The Duncan Banner

January 14, 2014

Geary tough task for Demons

Bob Morris
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Between tough draws and a few mistakes, the six Duncan athletes who wrestled the Geary tournament last Friday and Saturday failed to place.

Although the Geary tournament, in its 70th year, traditionally draws the best wrestlers in the state, Demon coach Kevin Kelly said the combination of draws and performance worked against his team.

“I knew we’d have our hands full and it would be tough to place,” Kelly said. “But it was a combination of a couple of bad draws and a couple of kids who didn’t wrestle good.”

Sophomores Hunter Kelly and Tyler Hicks drew tough opponents immediately. Hunter, at 145 pounds, opened against Hayden Hansen of Norman North, a Class 6A state runnerup last year, and lost 17-4. Hunter then won two matches in the consolation bracket, but met up with Hansen again, lost 11-2 and did not place.

Hicks, at 138, opened against Shay Connelly of Broken Arrow, who previously reached the Class 6A state finals. After losing 13-4 to Connelly, Hicks won his first consolation match, but his run ended after a 9-1 loss to Tanner Johnson of Tuttle.

Senior Jett Gray, at 120 pounds, competed in what coach Kelly called the toughest overall bracket. He went 2-2 but failed to place.

“Seven of the kids in his bracket were state champions or state placers,” Kelly said. “Jett didn’t wrestle as good as he could have. You are going to have days like that, but with tough competition, you’ve got to be on.”

Coach Kelly said he had expected a better performance from senior Connor Kelly at 152 pounds. Connor received a good draw and the Demon coach believed he was in good position to reach the finals. But when Connor faced Blake Bassham of Norman North, he made a mistake while leading the match. Coach Kelly said that Connor had an opportunity for a takedown to secure a 5-1 lead, but tried to roll through, and was caught on his back and pinned.

Connor won his first consolation bracket match, but then made a similar mistake in his next bout against Evan Wilson of Midwest City and lost by fall.

“Connor beat himself in two matches,” coach Kelly said. “Looking at his bracket, he had a good shot at getting to the finals. It was really frustrating because he is better than that.”

Jimmy Mejia lost two close matches at 195 pounds, while Jonathan Gomez went 1-2 at 220 pounds.

Coach Kelly said he and his  Sunday, the wrestlers watched film of their matches  to learn from the mistakes they made. Their next match, a dual at Altus Thursday.

“We will be in a dogfight. It will be a close dual,” the coach said.

From there, the Demons will head to the Carl Albert tournament Friday and Saturday in Midwest City, where the Demons will see most of the teams it will face in regional competition next month.