A lot of upsets here this year, particularly among the boys in the higher weights with both Dayton Furuta of Mililani and Tia Toese of Campbell failing to make the finals. Every top seed from 106 to 170 made it into the finals for the boys, but each of the top seeds at 182, 195, 220 and 285 lost before the championship.
The girls had five top seeds fall out, but those brackets seemed to be more wide open than the boys. The only true stars, Teshya Alo and Harmony Pacheco of Kamehameha and Jocelyn Tabion on Kapolei defended their top seeds with ease. Alo won her only match in 14 seconds over Marsha Gorianov of Mililani.
Going into the final, Lahainaluna’s boys lead the team standings by one point over Pearl City with Campbell in third 9.5 points behind. Kamehameha leads the girls standings by 10 points over Campbell and 26 over Leilehua.
The finals are going to begin with heavyweight boys and go backwards. The girls will start at 98 and work their way up. You might have to jump around to see the results, I will try to keep up.
Jayson Pagurayan (Kapolei) vs. Cameron Kato (Punahou)
Pagurayan, the top seed, got to the final with two pins, a technical fall and a 4-1 decision. Kato destroyed second seed Shazer Valeriano of Campbell 13-1 in the quarters. Is Punahou back? This is our first chance to find out as Kato runs out to a 2-0 lead. Pagurayan scores on an escape a the end of the first, 2-1 Kato. Punahou atacks immediately in the second, goes up 4-1. This kid looks good, he is totally in control so far. Just as I type that, Pagurayan escapes and ties it 4-4 with 30 seconds left in the second. But Kato grabs 2 more 10 seconds later and kapolei ties it again. Going to the third with Kato up 7-6. Kapolei starts down and works an escape in eight seconds, tied at 7. Pagurayan is clearly the aggressor, coaches have to like that. His energy works in his favor, he gets an escape with about 15 seconds left and wins 8-7.
Blaysen Terukina (Kamehameha) vs. Jordan Ng (‘Iolani)
This should be a good one. Terukina went unchallenged in his two matches and Ng won three close ones. Terukina collects two points in the first minute but Ng battles back, Terukina 2-1 with 30 seconds left in the first. Referee calls a stoppage for blood and both wrestlers sprint to the doctor to get it resolved so that can get back at it. They both seem to think they have the momentum, but its lost as trainers work on Terukina’s eye. terukina chooses down to begin the second and takes a 4-2 lead. Terukina with two more, 6-2 lead with 49 seconds left in the second. Ng escape makes it 6-3 at the end of two. Both wrestlers seem wary of each other in the third, like they dont want to show too much. Ng shoots hard with three seconds left, but Terukina swallows it. Terukina wins 6-4, these guys are going to put on a show all year.
Christian Balagso (Lahainaluna) vs. Josten Sairbay (King Kekaulike)
The gym grows silent as these two stay on their feet in the first and the matches on other mats are stopped for injuries. The first period ends scoreless. The Oahu crowd is so busy watching Isaac Diamond in the third-place match that nobody seems to care about the championship. Balagso takes a 2-1 lead and is going for more but Sairbay survives. Going to the third, the Luna is up 2-1. Sairbay works an escape 20 seconds in, 2-2. Balgso with 2 points, leads 4-2 with 30 seconds left. Sairbay had one chance to escape with seven seconds left but Balagso snuffs it and wins.
Alex Ursua (Pearl City) vs. Dillon Quitugua (Campbell)
Ursua attacks at the whistle and grabs a quick 2-0 lead. He grows it to 4-1 then 6-2, he seems to be pausing just to consider how to finish him. He’s got to get hand control first, though. First period ends 6-2.Ursua doesn’t mind giving up points, he give up and escape but leads 6-3. It pays off, he gets two back. 8-3 with 45 seconds left in the second. The second period ends with Ursua up 10-4. Ursua runs it to 12-4, but gives up one to make it 12-5. He’s up 14-5 and in control with a minute left. Ursua wins 16-6, he never tried for the pin.
Josh Terao (Pac-Five) vs. Zackary Diamond (Mililani)
Terao’s bracket is a wasteland, the only wrestler who dares challenge the 3-time state champ seems to be Diamond. Diamond loses his head gear immediately and finds himself down 2-0 after 10 seconds. Terao trying to funky moves, but Diamond is hanging with him, he is probably used to being the underdog since he was a small boy wrestling his brothers in the living room. Terao only up 2-0 after one period. Terao picks up two more at the beginning of the second, and gives Diamond an escape. 6-1, Terao. Terao catches Diamond in a cradle and the referee signals pin, I thought Diamond was arched enough.
Braydon Akeo (Mililani) vs. Joshua Crimmins (Punahou)
Akeo starts out 2-0 but the other ref waves it off. Crimmons would be recognized as one of the best wrestlers in the state had he run from Terao last year, but he refused to. Akeo is still the favorite, and runs out to a 6-2 lead after one period. Akeo with two more, 8-2. He gives Crimmins an escape, 8-3. Akeo is toying with him, 10-3 after he pulls him back into the ring by his ankle. Crimmins escapes to make it 10-5, at least he isn’t quitting. Akeo wins 16-7 and establishes superiority in the weight class.
