Ready to Rumble: Boys 160

Baldwn's Thomas Stevenson battled 'Iolani's KJ Pascua back in December at 152 pounds. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Baldwn’s Thomas Stevenson battled ‘Iolani’s KJ Pascua back in December at 152 pounds. Photo by Jamm Aquino/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
Stevenson def. Kikuyama, 6-2
Lelesch def. Anderson, 14-3
Slavens def. Ochoa, 14-8
Jones def. Figueroa, 4-2
Mussell def. Horiuchi, 6-3
Murray def. Mamone, 3:43
Kahookaulana def. Acosta, 10-9
Salangdron def. Meyer, 2:50

SECOND ROUND
Stevenson def. Lelesch, technical fall, 16-1
Slavens def. Jones, 14-4
Mussell def. Murray, 3:10
Salangdron def. Kahookaulana, 3:47

Thomas Stevenson, Baldwin
vs.
Kasey Kikuyama, Pearl City

Isaac Anderson, ‘Iolani
vs.
Gabriel LeLesch, Kailua

Stevenson might be the biggest winner in Corbett’s move to 152, he is a two-time state placer and made the final last year but got shut out by Pascua in the final. The 3-time MIL champ was expected to meet Pascua again but now his path gets a lot easier. He won the Garner Ivey and traveled to Oahu to lose to Pascua again in the final at Officials and then made his move up and owned the MIL there. Kikuyama is no slouch in the first round, he has never placed in states but he was fourth at the MIT and has been a contender in the division behind Corbett but lost two close matches last week to take sixth in the OIA. Lelesch, the OIA East champ, was one of those who beat Kikuyama last week, 6-4 before falling to Salagdron in the final. Anderson is an unknown and it would be a surprise if he can get out of this quad, but he will be fighting for team points.

—————————————-

Cullen Slavens, Kamehameha
vs.
Daniel Ochoa, McKinley

Keith Jones II, Kaiser
vs.
Brendan Figueroa, KS-Hawaii

Slavens has been at 160 since Officials, where he took third after a loss to Naosusuga. it is fitting that Slavens and Stevenson are on the same side of the bracket, because Stevenson knocked Slavens out of the winner’s bracket with a decisive 12-3 win last year but the Warrior fought back to take third. A rematch could be the highlight of the semifinals. But first he has to get past Ochoa, who didn’t place anywhere in the preseason but won some round robins before taking third in the East and then third in the OIA championships last week including a pin of Jones, who finished ahead of him at Easterns. Jones took fifth at Officials. Figueroa was 0-2 at states last year, but avoided getting pinned.

—————————————-

Lincoln Mussell, Hawaii Baptist
vs.
Paxton Horiuchi, Mililani

Sergio Mamone, Hilo
vs.
Aaron Murray, KS-Maui

Mussell seemed to improve every week and capped it off with an ILH title over Slavens. He started the year fifth at the MIT in the gauntlet at 170 pounds and improved to fourth at Officials behind tough customers Troy Waki, Connor Villarmia and Micah Arakawa. He won a round robin at 170 in the beginning to January before dropping down and stealing his first ILH crown. Mussell went 1-2 at states last year, but his losses were close. Horiuchi has been at 160 the whole time and took sixth at Officials. He took fourth at last week’s OIAs and the wrestlers who bet him (Jones, Ochoa) are both on the other side of the bracket. Murray and Mamone didn’t place in preseason tournaments, Murray might have the edge in this neighbor island clash because he went 1-2 at states last year while Mamone is new to the game.

—————————————-

Maiaku Kahookaulana,, Keaau
vs.
Athens Acosta, Waimea

Liam Meyer, Pacific Buddhist Academy
vs.
Rodman Salangdron, Kapolei

Salangdron is the bull of this quad, taking fifth at state last year after grabbing his first OIA title. He repeated in league but would like to improve upon his state standing. He started the year at 152 and took second at MIT behind Stevenson and was setup for a rematch at Officials but he forfeited out of it. He stayed at 152 for another couple of weeks before setting into 160 and grabbing another OIA championship and doing so as the top seed. He faces Mayer in the first round, who will be looking to become PBA’s first male state placer. Salangdron is the only wrestler with state experience in this group, he lost two close matches last year before beating Pearl City’s Trevor Alvarado for fifth.

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