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Lower weights lift Huskies to triumph in opener

Pawhuska High School wrestler Sean Valencia battles Newkirk’s Hunter Lake during the Huskies’ Monday night dual match with the visiting Tigers. PHS won the last three bouts to claim its second district dual victory of the week. JACK BUZBEE/JOURNAL-CAPITAL
Pawhuska High School wrestler Sean Valencia battles Newkirk’s Hunter Lake during the Huskies’ Monday night dual match with the visiting Tigers. PHS won the last three bouts to claim its second district dual victory of the week. JACK BUZBEE/JOURNAL-CAPITAL

Deja vu was magnified Monday for the Pawhuska High School wrestling team.

For the second time in four nights, the PHS squad rallied to a district dual victory with a final-match win by fall. The biggest difference was the size of the Huskies’ hero.

Last week in Barnsdall, 120-pound Pawhuska freshman Brycen Swan provided the match-clinching pin as the Huskies charged from far behind to claim a three-point team triumph. When Pawhuska opened its twice-delayed home season Monday night, it was the 285-pound local entry — Grant Moore — who recorded the fall heard ‘round Oren Terrill Field House.

A Fairfax import, Moore pinned his Newkirk foe a minute into their heavyweight match. The thunderous victory capped a Huskie comeback from a 12-point deficit (30-18) and transformed a tenuous situation into a 42-36 taming of the Tigers. Moore is a senior from Woodland High School, which this season joined with Pawhuska in an inter-Osage County wrestling cooperative agreement through the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association.

In a make-up of last Tuesday’s snowed-out dual, the Huskies also got pins by freshman Levi Youngwolfe and senior Zalin Edwards — who also has ties to Woodland. The team score was tied at 6, 12, 18 and 36 before Moore recorded the decisive final fall.

Despite losing three bouts via pin, two on decisions and one by forfeit, coach Wade Rogers’ PHS team remained unbeaten in duals by knocking off the Tigers — who entered the competition ranked as the No. 3 duals squad in Oklahoma Class 3A. (OSSAA rankings released last week show Perry at No. 1, Blackwell No. 2 and Pawhuska as the No. 12-ranked 3A squad.)

The resurgent Huskies were scheduled for another dual Tuesday at Pawnee, followed by a home match Thursday (starting at 6 p.m.) versus No. 8 Tonkawa. Next Tuesday, PHS is to go back on the road for a dual at 13th-ranked Sperry.

Rally past Panthers

In Barnsdall last Thursday, the charge of the light brigade lifted the Huskies from 18 points down to a 36-33 dual triumph over the rival Panthers.

Back-to-back-to-back victories by the lower-weight freshman juggernaut of Daniel Nightengale, Levi Youngwolfe and Brycen Swan capped Pawhuska’s thrilling comeback.

“Things went a lot different than what I’d expected, but we were still able to get a big win,” said PHS coach Rogers. “Those young guys really came through for us.”

The Huskies trailed 33-15 following a fall in the 220-pound matchup by Barnsdall’s Baylee Perigo. Pawhuska clipped six points off that lead by claiming a forfeit win by Moore in the high-weight slot. It was one of three forfeits by the Panthers, who received one from the visitors at 196 pounds — where the hosts boasted a defending state champion in senior Caleb Hawes.

Barnsdall was still up a dozen when Nightengale started the final three sweep with a gutsy 9-6 decision in the 106-pound bout. He led 4-3 at the end of the second period, but fell behind by two (6-4) with 1:30 remaining in the third. The determined Pawhuska ninth-grader regained the advantage on a reversal and near fall with 28 seconds left. Nightengale had been cleared to wrestle only two days earlier due to a crushed pelvis sustained in a November car wreck.

In the 113-pound matchup, Youngwolfe built a 6-0 advantage before pinning his 113-pound foe early in the second period. The six-point fall brought the Huskies within three points of the Panthers, at 33-30, with one bout remaining.

Swan, the third of the freshman Huskieteers, wasted little time in scoring a firm takedown in his 120-pound battle. He registered the decisive fall just 56 seconds into the crucial finale.

Earlier, 126-pound Pawhuska freshman Mikey Lynn had opened the District 3A-8 dual by posting a 5-3 win by decision. Barnsdall took over the lead with a pin by Colton Allen midway through the initial period of the 132-pound bout. Following a Huskie forfeit victory, the Panthers garnered a 5-4 decision from Cameron Turley that tied the team score at 9-9.

Back-to-back falls by Lane White and Ethan Shaw moved Barnsdall ahead, 21-9. An exchange of forfeits and Perigo’s pin then set the stage for the better-great-than-late Pawhuska charge.

Victors at Cushing

Pawhuska freshmen Brycen Swan and Levi Youngwolfe captured championships at the re-scheduled Cushing Junior High Wrestling Tournament held last Friday and Saturday.

Also taking medals at the pool-type tournament were Huskie freshmen John Bighorse (second place), Payton McCarty (third) and Caleb Bruce (fourth).

Pawhuska 36, Barnsdall 33

126 — Mikey Lynn (P) 5-3 dec. over Chandler Bryant…P 3-2

132 — Colton Allen (B) pinned Taylor Priest, 1:02…B 6-3

138 — Sean Valencia (P) by forfeit…P 9-6

145 — Cameron Turley (B) 5-4 dec. over Jayden Higgins…B 9-9

152 — Lane White (B) pinned Matthew Taft, 1:15…B 15-9

160 — Ethan Shaw (B) pinned Caleb Bruce, 4:35…B 21-9

170 — Zalin Edwards (P) by forfeit…P 15-21

196 — Caleb Hawes (B) by forfeit…B 27-15

220 — Baylee Perigo (B) pinned John Bighorse, :32…B 33-15

285 — Grant Moore (P) by forfeit…P 21-33

106 — Daniel Nightengale (P) 9-6 dec. over Colton Auschwitz…P 24-33

113 — Levi Youngwolfe (P) pinned Logan Bryant, 2:28…P 30-33

120 — Brycen Swan (P) pinned Howell, 1:04…P 36-33

Pawhuska 42, Newkirk 36

106 — Brian Brown (N) pinned Nightengale, 4:51…N 6-0

113 — Levi Youngwolfe (P) pinned Blake Wassom, :23…P 6-6

120 — Daniel Parks (P) by forfeit…P 12-6

126 — Griffin Watches (N) pinned Swan, 2:18…N 12-12

132 — Brian Stopp (N) 4-0 dec. over Priest…N 15-12

138 — Trevor Easley (P) by forfeit…P 18-15

145 — Hunter Lake (N) 8-0 dec. over Valencia…N 18-18

152 — Bleau Stopp (N) pinned Higgins, 1:43…N 24-18

160 — Jared Scheiber (N) pinned Bruce, 2:23…N 30-18

170 — Zalin Edwards (P) pinned Pake Shinn, :57…P 24-30

182 — Hunter Thomas (N) by forfeit…N 36-24

195 — John Bighorse (P) by forfeit…P 30-36

220 — Kendall Oller (P) by forfeit…P 36-36

285 — Grant Moore (P) pinned Trey Hobbs, 1:03…P 42-36

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