20th Carman Classic here Friday, Saturday

Mike ErwinJ-C Sports Writer

Prep wrestling teams from around the state will be in town for this weekend for Pawhuska High School’s 20th-annual Carman Classic tournament.

Competition in high school and junior high divisions begins at noon Friday in Oren Terrill Field House. The local mat action continues through the afternoon, leading up to the Friday evening semifinals. Consolation bouts resume Saturday. Championship matches and consolation finals in 14 weight classes of both age divisions will bring the Carman event to a close Saturday night.

Two members of the current PHS squad — 132-pound junior Brycen Swan and 200-pound sophomore Kienan Cheves — claimed titles at the 2015 Classic. This year, coach Brian Edwards’ Huskies have worked their way around several troubling injuries to win four of their first five duals — including a big road victory last Thursday.

The local tourney adds more spice to the Pawhuska wrestling squad’s busy January schedule. Last week, the Huskies won a Tuesday home tuneup against Okmulgee , the PHS squad notched a benchmark dual triumph Thursday night at Bartlesville. The Class 3A Huskies defeated the 6A Bruins, 41-28, despite forfeiting matches in three weight classifications.

PHS grapplers won five matches by fall and three on decisions while twice rallying from behind. The Bruins scored the first 10 points of the dual (off a major decision and forfeit) and led the Huskies by eight, at 19-11, midway through the match. Pawhuska claimed six of the final eight bouts with the last four of its wins coming via pin.

Daniel Nightengale picked up the first points for PHS when he earned a technical fall in the evening’s third match. The 120-pound junior engineered the 18-1 triumph to get five team points for the Huskies and cut Bartlesville’s lead in half (10-5). Next on the mat for the visitors was 126-pound freshman Price Perrier, whose first-period fall gave Pawhuska its initial team lead — 11-10.

The host Bruins went back in front when their 132-pound entry eked out a 6-5 decision over PHS senior T.J. Finn. Finn held a 2-0 edge after the first period and was up, 4-2, at the end of the second. Bartlesville’s wrestler tied the score with a third-period reverse, but Finn took back the lead by escaping with 39 seconds left. About a half minute was remaining when a decisive takedown was registered by the Bruin, who barely held on to Finn for the one-point nod. A Huskie forfeit at 138 handed Bartlesville a 19-11 advantage with eight bouts remaining.

A gutsy, 7-4, victory by Taylor Walker at 145 pounds put the Huskies five points in the team scoring with half of the matches left. Walker and his B’ville foe were tied, 4-4, when Pawhuska’s irrepressible senior pulled a near fall out of his repertoire for the triumph. PHS sophomore Dalton Lough was so impressed, apparently, that he went to the mat in the 152-pound match and duplicated Walker’s 7-4 margin of victory — boosting the Huskies within two points of the Bruins, 19-17.

After a 7-0 lost decision for junior Warren Graves in the 160-pound match, junior Caleb Bruce made his presence felt by dropping the Bruins’ 170-pounder for a second-period fall which gave the Huskies a 23-22 lead that they would not relinquish. Pawhuska’s Mathew Taft continued his impressive senior mat campaign, as he pinned the Bartlesville 182-pounder in the opening period and extended the visiting team’s advantage to seven points.

One last forfeited match by PHS got the Bruins back within a point, 29-28, but the home-team’s scoring was over, as super-sized Huskies Kienan Cheves and John Bighorse closed out Class 2A Pawhuska’s flaying of the 6A giant by recording back-to-back pins in the dual’s last two bouts. Cheves, a sophomore, needed most of two periods to dispatch his 220-pound foe, but unior strongman Bighorse finished off his hefty opponent in less than a minute.

The Huskies were scheduled for a dual at Sperry on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Pawhuska mat squad will compete in the District 3A-5 Dual event at Pawnee. The district-champion team from there advances to Oklahoma’s Dual State meet on Feb. 12-13. Other teams in 3A-5 include Blackwell, Berryhill, Newkirk and Morrison.

Eight 3A district-champion teams will advance to the Oklahoma Dual State meet on Feb. 12-13.

State officials recently named Bristow as site for the 3A East Regional, which will be held Feb. 19-20. Pauls Valley was selected as 3A’s West Regional site. Pawhuska will most likely be assigned to the East for regionals, but the official announcement is not due until Feb. 5. Other Regional hosts will be Cushing and Tuttle in 4A, 5A’s Tahlequah and Western Heights and Broken Arrow and Southmoore for 6A.

The Huskies hammered the Okmulgee Bulldogs, 63-4, in their Tuesday, Jan. 12, dual — which was held at PHS due to a late scheduling change. Okmulgee forfeited 11 weight divisions and lost two of the three contested matches.

Dalton Lough of the Huskies won a 3-0 decision at 138 pounds over the Bulldogs’ Brandon Ricks. Lough went low for a takedown 10 second before the end of the opening period. The tall, slender sophomore also had a third-period escape.

Pawhuska freshman Price Perrier earned a fall with 47 seconds left in the second period of his 120-pound bout. In the first period, Perrier lifted Okmulgee’s William Cook high off the mat for a takedown and he scored a reverse early in the second before getting the pin. (Perrier recorded a pair of pins and a 7-0 decision in his title-winning effort at the previous weekend’s Inola Tournament.)

PHS senior Mathew Taft made a strong showing against Okmulgee’s state-champion 170-pounder, Brad Bell. On his way to surviving a decision, 16-6, Taft turned a reversal into a (very) near fall right before the end of the first period.

Huskie winners via Bulldog forfeitures included Ryan Parks at 106 pounds, Daniel Nightengale at 113, T.J. Finn (126), 132-pound Brycen Swan, Taylor Walker at 145, Warren Graves (152), 160-pounder Caleb Bruce, Kienan Cheves at 220 and heavyweight John Bighorse.

PAWHUSKA 41, BARTLESVILLE 28

106 — Brayden Strachan (B) major dec. Ryan Parks, 9-0 … B 4-0

113 — Laif Jones (B) by forfeit … B 7-0

120 — Daniel Nightengale (P) sup. dec. Aaron Bailey, 18-1 … P 5-10

126 — Price Perrier (P) pin Daniel Sheets, 1:39 … P 11-10

132 — Ian Hallaway (B) dec. T.J. Finn, 6-5 … B 13-11

138 — Joe Jones (B) by forfeit … B 19-11

145 — Taylor Walker (P) dec. Austin Manley, 7-4 … P 14-19

152 — Dalton Lough (P) dec. Bryant Messerli, 7-4 … P 17-19

160 — Spur Wood (B) dec. Warren Graves, 7-0 … B 22-17

170 — Caleb Bruce (P) pin Matt Gross, 2:52 … P 23-22

182 — Mathew Taft (P) pin Jarrod Tayrien, :30 … P 29-22

195 — Zach Wellman (B) by forfeit … B 28-29

220 — Kienan Cheves (P) pin Blake Buoy, 2:04 … P 35-28

285 — John BigHorse (P) pin Max Hickok, 1:09 … P 41-28