|01/28/18 - |
The Ada High wrestling team was sick, battered and bruised heading into Senior Night duals with tradition-rich programs Carl Albert and Shawnee Thursday night inside the Cougar Activity Center.
And it showed.
The Titans used four forfeit victories to edge Ada 31-25 in the opener, and the Wolves had five forfeit wins in their 52-18 runaway win over the Cougars.
Ada had at least five starters out of action because of sickness and injuries, and a few more reserves were sidelined. Those among the injured were two of Ada’s big guns — Carter Patterson, ranked No. 3 in Class 5A at 113 pounds, and Teondre Harrison, No. 6 at 170 pounds. Both of those wrestlers are nursing knee injuries, but both are expected to return later this season.
“We’ve never had sickness like this in our wrestling room before. Of course, we’ve been wrestling and breathing and sweating on each other in practice every day,” said Ada head coach Kyle Bohannon. “Back in December, we talked about the grind that was going to happen this month, but I don’t think we anticipated the sickness to be as widespread as it was.”
The Ada coach said all things considered, it was a good night for his bunch.
“With what we had tonight, I was pleased with the way we competed. We’re also a little bit worn down,” Bohannon said.
If any Ada wrestler had the right to be considered worn down, it had to be junior Gavin Owens, who has now wrestled in a whopping 45 matches this season. Owens had 10 matches at the Blanchard Tournament, nine each during a trip to the Ft. Walton Beach Tournament in Florida and the McAlester Tournament and eight in a tournament at Carl Albert.
“I don’t know if we’ve had anybody that has wrestled that many matches before,” Bohannon said.
Thursday night, Owens — ranked No. 6 at 145 pounds — won two of the most entertaining matches of the night. Owens wrestled up at 152 pounds against both Carl Albert and Shawnee.
Owens edged Landon York of Carl Albert 3-2. He led 2-1 heading into the third period, and both he and his foe registered late escapes.
During his match with Kylen Workman of Shawnee, he needed a third-round escape to break a 2-2 tie and secure an identical 3-2 win to complete the Senior Night sweep.
Senior Dylan Fisher, ranked No. 5 at 126 pounds, recorded two pinfall victories during an impressive Senior Night showing.
Carl Albert’s Dylan Brown seemed to fire up Fisher with a push in the first period, and Fisher recorded a pin at the 29.1 mark of the second period.
“I feel like I could have ended it a little faster in the first match. I got a little bit aggravated in the first period,” Fisher admitted.
Fisher used a unique maneuver called a “Banana Split” to record the pinfall on Brown. During that move, he locks up his opponent by stretching his legs apart and then lays him back on his shoulders for the pin.
“I’ve hit that a few times this year. It’s kind of become a signature move. You don’t see it very often,” Fisher said.
Fisher was pleased with the two dominant wins before the Senior Night crowd.
“It’s a lot of hard work. I have to be thankful for my coaches. I’m also thankful for the people that came out to see me. I had some people come from very far away. It was a good night,” he said.
While happy to be ranked among the best wrestlers in Class 5A, Fisher said he’s hungry for more.
“I’m not going to be satisfied with a Top 10. I want to be the No. 1 guy on that podium (at state),” he said.
Other Ada winners against Carl Albert included: Hunter Specht, a 9-1 winner over David Peters at 170 pounds; freshman Kohner Gallagher, who pinned Caleb Zangari at the 1:13 mark of the second period at 182 pounds; and Sungie Buck, a winner via forfeit at 145 pounds.
Gallagher is ranked No. 2 at 182 pounds.
Against Shawnee, Ada winners were: Specht, who pinned Jose Hernandez at 1:10 in the first at 170 pounds, and Gallagher, who edged Chance Anders 5-3 at 182 pounds.
The Cougars who are healthy traveled to the Midwestern Conference Tournament that began Friday and continues today at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee. Ada hosts McLoud in its final dual of the season at 6 p.m Tuesday before gearing up for the Class 5A Regional Tournament, scheduled for Feb. 16-18 at a site to be determined.
“Our goal is to be healthy and in shape for regionals and peaking at that time, and I feel like our guys are on track to be doing that,” Bohannon said.