By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
When the No. 3 ranked Broken Arrow Tigers (9-3) entered Firelake Arena Saturday morning in Shawnee, they had two losses under their belt. Earlier in the season they were defeated 38-22 by No. 2 Choctaw (9-1) and 46-21 by No. 1 Sand Springs (20-0). Since then, they returned multiple starters who were previously injured, they won seven-straight duals, one shutout, and one tournament. In the noon semifinals they avenged their loss to Choctaw, upsetting the nationally-ranked defending State and Dual State Champions 36-28.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, Sand Springs didn't feel like splitting wins.
The nationally-ranked Sandites concluded their perfect dual season with a 40-26 victory.
The dual kicked off in the Sandites' favor as Payton Scott (34-2, 55-10) nearly got a pin in the first few seconds. He settled for nearfall points against Aedan Cottle and worked up an 11-3 first period advantage. He continued to take down and cut his opponent loose and won a 25-10 technical fall in 3:49.
Broken Arrow took the lead in the next match, however, as Caleb Wise pinned Noah Almy (20-17) in 1:07. Zane Basma (23-2, 85-27) earned those points right back with a pin of Joey Hall in 1:01.
Gavin Potter scored first against sophomore Luke Bratcher (4-2) with an escape to start the second period. He added a takedown halfway through the period, but the Sandite reversed then cut his foe loose. Bratcher started the third period neutral, trailing 4-2, and Potter added another takedown for nearfall points and prevailed by 8-2 decision.
State Champion Zach Marcheselli returned his team to the lead at 14-11 with a 19-4 tech fall against Gage Fain (26-13, 39-35) in 5:55, but Delvin Jordan (38-2, 69-14) tied it up by defeating State Champion Skyler Haynes. The two remained neutral through the first period but Haynes gave Jordan the escape to start the second. Haynes tied it up thirty seconds into the third, then scored a takedown with forty seconds left. Jordan escaped ten seconds later and took the lead with five seconds left for the 4-3 decision.
Trenton Lieurance pinned Kris Edwards (4-4) in 1:03, but Riley Weir (34-6, 55-18) handled Jackson Cockrell for an 11-4 decision to cut into the deficit.
Tanner Ward (30-9, 106-21) had little difficulty with Andrew Police and worked up a 10-0 lead with three sets of back points all in the first period. He entered the final stretch 12-1 and started neutral, adding a takedown and nearfall points for a 17-1 tech fall in 4:43. Sand Springs returned to the lead at 22-20.
Michael Ritchey (32-9, 61-33) scored a takedown against Tyler Lawley, was awarded an unsportsmanlike point, then gave up an escape to end the first period 3-1. He started the second on top and Lawley escaped once again. Ritchey took down Lawley, Lawley reversed, then got a touchfall against the Sandite for a 26-22 team lead.
Blake Sargent (33-8, 85-22) made up for that loss however, pinning Blake Gonzalez in 1:24. The Tigers forfeited to Daton Fix (40-0, 158-0) and Sand Springs led 34-26 with two matches left.
Jack Karstetter (26-1, 99-16) took a 1-0 lead over TaJuan Daniels to start the second period, then added a takedown with fifteen seconds left. The Tiger escaped in the last second, but Karstetter got the takedown towards the end of the third and prevailed 5-3 to clinch the dual.
Beau Bratcher (39-6, 130-29) concluded the evening with a 4-2 decision for a 40-26 team victory.
The Sandites will have a week to celebrate, but their season isn't over yet. They will host the 6A-East Regional Championship next weekend.