The Pryor Times

Sports

February 1, 2014

Doug Rial: Dominant LG edges upstart Pryor

PRYOR, OK — Locust Grove wrestlers claimed their fourth consecutive Doug Rial Memorial Tournament title behind a tournament-high three individual champions, holding off host Pryor Saturday at the Burdick Center.

Locust Grove held a slim lead (155.5-153) over the Tigers heading into the consolation and championship finals, but an upset at 145 pounds opened the door for the Pirates, who swept the 220-pound and 285-pound weight classes to snare the team title with 183.5 points to Pryor's 174.

LG 132-pound senior Cub Yeager was named the tournament's most outstanding wrestler in the lower weights.

"He just did what we expected him to do," Locust Grove head coach Johnny Cook said of Yeager, whose fall over Tahlequah's Zech VanFleet clinched another tourney title for the Wyoming commit. "We expect him to go out and dominate everyone he wrestles. He's the toughest guy in the tournament."

Yeager's teammate Dustin Remer won the coveted Pinmaster award for most pins in the least time and also picked up the 220-pound championship by pinning Bartlesville's Austin Agaunaga in the first round. Salina's Cullen Patterson made a hard bid for the Pinmaster plaque, but settled for gold at 120 pounds. Patterson, the Wildcats' only finalist, earned a technical fall in the second round of the title match against Pawhuska's Bryson Swan.

Locust Grove's Trey Loveall added an exclaimation mark to the Pirates' win with a third-round fall over Tulsa Edison's Brandon Chambers at heavyweight.

Locust Grove also got a runner-up finish from Trevor Taylor (170 pounds), a bronze finish from Trent Monk (182) and two fifth-place finishes from Alex Hix (145) and Ty Monk (160). Jake Niederbuhl added a sixth-place nod at 126 pounds.

"We had a lot of guys here who hadn't placed in a tournament all year," Cook said. "We've been to Perry, Reno (Nev.), Geary and Yukon [tournaments]. We wrestle the toughest schedule of anyone, including all the 6A teams.

"Showed good signs today, but we've got to get better. We've got a lot of work to do. We've got to fine-tune and get better."

Locust Grove wrestled without its 120-pounder, state runner-up Braden Bennett, who will be out 2-4 weeks with a clavicle injury he sustained during the Pirates' home dual against Wagoner Thursday.

In Bennett's absence, Pryor put the heat on the Pirates in the lower weights and took a team lead early in the final rounds, thanks to Von Gray's fall over Jenks' Jesse Grippando in the 106-pound third-place match and Logan Litke's championship at 113 pounds. Litke earned a major decision in his bout with Pawhuska's Levi Youngwolfe.

"We knew a lot would have to go our way to beat Locust Grove," Pryor head coach Roger White said. "Locust is so tough up top. It hurt when we lost at 145."

Kelvin Grubbs, the Tigers' lone returning state placer, dropped a rematch to Tahlequah's Mitch Sellers for the 145-pound crown. Grubbs was 2-0 against Sellers until the Rial, including a preseason decision.

Cody Foos won gold at 138 pounds for the Tigers' only other individual championship, but several other Tigers reached the podium — some of whom surprised even White. Freshmen Ryan Sellers and Logan Hammock, for instance, claimed fifth at 113 and 126 pounds, respectively.

"A lot of our guys had great tournaments, and we got some points where we didn't expect it," White said. "We're getting more heart. We're fighting the full six minutes. We're trying to score. Trying to hold onto one-point wins. That's what you need come regional time."

Dylan Wright (120 pounds) and Michael Lansaw (220) brought home bronzes for Pryor, while Christian Campbell (160) and Josiah Gauger (195) took fourth.

Tahlequah, which tied Locust Grove with a tournament-high four wrestlers in title bouts, claimed third place with 137 points.

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