Mariners grab second at Peninsula Duals
The Homer High School wrestling team turned in another solid outing this past weekend by working its way to a second-place finish in the team standings at the 2017 Peninsula Duals in Nikiski. The Mariners won four of the six duals they competed in during the tournament - with both losses coming to Colony, the top-ranked Class 4A program in the state.
Homer opened up the weekend by grabbing a 47-24 victory over Grace Christian. The Mariners' victory was highlighted by a stellar performance from freshman Josh Bradshaw in the 145-pound weight classification. Armed with his ability to score a few cross-face cradles, he wrestled his way to an 11-0 victory over Todd Knell.
One of the bigger matches in the opening dual was a showdown between a pair of defending state champions in Tristen Cook and Evan Bockman. Meeting in a 182-pound battle, Bockman managed to score a 9-2 decision.
Homer faced off with Colony on Friday evening. Colony won three of the five matches held and claimed the win.
Cook rallied back from his earlier loss against Colony, defeating Caleb Hopkins, a state qualifier last year, by a 5-1 margin. The Mariners' win came from Luciano Fasulo in the 132-pound division. Fasulo beat Sam Sisco by a 7-2 clip.
Seth Inama, Wayne Newman and Chris Cudaback all did well in their bouts. All three were within a few points of their top-ranked opponents.
Homer stormed back from the loss against Colony in grand fashion. Despite giving up almost 30 points to forfeits, the Mariners won their third-round matchup against Soldotna by a 39-31 margin.
On Saturday, Homer opened the championship bracket with a showdown against third-ranked Barrow. The Mariners, spared by stellar outings from Levi King and Kyle Wells, defeated Barrow, 52-18.
King, competing in the 195-pound division, came away with a huge victory. He avenged an earlier loss to Barrow's Sione Tuifua with a rousing victory. Tuifua, a senior, took a shot on King, who stepped over a double-leg attack and quickly put Tuifua on his back. Once on top, King proved to be too strong.
Wells defeated Ben Heather, the state's second-ranked wrestler in the 220-pound weight classification, by a 5-3 score. Wells built a 5-0 lead before giving up a late escape and takedown to Heather.
McKenzie Cook and Alex Moseley also did well for the Mariners. Cook beat two girls over the weekend in the 152-pound class, including a fall against Eve Nevoganna of Barrow. Moseley won four matches in the 120-pound ranks.
Mariah Grimes won two matches against girls from Kenai in the 160-pound division.
With the win over Barrow, Homer advanced to face Colony's No. 2 in the semifinals. Despite giving Colony 24 points. The Mariners claimed a thrilling 43-37 win.
Mose Hayes, who won all five of his matches over the weekend, gave the M's huge wins against the Knights. In his bout with Colony's second team, he claimed a 13-0 win over Dylan Holmes. Later in the Mariners' showdown with the Knights in the championship dual, he earned a tough 2-1 win over Brice Lestenkof-Chapman. In the finals, Hayes scored a reversal with about 20 seconds left to complete the come-from-behind win.
In the finals, Colony took advantage of almost 30 forfeit points from the Mariners to claim a 53-18 decision.
Despite the loss, Wayne Newman starred on the mat.. He took Colony's Rush Fannon to overtime before giving up a takedown.
Homer will travel to the Lancer Smith Memorial Tournament in Wasilla this weekend.