Liam Corbett (Radford) vs. Keith Correa (Kamehameha)
Nothing doing in the first, 0-0. Corbett finally catches Correa midway through the second with a cradle.
Bubba Jaramillo (Lahainaluna) vs. Jacob Solomon (Kalaheo)
Jaramillo is a state favorite, and this is a rare opportunity for Oahu fans to get to see him. How he looks here is important come seeding time, but he starts out down 2-0 and getting controlled. He gets one back at the end of the first. Going to the second. Bubba is getting worked, 5-1 with 1:29 left in the second. He is coming alive, 5-2 with 32 seconds left in the second. Jaramillo closes the second on fire, down 5-4. He had him set up when the buzzer sounded. Solomon with a quick escape, but Bubba comes back to tie it at 5. Solomon drives him out with 24 seconds left, he leads 7-5. What does Bubba have? Bubba escapes once to make it 7-6, then loses his headgear as he escapes the second time with four seconds left but doesnt get the points. Solomon gets the upset.
Blake Cooper (Pearl City) vs. Troy Williams (Castle)
Copoper’s state title repeat begins now, unless Williams has a trick up his sleeve. Cooper up 2-0 immediately. Cooper took him down three times in a row then had him pinned but Williams was saved by the bell. 5-0, going to the second. Copper goes up 8-0 and sticks williams eight seconds short of 3 minutes.
Jonah Hoshino (Kamehameha) vs. Rodney Williams (Castle)
These guys are both on the attack, they keep bumping heads trying to shoot on each other at the same time. For as much action as there was, tied at 0-0 when we get some blood time with one second left in the first period. Williams tossing Hoshino around a little bit in the second, but Hoshino scores an escape. Hoshino 1, Williams 0. Williams takes the lead 2-1 when we have another stoppage with 11 seconds left in the second. Williams with a reverse to begin the third, he is up 4-1. Hoshino escape, 4-2, 1:10 left. And that is how it ends, Williams 4, Hoshino 2.
Maui Lii Lee (Pearl City) vs. William Domen (Waianae)
This is where the upsets started, the top seed is wrestling for fifth place. The guy who upset him is wrestling for third. Lee manages a quick reversal for a 2-0 lead at the end of one period. That might be enough in this defensive battle. Domen rallies for one, 2-1 with 1:35 left in the second. Lee went for a risky front headlock but Domen reversed him, the second ends with Lee up 5-3 after he gets one back.Lee adds to it with a reverse and comes oh-so-close to a pin, up 7-3 with 1:18 left. And Lee finally gets the pin.
Russell Laros (Hawaii Prep) vs. Paul Joe (Pearl City)
The final boys match of the night, these finals took a long time. Laros on the board first with two points. Joe wants to play defense but Laros wont shoot because he has the lead. And the first period ends 2-1 in Laros’ favor. Laros with an escape, 3-1 after two periods. JOe begins the third with an escape, he’s down 3-2. Joe throws Laros to the mat with 21 seconds left, but he doesn’t get the points and loses 3-2. His corner is not happy with the outcome.
Johnny Morrison (Campbell) vs. Conrad Bolor (Lahainaluna)
These guys are the first up, They spend the first minute on their feet with no action. Conrad finally shoots with 30 seconds left in the first, but no points. Bolor with two points at the buzzer to end the first period. Morrison controlling the second, Bolor can’t get up but Morrison can’t score. Bolor escapes at :30 in the second, leading 3-0. Going to the third period, Morrison needs to make something happen from the down position. And he does, collecting two points immediately. 3-2 Bolor. Morrison ties it with 1:24 left. Going to overtime. Bolor chases Williams out of the ring but no points. Williams comes back with a takedown on the edge for the 5-3 win.
Keenan Greenbaum (Hawaii Prep) vs. Connor Mowat (Lahainaluna)
Greenbaum with a hard takedown 20 seconds in, but Mowat escapes the headlock. 4-1, Greenbaum. It is a sumo match after that, Mowat starts the second period in the down position and collects a quick point. 5-1, Greenbaum. No other action in the second, going to the third 5-1. Mowat narrows it to 5-4 with a minute left on an escape and takedown. Greenaum reponds with a point, 6-4, 46 seconds left. MOwat shoots hard with 20 seconds left but Greenbaum snuffs it out. Greenbaum wins 6-4, two close losses in two matches for the Lunas.
Maia Phanthadara (Roosevelt) vs. Brandi Yoshida (Campbell)
Pahnthadara starts with a takedown within two seconds for a 2-0 lead. She catches Yoshida midway through the first and takes the entire period to work for the pin but Yoshida is too flexible. Roosevelt up 8-0 after 1 period. She starts the second with two quick points and has a full 2 minutes to work the pin. Give Yoshida credit, she is fighting it but it is 13-0 with a minute left in the second. Wow, Dana White would give Yoshida a bonus. She loses 16-0 but does not get pinned.
