By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
CLAREMORE – Muskogee was seeing triple on Saturday.
The Edmond North junior triplets of Lance, Joel and Andrew Dixon were just too much for the Roughers as they teamed up to lead the Huskies to a 43-25 victory in the Class 6A dual state wrestling finals at Claremore High School.
The trio each recorded consecutive pins at 182, 195 and 220 pounds over Haden Kolmer, Cori Andrews and Adonis Cole, respectively, to take control of the match.
“They’re solid. We knew they were tough,” MHS coach Bobby Jefferson said. “Give them credit for winning. They’re a good team and outwrestled us tonight.”
It marks the fourth time in the last five years for the Roughers to reach the finals, including a state championship performance in 2010. But they're not wearing gold medals this year because of the triplets.
“They definitely changed the momentum,” Jefferson said.
The Roughers started out the match with the momentum as Dawaylon Barnes beat Trevor Pettyjohn by technical fall at 15-0 at 138 pounds.
“I was trying to get a pin. I had him on his back five times and couldn’t pin him,” Barnes said.
Other Muskogee wins by pin came from Jacobe Smith at 152 pounds, James Buckhanan (160) and Matt Acee (126). Xavier Taylor of the Roughers decisioned Cy Trindle of the Huskies 10-4 at 113 pounds.
“We started strong, but we lost a couple of matches and we also lost matches when we were up and that’s not supposed to happen at all,” Barnes said. “Those triplets are tough. I’ve known them for a long time. We wrestled on the same team this summer. I knew our guys had to battle, but they got caught.”
Muskogee made the finals by the slimmest of margins, nipping the Broken Arrow Tigers 28-27 in the semifinals.
Chase Soper put the Roughers in the finals by beating Brady Jones 3-2 at 126 pounds in the final match of the dual. The sophomore brother of MHS kicker Preston Soper was understandably nervous before the match with the Tigers’ freshman.
“I was thinking of what I was going to do,” Chase said. “I was thinking about my game plan. But once the match started, all of the nerves went away. I tried to focus.”
Soper normally wrestles at 120 pounds, but Jefferson changed his lineup. He had an idea it would come down to the last match.
“I told him, ‘This match is coming down to your hands,’ “ Jefferson said. “He understood and I wasn’t trying to put pressure on anybody.”
Broken Arrow coach Shawn Jones gave Soper props after the match.
“That was a pressure situation. My hat’s off to him,” he said. “They’re the same Muskogee they’ve always been. They’re tough. Our matches with them come down to what happened right there. They did a good job.”
Muskogee’s first win in the semifinals were by Xavion Taylor (106), Xavier Taylor, Barnes, Smith, J.T. Andrews (160), Buckhanan, Cori Andrews (195) and Nigel Harris (220).
Earlier, the Roughers beat Southmoore 34-31 in the quarterfinals. Wins there were by Acee, Barnes, Smith, J.T. Andrews, Buckhanan, Andrews, Elijah Pettey, Xavion Taylor and Xavier Taylor.
Wagoner beat Piedmont 34-17 in the quarterfinals and then lost 33-27 to Vinita in the semifinals. Vinita lost 43-10 to Tuttle in the finals.
“We just gave up bonus points to Vinita,” Wagoner coach Micco Charboneau said. “I’m proud of our effort. I don’t have any complaints about that.”
Bulldogs who won two matches included Travis Greer (113), Ryan Drake (138), Brad Boswell (145), Fisher Medlin (160), Roman Rodriguez (182), Derek Marshall (220).
Vinita’s Tyler Binns’ win at 126 ended the Bulldogs’ first appearance at dual state.
Vian beat Plainview 43-29 in the quarterfinals and lost 42-27 to Perry in the semifinals.
Senior Landon Decker had the win of the day when he decisioned Plainview’s Drake Martel 2-1 in triple overtime.
But the Wolverines came up short. Perry went on to win dual state for the 14th time, 13th since 1999 and fifth in a row, beating Newkirk in the final
“Perry has won all of those titles for a reason. They know how to win and wrestle,” coach Jason Adams said.
Adams’ wrestlers who won two matches included Jon Parks (126), Brett Vastine (132), Riley Simon (170), Rowdy Simon (182), Cale Mays (195) and Tre Locust (220).
The Wolverines were in the state tournament for the third straight year, losing to Perry in the 2011 finals and Comanche in the 2012 quarterfinals.
No area team competed in the 5A tournament which was won by Collinsville, 31-24 over Lawton MacArthur.