OKLA. CITY —
Pacheco wins third straight crown
Deer Creek’s Pacheco came out of football with an injury and in the semifinals at regionals, he thought his ACL was torn again.
But that did not stop the 182-pounder, who dug into Tulsa Kelley’s Brice Inbody (36-3) for a 3-0 decision for state title No. 3.
“I just kind of was on a mission,” Pacheco said after hitting the trifecta Saturday. “I tweaked it (ACL at regionals) pretty good, but it was too late in the year to stop.”
Pacheco, a 24-1 senior, was in a scoreless match until the final minute when he garnered a 3-0 cushion. When he put Inbody on his belly, it was over as the Antler toyed with his opponent waiting for the clock to melt.
Pacheco even got on Inbody’s back and drove both knees into his adversary’s glutes and came away with the 3-0 decison.
“That kid’s (Inbody’s) game plan was to try and keep it close,” Deer Creek head coach Andy Howington said. “He was trying to keep it close and maybe try to win it in overtime.
“Cole and Nolan Boyd are the only three-time state champions at Deer Creek.
“Cole had to ice down his knee after every match and it always swelled up.
“That’s one (wrestler) you just don’t replace.”
In the regional championship, Pacheco thrashed Inbody by an 8-1 count and it was the first time of the year the Tulsa Kelley product has been taken down.
The Antlers’ other state champ is freshman Tanner Cole in the 106-pound slot at 24-4.
Cole lost 2-1 to Collinsville’s Nate Keim (37-7) in the regional championship just a week earlier, but the gritty Deer Creek grappler turned the tables on Keim for a 2-1 state crown.
“I’ve been telling him all week this is what matters,” Howington said. “Last week we got beat and we changed things up.
“He (Keim) controlled our hands last time and we put in a little more movement. We made the adjustments and came out on top.
“He (Cole) might be a little 106-pounder, but he has the biggest heart. He doesn’t care who he is wrestling.”
With just three seconds left, Cole got free for the dramatic 2-1 win.
“I’m so excited,” Cole said. “He just outmuscled me; he is so much bigger.”
Antler Dayton West grabbed a fourth-place finish at 113.