The Tooele wrestling team came up against some of the best that Class 4A has to offer in the Division A tournament Friday and Saturday at Desert Hills High School in St. George.
While the Buffaloes finished eighth of 11 teams, they also showed that they have the ability to compete successfully against those squads. Mountain Crest ran away with the team title with 558 points — a 306-point margin over Green Canyon — but second and eighth places were separated by just 63 points. Green Canyon (252), Snow Canyon (238), Hurricane (223.5), Crimson Cliffs (209.5), Desert Hills (209), Cedar City (198) and Tooele (189) made up that group, followed by Sky View (131.5), Logan (107) and Cedar Valley (79).
Parker Hansen (106) and Chandler Yeck (285) will lead a contingent of nine Tooele wrestlers into the Class 4A state tournament, which will take place Feb. 20 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. Hansen finished second with a 3-1 record, including a 13-second pin against Cedar Valley’s Kadan Davis in his first match and another pin against Eli Beiza of Crimson Cliffs in the quarterfinals. He beat Snow Canyon’s Asher Farr in a 7-4 decision before a tight 3-1 loss to Mountain Crest’s Easton Evans in the final.
Yeck also finished second, going 4-1 in his bracket with all four wins coming by pin. He took down Alex Cole of Crimson Cliffs in 1:05, followed by a 45-second win over Cedar City’s Jayson Ziegler. He beat Green Canyon’s Garrett Herzog in 1:44, and it took 5:04 for him to beat Desert Hills’ Chance Richins in the semifinals. His title run ended with a loss by pin to Crimson Cliffs’ Jason Ponausuia, who has a 25-1 record this season.
Ty Proctor put together an impressive run through the consolation bracket to finish third at 152 pounds after a second-round loss. He was 7-1 in the tournament, including 6-0 in elimination matches, with every match ending in a pin. His quickest victory came in his third consolation-bracket match — a 16-second triumph over Hurricane’s William Butterfield.
Mason Flygare (120) finished fourth after reaching the semifinal in impressive fashion, pinning Cedar City’s Kaden Gilbert in 11 seconds and Snow Canyon’s Brannon Wilson in 3:15. He reached the third-place match with a pin in 3:07 against Hurricane’s Kayleb Murphy in a consolation semifinal match. Cannon Manning (160) was also a fourth-place finisher, rolling through his first three matches with a pin and two major decisions before a tight 6-5 loss to Desert Hills’ Keagan Boyce in the semifinal round. He then pinned Boyce’s teammate, Christian Bolli, in 46 seconds to reach the third-place match.
Alex Kerwood (285) finished sixth with a 2-3 record, pinning Hurricane’s Mohonri Tonumaipea in 36 seconds and Mountain Crest’s Montana Merchant in 1:07 before a semifinal loss to Ponausuia. Tyson Tso (132) earned a seventh-place finish with a 3-2 record, including an 11-5 win over teammate Rhys Stoddard in the seventh-place match. Ernest Gurr (182) went 3-2 to earn a No. 7 seed as well, pinning Snow Canyon’s Beau Miller in the seventh-place match.
Stoddard was 3-3 in the tournament and finished eighth, also qualifying for state.
Twenty-one Tooele wrestlers competed in the tournament. Ethan Garcia finished 10th with a 2-3 record at 182 pound, making him a second alternate into the state tournament, and Antonio Mascarenas (120) and Dalton McQuiddy (195) also went 2-3. Mason Steward (145) and Stanley Kerr (220) each went 1-2, and Bram Gustin (126) was 1-3.
Joshua Malmgren (126), Walker Bunn (138), Rady Buhr (138), Bronson Brown (152), Ben Rumpler (160) and Hayden Smith (195) each went 1-2 in the tournament.
The Class 4A state tournament will take place Feb. 20 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. Besides being reduced from a two-day event to just one day, the tournament’s biggest change will see the semifinal losers automatically placed in the third-place match, rather than having to compete in the consolation bracket.