Ready to Rumble: Boys 138

Waianae's Sheldon Bailey defeated Pearl City's Baylen Cooper at the OIA championships. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Waianae’s Sheldon Bailey defeated Pearl City’s Baylen Cooper at the OIA championships. Photo by Bruce Asato/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
Bailey def. Wahl, 17-2
Key Byrd def. Ballesteros, 5-2
Mimura def. Perono, 2:55
Mair def. Nakamura, 1:29
Inovejas def. Angelo, 5:25
Cooper def. Fatiaki, 2:56
Tampos def. Matsuura, 2:58
Takenaka def. Basto, 11-3

QUARTERFINALS
Bailey def. Key Byrd
Mimura def. Mair, 9-4
Cooper def. Inovejas, 9-7
Tampos def. Takenaka, 8-4

Sheldon Bailey, Waianae
vs.
Adonis Basto, Moanalua

Jayden Key Byrd, Kamehameha
vs.
Jake Ballesteros, Lanai

Bailey earned the top seed easily even though he finished third to Takenaka’s second last year because he won both Officials and MIT before taking his second OIA title. Basto took third at MIT and scratched his way through the OIA championships which puts him against the big dog in the kennel. Key Byrd is one of four state placers at this weight class, taking sixth last year but he hurt his seeding this year with a fifth place at Officials. Still, he probably has the edge over Ballesteros, who was fifth at MIT in his only preseason action and wrestled at 132 for most of the season.

———————

Raffy Perono, Kapaa
vs.
Alex Mimura, Mid-Pacific

Nicholas Mair
, Kaiser
vs.
Talan Nakamura, KS-Hawaii

Mimura is the only state placer in this quad, taking sixth last year. But he seemed to be pretty busy over the summer, jumping into the fray with a runner-up finish at Officials, including a win over Takenaka. He failed to score against Bailey in that championship match but only allowed three points. That means it is probably an uphill battle for Perono. Mair didn’t jump into the scene until January, but he has a round robin win to his credit and wears the mantle of OIA East champion and pushed Bailey at the OIA championship before losing 3-0. He should provide a pretty good challenge to Nakamura, the BIIF champion.

———————–

Justin Inovejas, Lahainaluna
vs.
Royce Angelo, Pac-Five

Izik Nakamasu, Hilo
vs.
Baylen Cooper, Pearl City

There are no state placers here, but there are plenty of state placers in waiting. Inovejas is a three-time MIL champ but usually finds his trouble in the second round after taking out a neighbor island foe. He wrestled at 145 for most of the season and took the big trophy at Officials after a disappointing third at the Garner Ivey in his home gym. He pinned four out of five opponents at Officials, with only Mair able to go the distance. The toughest kid he beat there was Campbell’s Josh Gallarde, which might give him some hope in a second round match against Cooper. Cooper failed to place at states last year, but has been on the verge of elite this season. He won the Garner Ivey but slipped to third at Officials. Cooper is another in the long line of guys who wrestle Bailey close, losing to him by a single point. He did come back to beat Takenaka for third place, though. Nakamatsu did not travel in the preseason and found himself in a very tough quad.

———————-

P.J. Matsuura, Waiakea
vs.
Kaimana Tampos, Waipahu

Keone Fatiaki, Castle
vs.
Kaysen Takenaka, Iolani

Takenaka was the darling of last year’s state tournament, pulling off upset after upset to reach the state final before having his bubble burst by Kaiser’s Chance Ikei. He dropped to fourth at Officials this year, though, losing decisions to Mimura and Cooper. He avenged the loss to his ILH rival to win his first league crown, and was seeded second over Inovejas for his success last year. Fatiaki, Tampos and Matsuura all failed to do anything until January, making Takenaka’s run to the semis look easy. But he should know more than anyone not to overlook anyone, plenty of wrestlers overlooked him last year and he took advantage of it.

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