PRYOR, OK —
Pryor used four straight falls in the higher weight classes to slap Tahlequah with its first dual loss of the season, a 44-24 setback, on homecoming night Thursday at the Burdick Center.
Pryor, ranked 14th in Class 5A duals, improved to 6-2 by knocking off the sixth-ranked Tigers (6-1).
Nursing a two-point lead with five matches to go, freshman Christian Campbell turned the tide for the home squad, pinning Tahlequah's Chase Campbell in 1:24 to start the dominoes falling.
"Christian Campbell really set the tone," Pryor head coach Roger White said. "Talk about the turning point of the dual. [His pin] was huge."
White bumped Christian Campbell into the 170-pound slot, leaving Colby Pettus at 160. Pettus was pinned by state qualifier Reese Davis to cut the margin to 20-18.
"I wasn't sure he believed in himself," White said of Christian Campbell. "Obviously, he did. Those older guys saw that freshman go take care of business, and it really got them worked up."
After the Campbell fall, Pryor's Caleb Reese (182 pounds) pinned Logan Hulse at 182 and senior Josiah Gauger clinched the win with a second-round fall at 195. Pryor's Austin Nelson pinned Hunter Littlejohn 40 seconds into the 220-pound match for good measure.
"They wrestled well. They were pumped up and ready to go. They weren't just going to hand it to us, and they fought us every step of the way," Tahlequah head coach James Rappe said. "It's a good win for them and a learning experience for us."
Pryor led 12-0 before Tahlequah got on the board with a pair of decisions at 120 (Zach Van Fleet over Logan Hammock) and 126 (Wright Weavel over Konnor Godwin).
Pryor Tiger Cody Foos scored a technical fall over Dom Van Fleet at 138 pounds before the most hyped bout of the night, a Kelvin Grubbs-Mitch Sellers showdown at 145. Grubbs, Pryor's homecoming king and lone returning state placer, earned a 12-7 decision from fellow state placer Sellers to give Pryor a 20-6 lead.
"Grubbs had beaten Sellers in a 3-1 decision in the preseason, but it's a mental thing," White said. "I told him, you're in his head. It was good to see him get out there and beat him by a little more than two."
In addition to Davis' fall at 160 pounds, two other Tahlequah wrestlers scored pins: 152-pounder Heston Lomans and heavyweight Justin Tucker.