Mustang High School’s wrestling team qualified for the finals at Dual State for the first time, and its battles with Choctaw and Broken Arrow each went down to the wire Saturday.
The No. 2-seeded Broncos snapped a semifinal tie with No. 3-seeded Choctaw when 106-pounder Shelton Chastain’s decision catapulted MHS to a 31-28 victory at Enid’s Stride Bank Center.
Later in the championship round, Mustang had a one-point lead going into the last match but top-seeded Broken Arrow pulled out a 30-26 win on 113-pounder Parker Witcraft’s technical fall.
Broken Arrow, ranked No. 1 in Class 6A and No. 24 in InterMat’s national poll, hiked its dual mark to 14-0.
Mustang, No. 2 in 6A, finished with a 16-4 dual record.
The Broncos are ranked No. 50 nationally.
Mustang coach Brian Picklo said it was a heart-breaking defeat, but “it’s time to have some short-term memory loss” heading into this week’s Westmoore regional.
“It’s tough to lose a match like that, but we have to let it go,” he added.
MHS seeks regional title repeat
The Broncos will try to defend their 2019 regional title, also won at Westmoore, when the 16-team tournament starts at 11 a.m. Friday, followed by the second session at 4 p.m.
Saturday’s action also begins at 11 a.m. with the fourth session starting at 5 p.m.
The 6A West regional will feature host Westmoore, Capitol Hill, Choctaw, Edmond Memorial, Edmond North, Edmond Santa Fe, Lawton, Moore, Norman, Norman North, Putnam City, Putnam City North, Putnam City West, Southmoore and Yukon.
Coach Picklo said he’s pleased with the way his team is competing, but the Broncos could’ve triumphed last weekend if they had capitalized on all their opportunities.
“I’m happy with the way my guys are wrestling,” Picklo said, noting Mustang’s improvement since it lost a home dual 40-20 to Broken Arrow on Jan. 9.
“We were within striking distance. We led going into the last match,” he added.
Broken Arrow 30, MHS 26
Chastain gave the Broncos a 26-25 lead by decisioning Christian Forbes, 4-1, in overtime.
After a scoreless one-minute, sudden-death period, Chastain had an escape and takedown in the second 30-second OT period.
Chastain had been beaten 7-2 by Forbes in the earlier dual against Broken Arrow in Mustang.
“He did a good job of closing the gap and made the necessary adjustments,” Picklo said of Chastain, who was unbeaten in the three duals.
However, Mustang’s 113-pounder, Gunner McBride, fell in a 17-1 technical fall to Witcraft in the last match.
“It’s not about one person in a dual,” Picklo said. “We put ourselves in a real good position, but we had multiple opportunities to seize that match.”
Bronco 120-pounder Tucker Owens won the dual’s first match with a 6-2 decision of Bryce Cockrell.
After three straight setbacks, MHS 145-pounder John Wiley scored a 20-5 technical fall over Chris Moores, and teammate Colt Fischer decisioned William Martin, 8-3, at 152.
Bronco grapplers Mark Boyd (160) and Jojo Sylvester (170) fell in a major decision and decision, respectively.
Mustang’s then won four of the next five matches.
Brannigan Reyes decisioned Zeno Marcheselli, 7-0, at 182 pounds and Tate Picklo, competing at 195, pinned Ramses Soto in 2:44.
“We bumped up Tate to wrestle (Emmanuel) Skillings, but then they bumped up Skillings,” coach Picklo said. “You can’t bump up two classes.”
Mustang’s Judson Rowland then lost a 3-2 decision at 220 pounds to Skillings in a showdown between returning state champions.
“Judson didn’t wrestle up to his potential,” coach Picklo said. “I don’t know if it was nerves or pressure, but it wasn’t Judson’s best match. If they wrestled nine more times, I think Judson would win nine times.”
MHS heavyweight Christian Rowland, Judson’s younger brother, decisioned Marlon Welty, 6-4, getting revenge for an earlier setback previous to Chastain’s win.
Christian Rowland, Chastain, Fischer and Reyes all had lost previously to Broken Arrow, top-ranked in the state.
MHS 31, Choctaw 28
In the semifinals, Chastain wrestled in his first huge bout of the day in the last match against No. 3-ranked Choctaw (11-1) — the dual began at 113 pounds.
Chastain decisioned Caden Holman, 3-1, after heavyweight Judson Rowland forged a 28-all deadlock in the team scoring by decisioning Marquonn Journey, 6-5.
“Every match was must-win,” coach Picklo said. “We needed a win from Shelton. There was a ton of pressure on him. If he wins, we win. If he loses, we lose.”
Mustang’s other victories were by Owens (17-2 technical fall), Keegan Luton (138 pounds, 13-6 decision), Wiley (145, 17-2 technical fall), Picklo (182, forfeit), Reyes (195, 9-6 decision) and Jack Kitchingham (220, 9-3 decision).
MHS 50, Stillwater 20
The Broncos won their first dual Friday afternoon, 50-20, over Stillwater (9-2).
MHS had nine victories, including pins by Owens (120), Sylvester (170), Kitchingham (195) Judson Rowland (220) and Christian Rowland (heavyweight).
Wiley posted a 23-8 technical fall, Picklo won by injury default and Chastain logged a 1-0 decision.
Along with Chastain, others going 3-0 at Dual State were Owens, Wiley and Picklo. Kitchingham, Christian Rowland and Reyes were 2-0.