Tooele wrestlers got a wakeup call when they hosted the defending 3A state wrestling champions Delta on Thursday. The Rabbits dominated the Buffaloes, pinning a 52-18 defeat on the hosts.
After dominating Stansbury the night before, Delta dominated Tooele, winning 11 of the 14 matches, with six coming by pin. They added two tech falls, one major decision and two regular decisions. Tooele was able to earn two pins and one forfeit.
Starting at 160 pounds, Tooele’s Braden Richter battled the whole match, not giving in Delta’s Tanner Nielsen efforts to start things off with a pin. Richter ended up losing by a technical fall, good for five teams points for Delta.
Bryon Baker (170) jumped out to a slight lead in the first period against Jackson Thomas. After Thomas started off with a takedown, Baker escaped and then took Thomas down to lead 3-1 after the opening period. Baker increased his lead with two takedowns in the second period. Going into the third period, Baker had a 7-5 edge. But Thomas turned Baker late in the match and pinned Baker with only 14 seconds left in the match..
Delta’s Kade Leavitt, who placed fifth in state last year, was surprised when Tooele’s Trevor Tomac stayed close to him after the opening period in the 182 pound class. Tomac was taken down twice, but was able to escape both times and trailed only 4-2 going into the second period. Leavitt decided to end the match in the second period when he turned Tomac and held him for the pin. Delta’s lead jumped to 17-0.
Maka Kioa hoped to start Tooele off in the scoring column at 195 pounds. But David Schena had different thoughts. Schena got a quick takedown and two-point near fall before Kioa worked Schena for a reversal. A quick escape by Schena put him ahead 5-2 at the end of the first period. Kioa closed the gap with an escape and reversal. Going into the third period, Kioa trailed 7-5. Schena was able to score three points to close out the match with a 10-5 win. That victory pushed Delta’s lead to 20-0.
At 220, Buff Daniel Aragon made quick work of Rabbit Brodie Draper when he took him down and pinned him in less than one minute to put six points on the board for Tooele. The Buffs trailed 20-6.
Zach Langi, a first-year wrestler for Tooele, has been improving each week and got out to a quick start against Delta’s Brett Walker in the 285 pound division. Langi countered Walker’s head throw for a takedown to lead 2-0. The he put Walker in a cradle to add two near fall points to his total to lead 4-0 after the first period. Walker opened the second period with a escape and was able to catch Langi for a takedown to his back, earning a pin to run the score to 26-6.
Freshman Brady Knight got a quick six points for Tooele in the 106 pound class when Delta was unable to provide a wrestler in that weight. Knight won by forfeit and Tooele closed the gap to 26-12.
Delta’s Josh Allen came out on fire against Tooele’s Josh Bishop in the 113 pound class, quickly getting a takedown and scored two separate near falls to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead. He added to his lead with another five points before nailing Bishop to the mat and helping Delta increase their lead 32-12.
Two highly ranked wrestlers locked horns in the 120 pound class. Tooele’s Jarrid Lavios, who placed third in state last year and Delta’s Dallin Ewart, presently ranked fourth in the 2A classification started out with some fast action, but neither wrestler scored in the opening period. Lavios got on the board first with a reversal. Ewart grabbed an escape near the end of the second period and Lavios led 2-1 after two. The action picked up in the third when Ewart worked Lavios for an escape and came right back to gain a takedown and two-point near fall, taking a 6-2 lead. Lavios escaped late in the match, but was unable to close the gap, losing 6-3.
Next up for Delta was Bracken Lovell, a state runner-up last year. He battled Tooele’s Aaron Garcia in the 126 pound class. Lovell worked Garcia for three takedowns while Garcia escaped twice to trail 6-2 after the first period. Lovell scored six unanswered points to earn a major decision. That pushed Delta’s lead to 39-12.
After Vigil’s exciting victory over Stansbury’s Jalen Herrera the night before, he wrestled possibly his best match of the year against Delta’s Brody Clark. In the opening period, Vigil executed a perfect ankle pick for a takedown. After a Clark escape, Vigil got another takedown to lead 4-1 after one period. In the second period, Vigil escaped and got another takedown, putting Clark to his back and gaining a second period pin for Tooele. Delta’s lead was now 39-18.
Tooele’s defending region champion Austin Strehle ran into Delta’s Victor Almanza in the 138 pound class. Almanza took second in state last year. After Almanza worked Strehle for a takedown, Strehle was able to escape to trail 2-1. But Almanza quickly took Strehle down to his back, pinning him in the first period.
Garrett Gleed and Delta’s Morgan Bogue battled in the 145 pound division. Bogue took fourth in state last year and he quickly took Gleed down to start off the match. Gleed worked him for an escape, but another takedown put Gleed on his back, where Bogue was able to pick up Delta’s sixth team pin and a 51-18 lead.
In the evening’s final match at 152, Tooele’s sophomore Jackson Gavin, a junior high state champion last season, had to face McQuae Anderson, another state placer from last year. Anderson racked up two takedowns and three near falls to jump out to a quick 10-1 lead after the opening period. Another quick six points ended the match in the second period, giving Anderson a tech fall to end the final match 16-1. That added another five points to Delta’s lead and they left the Tooele gym with an impressive 56-18 victory.
The Buffs will return to practice Friday, Dec. 27 after the Christmas break. The junior varsity and extras will travel to Grantsville on Friday, Dec. 27 and Saturday, Dec. 28 to wrestle in the Grantsville tournament.
Tooele will host its annual Best of the West tourney on Jan. 3-4.