Sunday, February 11, 2018
A little change to the Big West Conference wrestling tournament schedule Friday didn't faze Springdale Har-Ber.
Coaches decided Friday evening to finish the tournament in one day instead of two because of the threat of wintry weather on Saturday.
At A Glance
Big West Conference Tournament
At Bulldog Arena, Fayetteville
Team Scores: 1, Springdale Har-Ber 266. 2, Bentonville 204. 3, Springdale High 149. 4, Bentonville West 130.5. 5, Fayetteville 128.5. 6, Rogers High 108.5. 7, Rogers Heritage 100.5. 8, Greenwood 98. 9, Russellville 91. 10, Fort Smith Southside 65.5. 11, Van Buren 63. 12, Fort Smith Northside 40.
106: 1, Thai Ta, Fort Smith Southside. 2, Isaac Ponce, Springdale High. 3, Charles Easterling, Bentonville West. 4, Josiah Scates, Bentonville High. 5, Kade Black, Rogers High.
113: Trevor Davis, Springdale Har-Ber. 2, J.C. White, Rogers Heritage. 3, Kotomai Tamangdad, Springdale High. 4, Blake Wolff, Bentonville High. 5, Marcelo Alonso, Russellville.
120: 1, Ty Moose, Greenwood. 2, Brandan Davis, Springdale Har-Ber. 3, Thoper Runny, Springdale High. 4, Mason Hayes, Van Buren. 5, Quinn Graves, Bentonville High.
126: 1, Obi Smith, Bentonville High. 2, Daryl Easterling, Bentonville West. 3, Alec Phechareun, Fort Smith Northside. 4, Mykha Hunter, Rogers High. 5, Josh French, Springdale Har-Ber.
132: 1, Stephen Fox, Bentonville West. 2, Colton Tuck, Greenwood. 3, Shawn Smith, Fort Smith Southside. 4, Nate Bland, Springdale Har-Ber. 5, Kadeyn Dixon, Rogers High.
138: 1, Jackson Nichols, Springdale Har-Ber. 2, Kapone Wise, Springdale High. 3, Dylan Wilson, Greenwood. 4, Gabe Holley, Bentonville High. 5, Justin Brown, Rogers Heritage.
145: 1, Logan Sloss, Russellville. 2, Jake Turner, Rogers High. 3, Max Salinas, Springdale Har-Ber. 4, Zane Sims, Bentonville High. 5, Sean Russell, Bentonville West.
152: 1, Brady Arroyos, Fayetteville. 2, Zach Snook, Russellville. 3, Christian Carney, Van Buren. 4, Alex Wilson, Springdale Har-Ber. 5, Christian Wise, Springdale High.
160: 1, Noland Joran, Springdale High. 2, Robbie Woody, Fayetteville. 3, Isaiah Yorba, Bentonville High. 4, Wes Rolfe, Springdale Har-Ber. 5, Isaac Johnson, Greenwood.
170: 1, Nathan Desler, Bentonville High. 2, Nathan Simowitz, Fayetteville. 3, Britton Bowman, Springdale Har-Ber. 4, Roland Joran, Springdale High. 5, Nathan Hahn, Rogers High.
182: 1, Matthew Muller, Fayetteville. 2, Ben Fears, Springdale Har-Ber. 3, Carsen Smith, Rogers High. 4, Ho’opono Doctorello, Bentonville West. 5, Christopher Smith, Fort Smith Southside.
195: 1, Logan Collins, Springdale Har-Ber. 2, Charlie March, Rogers Heritage. 3, Jeremiah Fry, Bentonville. 4, Jacob Mounce, Rogers High. 5, Cody Williamson, Fayetteville.
220: 1, DeAndrea Mendez, Rogers Heritage. 2, Alex Crowe, Bentonville High. 3, Quentin Reed, Springdale Har-Ber. 4, Marcus Tortorello, Fayetteville. 5, Randall Riley, Van Buren.
