Twins Keegan and Zachary Moore of Putnam City picked up two wins on Friday to advance to the state finals in Class 6A, but did so in very different fashion.
Keegan defeated Broken Arrow’s Zack Edwards, 4-3 in overtime at 132 pounds, in one of the most dramatic semifinal matches of the night.
Moments later, on the same mat, Zachary was awarded a win at 138 pounds after an illegal slam by Broken Arrow’s Shea Conley left him too injured to continue wrestling.
“In my match, I felt like I should’ve pushed the pace more,” Keegan said. “It wasn’t what I was looking for, but I’m happy to be going back to the finals.”
Keegan, a state champion last season, said the two have been focusing all season on winning state titles together. However, with what was initially believed to be a concussion, Zachary’s status for Saturday night’s state finals is up in the air.
“We’ve been focusing on getting this done at back-to-back weights together,” Keegan said. “And then to see him get hurt was tough. We’re both in the finals, but I’m definitely not as excited as I should be because I don’t know if he can wrestle tomorrow. I’m feeling his pain, too.”
HERITAGE HALL’S GFELLER STAYS UNBEATEN
Heritage Hall’s Kaden Gfeller advanced to the Class 3A finals at 106 pounds in impressive fashion.
The freshman earned a pin in the first round over Blackwell’s Stetson Baker and a 15-3 major decision over Brian Brown of Newkirk in the semifinals.
“I felt really good today,” Gfeller said. “I had to focus on keeping my weight down a little bit since I’ve still got to make weight tomorrow, but overall I felt great.”
Gfeller improved his record to 27-0 and will face Perry’s Cale Betchan in the finals on Saturday night.
“My goal the whole year has been to just win state and now I’m right there,” Gfeller said. “But if I can finish it off being undefeated as well, that’d be great. I feel good about the matchup I have tomorrow.”
CHANDLER CONCLUDES BIG DAY WITH FOUR FINALISTS
The Chandler wrestling team wrapped up an impressive first day at the state tournament by winning all seven of its matches during the second session on Friday.
Three of the wins came in the consolation round before Tanner Wall (138 pounds), Cody Ryan (145 pounds), Heath Gray (170 pounds), and Darian Mixon (182 pounds) won semifinal matches to help the Lions score 671/2 team points. They’ll enter Saturday in second in Class 3A behind Perry’s 78 points.
“We came in and met what we needed to do today,” said Chandler coach Mike Ryan. “We had a perfect session in the state tournament tonight and it doesn’t get much better than that. Our kids are peaking at the right time.”
STILLWATER SENDS SIX TO FINALS, LEADS 6A
Stillwater took the early upper hand in what is expected to be a tight team race with Edmond North and Broken Arrow in Class 6A.
The Pioneers had six wrestlers advance to the finals and piled 107 points to finish Friday just ahead of Edmond North’s 1041/2 points. Broken Arrow is third with 73 points.
Senior Chandler Rogers (170 pounds) advanced to the finals for Stillwater with two first-period pins on Friday. Rogers, who won three state titles in Washington, will be looking for his fourth title against Lawton’s Taylor Wattenbarger on Saturday night.
FOURTH TITLE ONE WIN AWAY FOR COLLINSVILLE PAIR
Collinsville seniors Gary Wayne Harding (138 pounds) and Will Steltlzen (145 pounds) both advanced to the finals in Class 5A where they’ll be looking to become four-time state champions on Saturday night.
Harding and Steltlzen were two of seven finalists for the Cardinals, who lead the Class 5A team race with 118 points. Lawton MacArthur is second with 76 points.
Also advancing to the finals for Collinsville was Nate Keim (106 pounds), Christian Moody (113 pounds), Jacob Findley (120 pounds), Dakotah McGarrah (132 pounds), and Wyatt Jordan (152 pounds).