Ready to Rumble: Boys 120

'Iolani's Jake Nakasone watched the clock while Pac-Five's Josh Matsumoto tried to escape in a match last month. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
‘Iolani’s Jake Nakasone watched the clock while Pac-Five’s Josh Matsumoto tried to escape in a match last month. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

The 2016 Chevron Hawaii/HHSAA State Wrestling Championships begin Friday. To get you ready, we will preview the matchups in each weight class for both boys and girls.

FIRST ROUND
Nakasone def. Freitas, 15-5
Santiago def. Kalama, 1:16
Esperanza def. Feliciano, 2:47
Pagurayan def. Mizota, 22-7
Pang def. Jose, 15-5
Tavares def. Cabanban, 3-1
Stefanelli def. Morisato, 7-4
Estrella def. Aceret, 3:52

SECOND ROUND
Nakasone def. Santiago, 0:49
J. Pagurayan def. Esperanza, technical fall 16-1
Tavares def. Pang, 5-4
Estrella def. Stefanelli, 9-3

Nice bracket here with a lot of experience. The top seems set with Nakasone vs. Pagurayan but the bottom is a little more muddled.

Jake Nakasone, Iolani
vs.
Charles Freitas, Pearl City

Aukahi Kalama, Kailua
vs.
Raulin Santiago, Pahoa

Nakasone is going for his fourth state placing and is a two-time ILH champ so you know he can scrap. He earned the top seed with a win over Estrella at Officials, pinning him in the first period. Freitas traveled to Maui for the Garner Ivey and took an impressive second. Freitas can certainly score, putting up 16 points in a win over Jordan Lacar and 10 in a loss to Pagurayan last week. Kalama and Santiago are complete unknowns, Kauai has never had a state placer and Pahoa hasn’t had one since Keenan Cohen in 2008.

———————————

Gabriel Esperanza, Baldwin
vs.
Edevni Feliciano, Keaau

Kerry Mizota, Mid-Pacific\
vs.
Jayson Pagurayan, Kapolei

Pagurayan is up from 106 pounds from last year, where he made the state final but lost to Corey Cabanban under the bright lights. He has already placed at states twice and has three OIA titles so the judo specialist has to be considered the favorite in this quad but MIzota is battle hardened in a league that features Nakasone and Cabanban. Neither Esperanza nor Feliciano have placed in states before. Not sure how Pang got seeded over Pagurayan, but Pagurayan was going to have to face Nakasone sooner or later.

—————————————

Kolton Pang, Hilo
vs.
Jhael Jose, Leilehua

Christian Tavares, Radford
vs.
Cody Cabanban, Saint Louis

Cabanban is hungry after making the state final in 2014 and defaulting out of his first round match last year and forfeiting the rest. He took fourth at Officials where he suffered even more misfortune, forfeiting out of the third place match against Pagurayan. This is a rematch from Officials, where Cabanban beat Tavares 12-7 before the Ram had to pull out with his own injury woes. Jose beat Mililani’s Elijah Diamond in a close match last week before being stuck by Pagurayan. Pang is the mystery here, but he is the BIIF champion, so he has that going for him.

——————————————

Draten Morisato, Kalani
vs.
Nick Stefanella, Punahou

Brandon Aceret, Waialua
vs.
Kainalu Estrella, Lahainaluna

Morisato and Estrella both took third at states last year and are league champions, Etrella a repeater. This weight class is a bloodbath, the difference between the two favorites in this quad is Estrella’s march to the final at Officials while Morisato fell to sixth after pulling out of his last match against Cabanban. Morisato and Estrella were supposed to meet at Officials but Morisato defaulted. He was back on the mat in January and made the OIA final last week to take second after being shut out by Pagurayan. Stefanelli has been a step behind in the loaded ILH this year. Estrella is the reigning Garner Ivery champ, with Freitas his biggest competition there.

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