox.
Class A preview
| Ben Johnson
Look back at 2017
2017 district champs
A-1: Thomas - The Terriers hit the half-century mark in district titles with an unbeaten run against A-1 foes. A 20-0 win over Hooker set the stage for a district crown, and that was part of the Terriers' 10-game winning streak, which continued into December. But Afton derailed Thomas' playoff run in the semifinals.
A-2: Watonga - A September win over Cordell proved to be the deciding factor for the A-2 crown for Watonga. The Eagles went on to avenge a season-opening loss against Okeene with a win to open the playoffs, but then Watonga was dispatched from the postseason in the next round against Oklahoma Christian Academy.
A-3: Ringling - The Blue Devils knocked off Apache to begin district play, and they rolled the rest of the way against A-3 opponents. Ringling's playoff run lasted until the second round when Hooker moved on to the quarterfinals.
A-4: Minco - Led by Cole Burchfield in the backfield, Minco motored to the district title last year. Eleven straight wins, including six in district play, preceded Minco's run to the Class A quarterfinals, where the Bulldogs were beaten by Afton.
A-5: Crescent - Cashion, Pawnee and Morrison were no match for the Tigers during district play. Crescent manhandled every opponent it faced in its first 14 games, including wins over Cashion (54-14), Morrison (51-24) and Pawnee (35-14) during the regular season. The Tigers' unbeaten run, though, came to a halt in the Class A title game, which ended with a 44-12 loss to Afton.
A-6: Kiefer - The Trojans started the season 0-4, but a 34-14 win over Woodland in late September turned Kiefer's season around. Kiefer, Woodland and Hominy all finished atop the district at 5-1, but it was the Trojans who prevailed, thanks to district points. Kiefer, though, was bounced quickly from the playoffs, a 28-0 loss to Morrison in the opening round of the postseason.
A-7: Afton - The Eagles labored through a stout district -- that included Rejoice Christian, Barnsdall and Hulbert -- and emerged unscathed. A 22-20 victory over Rejoice Christian in mid October propelled Afton a district title, and from there the Eagles went into cruise control the rest of the season. In the playoffs, Afton outscored its opponents 214 to 46.
A-8: Talihina - Led by seniors Heath Humphreys and Sooner Box, the Tigers coasted to the A-8 crown. Talihina dismantled Central Sallisaw, 36-0, in a showdown of the district's top two teams. The Tigers finished the regular season 9-1 and beat Barnsdall in the opening round of the playoffs before being upset by Hominy in the second round.
Talking title game: Afton 44, Crescent 12