285: Alejandro Ramirez, Springdale Har-Ber. 2, Ethan Crowe, Bentonville High. 3, Gunner Coppinger, Bentonville West. 4, Edwin Sandoval, Rogers Heritage. 5, Daniel Bost, Van Buren.
Outstanding Wrestlers: Light weights: Thai Ta, Fort Smith Southside. Middle weights: Logan Sloss, Russellville. Heavy weights: DeAndrea Mendez, Rogers Heritage.
That didn't bother the Wildcats, who captured the team title with 266 points and easily outdistanced second-place Bentonville High's 204 as action finished near midnight in Fayetteville's Bulldog Arena.
"We had a good day overall," Har-Ber coach Eric Nolan said. "It wasn't what we thought it was going to be, but ended up working out pretty well. There was a lot of competitive wrestling and a nice preview for the state tournament."
Har-Ber put six wrestlers in the finals, while 13 of 14 Wildcats placed in the top five. Trevor Davis (113), Jackson Nichols (138), Logan Collins (195) and Alejandro Ramirez (285) each won their individual weight class. The Wildcats will enter next week's Class 6A-7A state tournament in Little Rock with momentum as they also claimed the Class 6A-7A Dual State title last weekend.
Nolan credited Davis, Nichols and Collins with great efforts, notching pins in the finals. But others like Brendan Davis fought back after a tough loss to get third, which could be huge in next week's state tournament, Nolan said.
"To me, it's always impressive to get a pin in the finals," Nolan said. "The conference is tough. Sometimes taking a loss a week out wakes you up or brings you back to earth. I thought we had a pretty good day. At the end of the day, we know we have to continue to get better next week."
Coaches agreed the decision to finish the tournament Friday was a good one.
"I was definitely OK with the decision," Nolan said. "We're so close, but for teams like Greenwood or Russellville that have to travel, that's who we need to be thinking about. Taking the safe road is probably smart."
Bentonville coach James Rappe said the tournament was exciting and making it a one-day event permanently is better overall.
"I think it was a fun tournament," Rappe said. "I like the fact the wrestlers aren't waiting around. It was a really good atmosphere. Coach (Nika) West did a good job. It was one of the better tournaments I've been to since I've been here. The way it shook out ultimate, was better for everybody."
"I think we wrestled well. The matches we lost to quality opponents were very close. I think it will be closer next weekend."
Senior Nathan Desler (170) and sophomore Obi Smith (126) each won an individual title for Bentonville. Desler got pinned by Har-Ber's Britton Bowman in Dual State finals, but bounced back strong this week, Rappe said.
Coaches agreed the state tournament, which begins Friday in Little Rock, should be interesting as several teams were missing key wrestlers such as defending state champions Cash Jones of Bentonville, Chance McCrary of Rogers Heritage or Logan Walton of Springdale High from the conference tournament because of nagging injuries or illness.
Those wrestlers are expected to be ready for the state tournament. Since there is no qualifier for the state tournament, it allows coaches to rest individuals for the state tournament, Bentonville West coach Aaron Wise said.
"The reality is they didn't have to wrestle and they decided it was the best thing for them," Wise said. "Now, they can get them as healthy as they can be going into the state tournament."
Fort Smith Southside's Thai Ta, Russellville's Logan Sloss and Rogers Heritage's DeAndrea Mendez were named outstanding wrestlers in the tournament.
Ta (30-4) edged Springdale High's Isaac Ponce 4-3 to win the 106-pound title. Ponce was the 6A-7A state runner-up last year. Sloss (37-1), the state runner-up at 145 last year, handed Rogers High's Jake Turner (24-1) his first loss of the season in the finals with a first-period pin. Turner is the defending 6A-7A state champion at 138.
Mendez, the state runner-up at 285, edged Alex Crowe of Bentonville 4-3 to win the conference title at 220.
Sports on 02/11/2018
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