Phoenix staff reports
OKLAHOMA CITY — The much-anticipated state championship rematch won’t go off as planned, but Muskogee’s Jacobe Smith will be there nonetheless.
Smith, who lost in last year’s Class 6A finals to Michael Hamilton of Bartlesville when Smith intentionally allowed a one-point escape to go for a pin, decisioned Levi Berry of Norman North 5-2 to regain the finals Friday night at State Fair Arena.
Hamilton, however, was pinned in 5 minutes, 53 seconds against Zach Walton of Edmond North, who now becomes the obstacle between Smith and departing for Oklahoma State with a championship medal.
“I wanted redemption against (Hamilton) but I’ll just get it by showing up and winning,” said Smith.
It’ll be the second time he’s met Walton, who he beat at dual state 7-5.
“I really didn’t know anything about him and I was cramping up in that match, but then I saw him getting wins against others and I thought I might end up seeing him again,” Smith said.
And if necessary, he said he’ll pull the same risk he did in last year’s final.
“Whatever it takes. No regrets,” he said. “I feel confident on my feet so yeah, I’ll do it.”
Smith will have green company. Dawaylon Barnes moved on with a 2-1 tiebreaker decision against Austin Eades of Jenks at 152 and will face Paden Bailey of Broken Arrow, who won on a disqualification against McKale Washington of Moore and last week beat Barnes in the regional finals. James Buckhanan’s bid to make it three Roughers in the finals came up a match short when he was pinned by Stillwater’s Chandler Rogers in 1:00 at 170 pounds
It was Barnes’ third win against Eades — neither was as close in 6-1 and 5-1 decisions. Bailey and Barnes split last year and have only met once this year, that coming last week.
“We’ve looked at film this week and Dawaylon didn’t open up the way he can open up and wrestle,” MHS coach John Petty said. “I think you’ll see a different wrestler Saturday.”
Barnes thinks so. He said he and Smith have some things to discuss as they get a night’s rest.
“How it’s going to feel winning gold,” he said.
Smith started the day by pinning Isaiah Davis of Norman in 51 seconds. Barnes got a pin in 3:40 agianst Blake Bassham of Norman North.
Adonis Cole lost his heavyweight opener with a fall in 1:08 against Andrew Dixon of Edmond North. He recovered for a 6-2 consolation decision against Gage Johnson of Edmond North.
Tahlequah will have two in 5A title matches. Mitch Sellers will face Will Steltzlen of Collinsville at 145 pounds and Hestin Lamons gets Wyatt Jordan, also of Collinsville, at 152. Sellers decisioned Deer Creek’s Gavin Millhouse 2-0 and Kelvin Grubbs of Pryor 4-3 while Lamons scored an 11-1 major decision against Elisha Leonard of El Reno and a 6-0 win against Shawnee’s Matt Daniel.
In 3A, Hulbert’s Bryson McGowan scored a major decision (12-1) against Cameron Hanan to reach the finals at 220 against Braden Ruth of Davis, a 9-2 winner against Bo Montez of Perry.
In Class 4A, it was a tough semifinal round as all six area wrestlers lost. Fort Gibson’s Ryan Waltman at 113 and Zach Peterson at 170 lost to Tanner Litterell of Tuttle in 5:38 and Brandon Street of Vinita on a 4-1 decision, respectively.
Wagoner had four in the semifinals and all lost. Brad Boswell at 145, Tucker Hoffman at 152 and Derek Marshall at 285 all lost on decisions. Fischer Medlin exited in 1:06 on a pin at 160.