Following a dual victory for PHS Homecoming 2014 on Monday, the Pawhuska High School Huskies are left with only a couple of hills to climb in the current wrestling season.
In the homecoming matchup at Oren Terrill Field House, the Class 3A Huskies claimed a 57-24 team triumph over their Class 6A visitors from Tulsa Nathan Hale. The wrangling of the Rangers marked the second win in a week for Coach Wade Rogers’ PHS squad and improved its season dual mark to 7-3.
Pawhuska finished a close second to the Tonkawa Buccaneers in the District 3A-8 final standings and narrowly missing out on representing the district in this weekend’s Class 3A Dual State Meet at Cushing. In their dual meeting at PHS last month, the Bucs squeaked past past the Huskies, 36-33, with a decision in the final bout.
Late-season mat rankings showed Perry at the top, followed by No. 2 Blackwell, Plainview, Jay, Locust Grove and No. 6 Tonkawa. Pawhuska was ranked No. 13.
Monday night’s win was fueled with pin victories by Taylor Walker at 132 pounds, Sean Valencia at 138, Caleb Bruce in the 152-pound slot and Grant Moore at heavyweight. Also gaining a decision for the Huskies was John Bighorse at 195. Winners via Hale forfeits included Daniel Nightengale (106 pounds), Levi Youngwolfe (113), Brycen Swan (120), Taylor Priest (126) and Zalin Edwards (170).
The Huskies forfeited to the Rangers at three weights and dropped only one contested match. It came on an injury default by one of PHS’s freshman rising stars, Jonathan Moody, who was shaken up on a hard fall to the mat in the 160-pound bout. Early reports indicated that the injury may not be serious.
Last Friday, Pawhuska sent a skeleton crew of five wrestlers to the Will Rogers Conference High School Tournament at Pawnee. Three of the five PHS entrants placed in the event, with senior Valencia taking third and junior heavyweight Dakota Jester getting fourth. The Huskies were shorthanded at Pawnee partly because several members of the Huskie varsity were participating in the All-State Junior Tournament.
Vinita grabbed a first-place team finish at the conference meet followed by Blackwell, Newkirk and Tonkawa.
In a inter-state dual conducted Monday, Feb. 3, in Caney, Kan., the Huskies rolled to a 61-39 triumph over the Bullpups. PHS sophomore Matthew Taft claimed a victory via fall in the 170-pound bout the boost Pawhuska’s lead to 42-33 and Edwards followed with a major decision at 182.
A hard-fought decision won by freshman Bighorse extended the Huskie advantage and Jester closed out the match with a pin for the visitors.
Pawhuska’s Terrill Field House will be the site for the 3A East Regional tournament on Feb. 21-22. Twenty-five schools are to participate in the state-tournament qualifier. The top six finishers at the two Regionals advance to the State Wrestling Tournament in Oklahoma City.