Sandite Wrestling sends nine wrestlers to Regional Finals, sitting in first place as team

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Current Team Standings:

  1. Sand Springs (236.5)
  2. Broken Arrow (188)
  3. Stillwater (115)
  4. Ponca City (106)
  5. Norman North (88.5)
  6. Owasso (75)
  7. Sapulpa (64.5)
  8. Union (60)
  9. Jenks (54)
  10. Bixby (44.5)
  11. Bartlesville (31)
  12. Enid (23.5)
  13. Southmoore (23)
  14. Muskogee (21.5)
  15. Booker T. Washington (4)
  16. Capitol Hill (3)

Finals matches:

106 No. 1 Weir vs Long
113 No. 3 Ward vs Blose
120 No. 3 Lawley vs No. 4 Ritchey
126 No. 3 Shickram vs Hudson
132 No. 1 Fix vs No. 6 Avant
138 No. 2 Karstetter vs No. 3 Dieringer
145 No. 1 Lee vs No. 2 Bratcher
152 No. 1 Scott vs No. 6 Rubio
160 No. 3 Wise vs No. 5 Messer
170 No. 1 Basma vs No. 3 Bahl
182 No. 3 Potter vs No. 6 Carnes
195 No. 1 Marcheselli vs Johnson
220 No. 1 Jordan vs No. 2 Haynes
285 No. 2 Johnson vs No. 3 Lieurance

The Charles Page High School wrestling team went nineteen years without winning a Regional Championship before upsetting the Broken Arrow Tigers last year. Now they're poised to potentially win it back-to-back. The No. 1 ranked Sandites advanced nine wrestlers to the finals Friday evening at the Ed Dubie Field House, one more than last year.

Riley Weir, Tanner Ward, Michael Ritchey, Daton Fix, Jack Karstetter, Beau Bratcher, Payton Scott, and Delvin Jordan will all get to defend the Regional titles they claimed last year. Broken Arrow will be their closest competitors with six finalists. Sand Springs is currently leading the pack after day one with a 48.5 point edge on the Tigers.

Weir (37-6 season, 58-18 career) pinned Broken Arrow freshman Jackson Cockrell in 1:36 in the 106 pound semifinals and will take on Union's TJ Long in the finals. Long is ranked second at 113 pounds.

Ward (32-9, 108-21) worked up a massive 12-2 lead in the first period of the 113 semifinals against Norman North senior Yves Worou, then started the second on bottom and reversed. He led 16-3 before pinning his foe in 3:19. He will face Sapulpa senior Brandon Blose in the finals. Blose is currently ranked seventh at 106 pounds and is a two-time State Qualifier. 

Ritchey (35-9, 64-33) took a 5-0 lead into the second period of the 120 semifinals against Bartlesville's Laif Jones and started on bottom. His opponent was never able to score back points, but Ritchey was equally unable to escape. Jones started the final period with an escape but neither scored and Ritchey won the 5-1 decision. He will take on Broken Arrow senior Tyler Lawley in the finals. Lawley is currently ranked third in their weight class. The two split wins last year, with Ritchey winning 3-1 at Regionals, but Lawley won 7-1 at State. They've met only once this year and Lawley got the pin at Dual State. 

Blake Sargent (34-9, 86-23) took on Easton Hudson in the 126 semifinals. They were equally matched throughout the first period, with Sargent taking the lead on a second period escape. Hudson tied it up halfway through the third and the two went into suddenly victory overtime where Hudson got the takedown. Sargent will take on the winner of Logan Herell (Enid) vs Wyatt Johnson (Owasso). He is 2-0 against both wrestlers this season.

Fix (43-0, 161-0) scored six takedowns in the first period of the 132 semifinals against Baylor Smith and led 12-5 to start the second period. The machine-like prodigy pushed it to 21-8 with six nearfall points before finally wrapping up the pin at 3:46. He will wrestle Norman North's Sam Avant in the finals. Fix previously defeated Avant 20-4 at the Geary Invitational.

Karstetter (28-1, 101-16) went the distance with Dawson Hunt in the 138 semifinals and took a 9-2 lead into the final stanza. He added another takedown with thirty seconds left and won by 11-3 major decision. He will take on Stillwater's Tyler Dieringer in the finals. The two haven't met yet this year, but Karstetter won a 3-1 decision in last year's Regional finals.

Beau Bratcher (42-6, 133-29) scored an early takedown against Brady Mattioda in the 145 semifinals and carried a 2-0 advantage into the second period. Mattioda started on bottom and Bratcher  worked him over for a trio of nearfall points, but the Tiger snagged one point on an illegal hold and started the third period on top, trailing 5-1. Bratcher got the escape and added another takedown for an 8-1 decision. He will take on Stillwater's Kendon Lee in the finals. The two have met twice this year, with Lee getting the upper hand in both matches. Both were decided by a single takedown, and one went into sudden victory overtime.

Scott (37-2, 58-10) had zero difficulty in the 152 semifinal and pinned Owasso freshman Richie Lee in 0:56. He will take on Ponca City's Ezequiel Rubio in the finals. Scott is 6-0 against Rubio in his career, and 3-0 this year. Most recently he pinned Rubio in 0:35 at Dual State.

Sophomore Noah Almy (23-17) took on Broken Arrow's Caleb Wise in the 160 semis and defaulted with a shoulder injury in the first period. If he's cleared to wrestle tomorrow he will take on the winner of Nolan Miller (Owasso) vs Chase Kelvington (Jenks). He has yet to meet Miller this season, but he was pinned in 1:10 by Kelvington during a regular season dual.

Zane Basma (26-2, 88-27) picked up his twelfth-straight fall in the 170 semis, pinning Union sophomore Darius Boone in 1:51. He will battle Stillwater's Christian Bahl in the finals. The two have yet to meet this year, but Bahl went 2-0 against Basma last season.  

Luke Bratcher (5-3) sustained an injury in the quarterfinals and forfeited his remaining match.

Gage Fain (26-15, 39-37) went into overtime in back-to-back matches. After falling 8-6 in sudden victory in his quarterfinal match, he took on Stillwater's Aaron Veselak. They remained neutral through the first period and Fain took the lead with a second period escape, then remained neutral till the third. Veselak tied it up twenty seconds into the third period and sent the match into overtime. Neither scored in the sudden victory round, and though Fain escaped in the first tie breaker round, he wasn't able to get a takedown. Veselak escaped in the second tie breaker and scored a takedown, holding on for a 4-3 victory.

Delvin Jordan (41-2, 72-14) took on Ponca City's Austin Fry in the 220 semis and took a 2-0 lead after the first period. He started the second period on top and pinned the Wildcat in 2:34. Jordan will take on Broken Arrow's defending State Champion Skyler Haynes in the finals. The two wrestlers have met once before and Jordan prevailed 4-3 at Dual State.

Kris Edwards (5-5) came back from a first round loss at heavyweight and took a 4-0 first period lead against Southmoore's Jose Ruiz. He pushed his advantage to 7-0 before picking up a fall at 2:50. He will face Stillwater's Sam Smith.

Saturday's matches will begin at noon with the Consolation Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and fifth-place matches. The Finals and Consolation Finals will be held at 6:00 p.m.