By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
It was a battle of the undefeateds Thursday night at Ed Dubie Fieldhouse as the #2 Charles Page Sandites challenged the defending state champions, the #1 Broken Arrow Tigers. Both teams went into the dual 4-0 for the season.
The Sandites started off at 126 with #3 Jack Karstetter (17-6) scoring a 14-4 major decision over Brady Mattioda for a 4-0 team lead. Karstetter had multiple takedowns and a near fall, but was unable to get the pin.
At 132 Derek Davis (5-2) got off to a great start against #10 Dylan Wingo, scoring a 2-pt takedown in the first minute. Davis expanded that lead to 4-0 by the end of the first period, and rode for nearly the entire match, but was unable to score again and ended with a 4-0 decision for a 7-0 team lead.
Next up was the #1 wrestler in the state, #3 in the nation, the undefeated 2X State Champion Daton Fix (22-0) against (145 #5) Blake Mattioda. Fix exploded on to the mat with a somersault and flip to great crowd applause. In typical fashion it was cat and mouse as Fix outscored his opponent 10-4 in the first period and the only points Mattioda scored were escape points that Fix handed him. Ultimately Fix ended with a win by technical fall for a 12-0 lead.
At 145 both Beau Bratcher (22-4) and Caleb Wise wrestled up from their usual 138. Bratcher is currently ranked #3 in 138, Wise is ranked #4, and the two had met twice already this week. Bratcher defeated Wise 6-5 at the start of the Geary Invitational, then beat him 2-1 later on in the tournament. Bratcher wrestled his way up through the consolation bracket at Geary for a second place finish and is currently Sandite of the Week. This time Bratcher would edge Wise out even more for a 3-0 finish and a 15-0 Sandite lead.
152 #3 Payton Scott (8-2) immediately made a statement with a takedown of #4 Blake Warren barely 8 seconds into the match. Warren got the escape point, however, and Scott gave him another escape to start the second period. The two were tied throughout the entire second period, but Scott scored a 2pt reversal early in the third for the 4-2 lead. With 9 seconds left Scott slammed Warren and looked like he would get a pin, but ultimately only got a 6-3 decision for an 18-0 Sandite lead.
For the third time this dual, it was the #3 wrestler in 160 versus the #4. Zane Basma (13-9), the underdog, scored a 2:32 upset pin over Brady Jones for the 24-0 lead
At 170, Gavin Potter scored the first win of the night for the Tigers over Bryton Beck (5-9). The Sandite Senior was filling in for Trace Fleischman (3-2) who is nursing an ankle injury, and battled valiantly before giving up an 11-2 major decision.
At 182 it was #6 Lane Lettich (4-3) against #1 Isaiah Page and the two had a perfect repeat of their 170 pound match at last year's dual. The Geary Champion from Broken Arrow beat Lettich 7-2 for the second year in a row, but the Sandites still led 24-7.
195 #10 Zack Sims (11-13) had a David vs Goliath matchup against #1 State Runner-Up Skylar Haynes but managed to avoid bonus points, going down 13-6 and holding the team lead 24-10.
At 220 came standout linebacker Delvin Jordan, Jr. (5-2) against #9 Gage Kaiser. The Sandite scored first on a second period escape, and nearly got a takedown in the third but Kaiser battled it out for a match-tying escape. Jordan was outstanding, clearly wrestling through some major pain from a still-recovering leg injury. The match went into overtime and Jordan narrowly worked his way through a near-takedown and reversed it for the 3-1 sudden victory decision and a 27-10 lead.
The Sandites are lacking in the heavyweight department, and Gage Fain (3-11) has been having to wrestle up against much larger opponents such as #3 Trenton Lieurance who had more than 50 pounds on Fain and won by pin in 3:27 to keep the Tigers' hopes alive.
Circling back to the light weights, it was 106 #8 freshman Riley Weir (14-8) wrestling against junior state-placer Tyler Lawley who is ranked #5 in 113. Weir is nursing a majorly strained ligament in his arm and overcame a near fall for a pin in an inspiring match against Union Tuesday night. Weir wasn't able to pull off the win, but he battled it out to a 7-1 decision, preventing bonus points as the Sandites led 27-19.
All 113 #6 Michael Ritchey (9-9) had to do was win by simple decision to cinch the dual for the Sandites, but he made it clear he was looking for the pin, and nearly got it at the end of the first. Instead, the Junior had to settle for near-fall points and a 5-0 lead. Ultimately Ritchey would settle for the 7-0 shutout decision over Blake Gonzalez, but he had all the riding time and wrapped up the upset win for the Sandites.
The last match was merely a formality as Sand Springs already had an 11-point lead with only 6 points left, but 120 #9 Blake Sargent (17-7) went above and beyond in his battle against the #5 wrestler in 126. TaJuan Daniels is an incredible athlete, but Sargent worked it over on him for most of the regular match. Daniels wouldn't go down without a fight, however, and escaped with 10 seconds left to tie things up 2-2 and force overtime. Sargent got the 2-pt sudden victory takedown and the Sandites ended things with a 33-19 victory to unofficially claim the #1 rank in the state.
Broken Arrow won the Junior High dual 36-26. The Sandites will next see action tomorrow at the Bobby Lyons Invitational Tournament at Ed Dubie Field House.