The Ketchikan Kings won their 11th consecutive Region V Division I Wrestling Championship on Saturday night, knocking off Thunder Mountain High School, 200-123, in meet that was closer than the score indicated.
As the only two teams in the tournament, the Falcons and Kings faced off in over half of the 13 finals matches.
The Region V Division II Wrestling Championships, a separate tournament for smaller schools in the region, was held simultaneously at TMHS and included 10 different teams. Mt. Edgecumbe High School — the largest team of anyone, including Ketchikan and Thunder Mountain — won the Division II crown over Craig and Wrangell.
School spirit, ice packs, takedowns … the @ASAA_org Region V Wrestling Championships have all of that. Here’s a snippet of small schools action this afternoon at @TmhsGo. Finals start at 5:30 p.m.! pic.twitter.com/LvShc0UFFX
— Empire Sports (@akempiresports) December 8, 2018
Sophomore Nate Houston (135) was the only Falcon to defeat a King in the finals, but freshman Kadin Messmer (103), junior Jahrease Mays (125) and sophomore Camden Erickson (189) all came very close. Messmer was pinned in the final 20 seconds, Mays lost by just one point and Erickson kept things interesting against a two-time region champ.
Joining Houston atop the podium for Thunder Mountain was junior Nick Tipton and senior Derek Mason. Tipton won the 171-pound title with a 4-2 decision over teammate Steven Ireland-Haight. Mason captured the 215-pound crown by pinning fellow Falcon Jake Ferster.
“As a whole, I think we wrestled really good,” TMHS coach Josh Houston said. “Not everything went our way like we would’ve like to, but that’s wrestling.”
Houston and some of the crowd thought Mays should’ve been awarded points for a takedown early in his match against Ketchikan’s Matthew Rodriguez. So when Rodriguez took the lead in the second period, much of the gym rallied behind Mays, cheering right up until the final whistle. Included in his cheering section was members of his family, which Mays said amped him up.
“I just really wanted to come out and put on a show for them, my family,” he said.
The Erickson-Brandon Wieber match also gradually increased in intensity as it wore on. Erickson said he tried to be the aggressor after an uneventful first two minutes.
“I started attacking more in the second and the period and got caught a couple times, cost me some points,” Erickson said.
“I felt like I gave it my all,” he added. “That’s how it goes.”
In the girls tournament, senior Orion Denny lost in the 125-pound finals to Mt. Edgecumbe’s Maysa Brown.
“I’m very proud of myself for going to state because this is the first time I’ve gotten above third place,” Denny said.
TMHS will send 10 athletes to the state tournament next weekend in Anchorage: Denny, Messmer, Mays, Tipton, Ireland-Haight, Erickson, Ricky Ramirez, Ezra Elisoff, Derek Mason and Jake Ferster. The top-two wrestlers in each weight class receive a state berth.
Region V Division I Championship Winners
103 — Degan Linne (Ketchikan), Fr. over Kadin Messmer (Thunder Mountain), Fr. (Fall 5:44)
112 — Kai Biagi (Ketchikan), Fr. over Ricky Ramirez (Thunder Mountain), Jr. (Fall 1:34)
119 — Patrick Rauwolf (Ketchikan), Sr. over Kolin Houthoofd (Ketchikan), Fr. (Dec 5-2)
125 — Matthew Rodriguez (Ketchikan), Sr. over Jahrease Mays (Thunder Mountain), Jr. (Dec 3-2)
130 — Charlie Blair (Ketchikan), So. over Brock Thomas (Ketchikan), Fr. (Dec 7-3)
130G — Maysa Brown (Mt. Edgecumbe), Fr. over Orion Denny (Thunder Mountain), Sr. (Fall 0:40)
135 — Nate Houston (Thunder Mountain), So. over Ben Tabb (Ketchikan), Fr. (Fall 3:13)
140 — Andy Collins (Ketchikan), So. over Kaleb Paddock (Thunder Mountain), Fr. (Fall 0:26)
145 — Brayden Linne (Ketchikan), Sr. over Owen Campbell (Ketchikan) 4-10, (Fall 0:49)
152 — Richard Stuart (Ketchikan), Sr. over Ezra Elisoff (Thunder Mountain), Fr. (Fall 3:52)
160 — Carson Cowan (Ketchikan), Fr. over Connor Ray (Ketchikan) (Fall 0:46).
171 — Nick Tipton (Thunder Mountain), Jr. over Steven Ireland-Haight (Thunder Mountain), Sr. (Dec. 4-2)
189 — Brandon Wieber (Ketchikan), Sr. over Camden Erickson (Thunder Mountain), So. (Dec. 9-3)
215 — Derek Mason (Thunder Mountain), Sr. over Jake Ferster (Thunder Mountain), So. (Fall 3:35)
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.