Special to The Sun
There hasn’t been a repeat Dual State champion among the largest schools since 2005. Unfortunately for defending state champion Edmond North, parity prevailed again Saturday at the Class 6A Dual State championship at Yukon High School.
The No. 2-ranked Huskies saw their hopes for a repeat title end with a razor-thin loss to Broken Arrow in the semifinals at Yukon High School. After trailing through the first 12 matches, the Tigers took control with a fall by Paden Bailey and held on for a 33-32 win.
Broken Arrow went on to beat Stillwater in the finals, 29-24. It was the Tigers’ seventh Dual State title.
“They’re a good team and we knew it’d come down to bonus points,” North coach Andy Schneider said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get it done.”
The Huskies took control early with six straight wins. Lance Dixon, Derek White and Andrew Dixon reeled off consecutive falls. Nolan Malloy won at heavyweight and Paxton Rosen added a major decision at 106 pounds for a 29-0 lead.
Broken Arrow turned the tables with seven straight wins. Bailey put the Tigers on top 33-29 with a fall in the first period at 152 pounds.
North needed bonus points in the final bout to win the dual. Senior Zach Walton scored a takedown with 10 seconds left to take a 10-3 lead in the 160-pound match. But Broken Arrow’s Braxton Owens held him scoreless the rest of the way, securing the 33-32 win for the Tigers.
“He (Owens) knew the situation. He knew we were hunting for the major decision and he was trying to clamp on and keep it close. But Zach did a good job,” Schneider said.
If the Huskies had tied the score, they would have won on criteria. The first tie-breaker is determined by unsportsmanlike penalty points. Broken Arrow was hit with the penalty after one of its wrestlers punched his opponent.
North also caught a tough break at 113 pounds. Freshman Brandon Bright led 6-1 late in the match but was pinned by Tajuan Danials with 10 seconds left.
The Huskies advanced to the semifinals with a 52-12 win over Muskogee in the first round.