Cheves’ fall allows Pawhuska to win homecoming dual

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Kienan Cheves delivered the fall the Huskies had to have Thursday night and Pawhuska celebrated wrestling homecoming 2016 with a come-from-behind triumph, 34-33, in a dual against the Tonkawa Buccaneers.

Leading, 4-0, at the start of the final period in his 220-pound bout, it would have been easy for Cheves to stall out a victory by decision, but he was compelled by necessity to get the pin for his PHS team. Although the Huskies trailed the visiting Bucs, 33-22, they had heavyweight John BigHorse waiting to claim a six-point forfeit in the dual’s last match.

Cheves managed to escape five seconds into the two-minute third round and he wasted little time bulldogging his Tonkawa foe back down to the mat. With 1:37 remaining, the sophomore strongman earned the fall that pulled the Huskies within five points, at 33-28. BigHorse was then awarded his victory by default, and Pawhuska — for the second time this season — had pulled out a one-point home dual win by getting maximum points from its two high-weight wrestlers.

Ironically, Pawhuska had defaulted in four of the earlier bouts — twice with no entries, once on an overweight and the other time due to injury. Nonetheless, it was the Huskies’ lone forfeit win that lifted them their seventh triumph in 10 season duals.

“It didn’t exactly go like we’d expected, but we had some guys come through with some big wins when we had to have them,” said the PHS head coach, Brian Edwards. “We’ll go to the Pryor Tournament this weekend, which leaves us two weeks to get everybody ready for regionals.”

With only a Tuesday (Feb. 2) home dual against Tulsa Hale and the Will Rogers Conference Tournament this Friday/Saturday at Tonkawa remaining, the Huskies are still looking to possibly schedule one more dual tune-up before the 3A Regional at Bristow on Feb. 19-20.

PHS freshman Ryan Parks got Thursday’s homecoming dual off on the right track by recording a second-period fall. The Huskies’ other freshman starter, Price Perrier, then won a key major decision (11-3) over the Bucs’ Lane Summers — who holds the No. 5-ranking in 3A’s 120-pound division. Pawhuska’s highly-rated 126-pounder, junior Levi Youngwolfe, followed with a pin in 1:52 of his bout — pushing the Huskies in front by 10 points, 16-6.

The next five matches all went to the Buccaneers, however, and home team was 11 points behind (27-16) with just three contested bouts — and an exchange of forfeits — remaining. Back-to-back victories by junior Warren Graves and senior Mathew Taft made the the late Pawhuska comeback possible. Graves bumped up to the 170 classification and claimed a 5-2 decision, while Taft continued his phenomenal season by taking an 8-2 nod at the elevated 182-pound level.

A rugged tourney weekend awaited the locals at Pryor, where Youngwolfe — the PHS squad’s only semifinalist — secured his third straight 126-pound tournament championship and improved to 18-1 for the year. BigHorse placed second in the under-285 division by winning four of his five matches. A third-place finisher for the Huskies was junior 132-pounder Brycen Swan, who returned to the mat after severely spraining an ankle in his Tuesday bout versus Tonkawa. (Swan held a 6-3 lead with 1:39 remaining when the injury default occurred.)

Three Pawhuska wrestlers came up just a little short against Tonkawa’s trio of recent Carman Classic champions. Senior Taylor Walker dropped a 6-3 decision to Buccaneer Tad Linton at 145-pounds. Sophomore Dalton Lough just missed upsetting Chase Pfluger, 3A’s second-ranked 152-pounder. And, junior Caleb Bruce lost, 3-0, in a close contest with 160-pound THS champ Koby Mora.

On Friday, when the Class 3A Regional assignments are to be announced by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association, the Huskies will find out which west-side powers (like Perry and Heritage Hall) are assigned to the east-side regional. The decision could weigh heavily in Regional seedings and, ultimately, over which local wrestlers qualify for the Class 3A state tournament.

PAWHUSKA 34, TONKAWA 33

106 — Ryan Parks (P) by fall over Evan Glassco, 3:41 … P 6-0

113 — Kevin Maxin (T) by forfeit … T 6-6

120 — Price Perrier (P) by major dec., 11-3, over Lane Summers … P 10-6

126 — Levi Youngwolfe (P) by fall over Braydon Hampton, 1:52 … P 16-6

132 — Camren Pfluger (T) by inj. def. over Brycen Swan … T 12-16

138 — Rustin Martin (T) by forfeit … T 18-16

145 — Tad Linton (T) by dec., 6-3, over Taylor Walker … T 21-16

152 — Chase Pfluger (T) by dec, 7-4, over Dalton Lough … T 24-16

160 — Koby Mora (T) by dec., 3-0, over Caleb Bruce … T 27-16

170 — Warren Graves (P) by dec., 5-2, over Brayden Dollarhide … P 19-27

182 — Mathew Taft (P) by dec., 8-2, over Dallis Hader … P 22-27

195 — Kobe White (T) by forfeit … T 33-22

220 — Kienan Cheves (P) by fall over Jacob BegsHisOwn, 4:23 … P 28-33

285 — John BigHorse (P) by forfeit … P 34-33