Special to The Sun
Even when they’re shorthanded, the Edmond North wrestlers are tough to beat.
The top-ranked Huskies crowned five individual champions and narrowly missed the team title Saturday at the 70th annual Geary Tournament.
No. 3 Broken Arrow won the tournament with 149.5 points. North took second with 147.5 points and Tuttle was third with 111.5 points. Memorial also competed and placed 19th overall.
North had just 11 wresters at the tournament, but eight made it to the medal stand. Paxton Rosen (106 pounds), Joel Dixon (182), Derek White (195), Lance Dixon (220) and Andrew Dixon (heavyweight) each won individual gold medals.
Senior Zach Walton was runner-up at 160. Bryan Creel finished fourth at 138 and Josh Nunley was fifth at 138.
“We’re still working on our lineup a bit, but the guys we had here came out and did a great job,” North coach Andy Schneider said. “It was a good team race, it’s just unfortunate we didn’t have all of our guys.”
Broken Arrow also beat out the Huskies for Geary Tournament title last year. The Tigers, who competed with a full lineup, had 10 individual placers.
White also earned Outstanding Wrestler honors after tearing through the 195-pound bracket. He earned bonus points in all four matches. The Nebraska signee opened the tournament by pinning Broken Arrow’s Quintonio Tolon in 1:34. He later earned a technical fall against Adrian Linzy of Rio Ranch in the second round and a major decision over Garrett Shaw in the semifinals. White capped the perfect weekend with a 24-9 technical fall over Altus’ Taven Birdow in the finals.
“I wanted to start out strong and keep the pace throughout the match,” White said. “I wanted to get some bonus points and help our team. I just wish I could have got a pin. It would have been a half point more.”
White also won the Geary Tournament last year.
Teammate Andrew Dixon had the most amount of falls in the least time. The senior won all five matches by fall, including three in the first round.
Joel Dixon also started his title run with falls in the first two rounds. He then topped Enid’s Caleb Harris by a 9-3 decision in the semifinals, before finishing off the tournament with a fall over Roc Robbins of Collinsville in the 182 finals slot.
Lance Dixon went 4-0 to win the 220-pound tournament. The senior beat Tuttle’s Riley Fielder by major decision in the first round, pinned Mustang’s Clay Feland in the second and beat Steven Allen of Broken Arrow via 5-1 decision in the semifinals. The Oklahoma signee then earned the gold medal with a 14-1 major decision against Zac Overbeck of Enid.
Rosen joined North’s big boys atop the medal stand. The freshman opened the tournament with a 5-0 decision against Orion Gutierrez of Rio Ranch. He beat Tulsa Union’s Mason Naifeh by technical fall and advanced to the finals with a 6-4 overtime victory against Nate Keim of Collinsville.
In the 106-pound championship, Rosen scored a takedown in the third period to earn a 3-0 victory gainst Tuttle’s Noah McQuigg.
Walton also advanced to the finals but lost to defending state champion Levi Berry. The senior then held off a challenge match from Altus’ Cameron Loving to hang onto the silver medal.
Creel finished 3-2 at 145 pounds while Nunley was 5-2 at 138.
Edmond Memorial was led by Tristan McBee, who placed fifth at 170 pounds. He finished with a 4-2 record, advancing to the medal round with three falls. McBee closed out the weekend with a win over Josh Arnold of Collinsville in the fifth-place match.
“Tristan wrestled really well getting into the medal rounds, Bulldogs head coach Darren Huff said. “He wrestled extremely well in the medal rounds as well. Tristan sacrificed all week getting down to 170 from 182 and it paid off for him. It’s rewarding to seeing a young man be that disciplined and have success from it.”
Connor Shanks, Jeremy Morgan, Denton Huff and Ryley West also competed Saturday but missed out on the medal round.
“Geary is one of the toughest tournaments in the state and it was a great experience for our guys, even if they didn’t fare as well,” Huff said. “They needed the extremely tough competition to let them know what they have to do to prepare for the remainder of the season.”
The Edmond squads will hit the mat Tuesday at North High School for the annual Three Dog Night. The duals are scheduled to begin at 5 o’clock.