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The Duncan High School wrestling team entered the Carl Albert Tournament ready to see just where it stood as it took on a field of 23 teams, many of which were region opponents.
The Demons still didn’t get to really see how they stacked up thanks to a run-in with the flu, but they managed to nab fourth at the Carl Albert/Malcolm Wade Invitational over the weekend.
“I feel pretty good, especially not having a full lineup,” Duncan coach Kevin Kelly said. “If we had everybody, we would have been easily second. But still, I’m not happy with second or fourth.”
Markwae Sanders continued his strong season by following up his Geary Tournament title with the 113-pound title at Carl Albert. Making it even more impressive was that Sanders didn’t give up a single point in four matches.
Also claiming a first-place finish for Duncan was Connor Kelly, who won his first to matches on pins, rolled through the semifinals and pulled off a 3-2 victory over reigning state champion Bryan Dutton of Guthrie for the 145-pound title. Kelly was named the Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.
“Connor wrestled pretty good,” said his dad and coach. “He’s got the ability to beat everybody he wrestles, but sometimes he gets in his own way and he tries too much. ... In the finals he wrestled pretty smart.”
Christian Carnahan finished second at 152 pounds, falling to top-ranked Cameron Loving of Altus in overtime.
Cameron McGill (220 pounds) and Hunter Kelly (132) both finished third, while Jett Gray (120) was fourth and Brandon Williams (170) was fifth.
The Demons were without Marcus Stewart, who took second at the Geary Tournament at 195 pounds before getting the flu. Austin Drake tried to wrestle through the illness, but struggled, throwing up in his first match and going 0-2.
“The good news with this flu deal is that it only seems to last a few days,” said Kelly, whose squad has been shorthanded by injuries all season. “I’m getting a couple of kids back on the mat for the first time today and in a couple of weeks, I hope to have everybody out there.”