Huskies take mat dual thanks to 2 late pins

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Huskies take mat dual thanks to 2 late pins

Pins in the last two matches lifted the Pawhuska Huskies to a one-point victory in Thursday’s high school wrestling dual versus the Cleveland Tigers.

PHS heavyweight John BigHorse capped the home comeback with second-period fall in the under-285 pound finale. The six-point win gave the Huskie mat squad a 36-35 triumph on a night when some of its top wrestlers struggled.

“We gave up a couple weights (on forfeits) and lost a couple matches we could have won, but still came out on top in the end,” Pawhuska coach Brian Edwards said. “And, that was something we needed — for ourselves, and for the local wrestling community.”

The Huskies were trailing Cleveland by 11 points, 35-24, with two matches remaining. But, Pawhuska sophomore Kienan Cheves pinned his Tiger foe two minutes, 29 seconds into their 220-pound bout — setting up the heroics by BigHorse.

Cheves and BigHorse had been nursing football injuries and missed last week’s season opener at Mannford. Three workouts after re-joining the squad Monday, the two high weights saved the day in front of an appreciative home crowd at Oren Terrill Field House.

Pawhuska evened its season dual record at 1-1 by winning four matches by fall, two on close decisions and one from a forfeit. Cleveland had seven victories, as well, with two pins, three decisions (including one by technical fall) and a pair of forfeits.

Also getting pins for the Huskies were 132-pound Daniel Parks and junior Brycen Swan. Parks led, 20-4, after five minutes when he got his fall midway through the third period. Swan, a 138-pound Class 3A state qualifier, was bumped up a weight class Thursday, but he needed only 24 seconds to finish his 145-pound opponent.

A technical fall in the 106-pound opening bout put the Tigers in front by five points before the Huskies forfeited at 113 to increase their deficit to 11-0. Daniel Nightengale put the first three points on the scoreboard for Pawhuska by grinding out a 4-2 decision over Cleveland’s returning 4A state qualifier, Zach Myles, in the 120-pound matchup.

Tyler West put the Tigers up, 14-3, by posting a 4-1 decision at 126 pounds over heralded Huskie freshman Price Perrier. Two bouts later, Cleveland stretched its dual lead to 17-9 when Damon Haley upset PHS’s standout junior, Levi Youngwolfe, by a 12-9 decision.

Following the pin by Swan, Pawhuska senior Taylor Walker put his team in the lead — 18-17 — by escaping with a 4-3 decision in the 145-pound match. Cleveland moved back in front with its consecutive victories by fall before senior Mathew Taft was a winner by forfeit at 170 pounds.

Cheves fell behind in his pivotal bout but escaped before the end of initial period to trail, 2-1. He used raw strength to overcome a dangerous situation early in the second session and then overpowered his opponent near the edge of the mat.

BigHorse went in front, 5-0, in the the opening period and escaped at the start of the second. He got the pin after countering a takedown attempt by the Cleveland heavyweight.

In addition to BigHorse’s sore shoulder and Cheves’ ankle ailment, Nightengale had been dealing with illness and Youngwolfe was suffering from dehydration.

Pawhuska wrestlers had been scheduled to compete in Bristow’s Chuck West Invitational tournament last weekend.

The Huskies were going back on the road Tuesday night to face their Osage County rivals, the Barnsdall Panthers.

PAWHUSKA 36, CLEVELAND 35

106: Blake Hickerson (C) tech. fall Ryan Parks, 2:29, 16-1 … C 5-0

113: Blane Miller (C) by forfeit … C 11-0

120: Daniel Nightengale (P) dec. Zach Myles, 4-2 … P 3-11

126: Tyler West (C) dec. Price Perrier, 4-1 … C 14-3

132: Daniel Parks (P) pin Maddie Denner, 5:00 … P 9-14

138: Damon Haley (C) dec. Levi Youngwolfe, 12-9 … C 17-9

145: Brycen Swan (P) pin Cass Vailus, :24 … P 15-17

152: Taylor Walker (P) dec. Billy Barrett, 4-3 … P 18-17

160: Randy Barrett (C) pin Dalton Lough, 3:08 … C 23-18

170: J.W. Walker (C) pin Warren Graves, 3:45 … C 29-18

182: Mathew Taft (P) by forfeit … P 24-29

195: Alex Holder (C) by forfeit … C 35-24

220: Kienan Cheves (P) pin Jerry Russell, 2:29 … P 30-35

285: John BigHorse (P) pin Eddie Delgado, 2:48 … P 36-35