Kalissa Pundyke (Campbell) vs. Malie Gonsalves (Waianae)
Pundyke attacks immediately, running out to a 2-0 lead 20 seconds in. Watching 101-pound girls after 285-pound boys is strange, these girls never stop. First period ends 2-0, Gonsalves weathered it. Pundyke picks up two more points in the second but is holding on for dear life with a 4-0 lead. Pundyke shoots, Gonsalves snuffs it. Gonsalves shoots and catches Pundyke. 15 seconds later, she pins her. The turnaround has the crowd roaring. Official time: 1:19 left.
Breanne Takaesu (Pearl City) vs. Angela Enos (Moanalua)
Takaesu has the pedigree, she is stalking her foe. But Enos is no slouch and can make a definite statement by beating the Chargers’ best. The first period ends scoreless. Enos has the edge in the second but no points, and Takaesu gets an early escape for a 1-0 lead. Enos had Takaesu in trouble, but the veteran escapes when the ref blows potentially dangerous. Taka with two points after that and Enos gets on the board with an escape. 3-1, Pearl City. Enos attacks hard at the end of the third and closes it to 3-2 but loses. Enos is for real, though.
Aarica Barcina (Kahuku) vs. Nakia James (Leilehua)
Barcina and James were two of the state’s big surprises last year. Barcina puts a death lock on james’s shoulder blade and they spent the first period on their feet, 0-0 going to 2. Barcina starts the second period down and nearly gets an escape but James catches her in a cradle with 50 seconds left and squeezes. The clock runs out before the pin appears but James goes into the third up 3-0 but in the down position. Barcina rallies for a point, 3-1 with 1:22 left. James REALLY wants to beat the state champ, but might be a little too aggressive. Barcina catches her in a half but James squeaks out of bounds before the pin comes. James adds a point with eight seconds left and beats the Red Raider 4-1. She clearly wanted it more, Barcina seemed to be waiting for a window that never opened.
Jenna Mauliola (King Kekaulike) vs. Ashley Dilliner (Kailua)
Mauliloa dominates the first period, Dilliner lucky to only be down 5-0 after 1.5 minutes. And Mauliloa ends it that quickly, that girl looked good.
Taryn Ichimura (Punahou) vs. Alsie Bahilot (Castle)
Bahilot makes quick work of Punahou’s “B” wrestler, collecting two quick points before pinning her inside of 30 seconds.
Harmony Pacheco (Kamehameha) vs. Asia Lien Evans (Pearl City)
Evans is flashy, Pacheco is just solid. But they might be two of the top five female wrestlers in the state. Pacheco is the only one to shoot in the first, and she only does so once. 0-0, going to the second. Pacheco starts the second with an escape, 1-0. Pacheco catches her on the edge and wastes no time finishing her, pinning her on the out of bounds line.
Shana Dilliner (Kamehameha) vs. Ashley Mercado (Leilehua)
If Kamehameha is going to win the state team title this year, it is going to be on the back of wrestlers like Dilliner. She grabs a 2-0 lead early but gives up an escape to make it 2-1 with 20 seconds left in the first. Mercado ties it at the beginning of the second and follows with a reversal at the end to make it 4-2. Going to the third, Dilliner looks gassed.But she picks up three after the break to lead 5-4. Mercado comes right back for a 6-5 lead before she sticks her with a pin. Winner, Mercado.
Teshya Alo (Kamehameha) vs. Lhyca Joy Butac (Leilehua)
Alo pins Butac in eight seconds. She pinned her first opponent in 14. Nobody can touch her, except maybe Terao. Crowd is still buzzing ans the next match begins.
Pomaikai Yamaguchi (Kamehameha) vs. Shannon Paaaina (Pac-Five)
This is going to be a good one all year long if they stay at this weight. Paaaina with the first two points in the first minute and controls her in the second. Yamaguchi doesn’t have much tonight. Paaaina picks up four more before Yamaguchi starts fighting back, 6-2 with 1:11 left in the second. The second ends with Paaaina in trouble but still holding a 6-2 lead. Paaaina picks up another one to begin the third, 7-2.And another one, 8-2. Kamehameha girls look like they are behind on conditioning, Paaaina wins 8-2.
Kari Okubo (Aiea) vs. Cheynell Kawaihae (Kailua)
Okubo comes out on fire, up 8-0 and spent the entire second working the pin. She can’t seem to stick her, though. She is up 12-0 with 30 seconds left, this is domination. Aiea might be back. Going to the third, Okubo leads 12-2. Kawaihae is good on top, she only got to show it right now and is controlling Okubo in the third. No points, though. Okubo wins 12-2.
Jocelyn Tabion (Kapolei) vs. Taj Vierra (Kamehameha)
Tabion takes control immediately, 2-0. Vierra answers, 2-1. Tabion catches her with 56 seconds left, pins her with 49 seconds left. It wasn’t supposed to be that easy.
Sarah Miner (Aiea) vs. Jocelyn Alo (Kahuku)
Alo loses her hat with a minute left in the first, we are still scoreless. Miner with a slick takedown and nearfall, she is up 5-0 after one period. Alo loses her headcover again. She showed a lot of fight in that last period, not getting pinnned. Miner now up 7-0 and working the pin. Aiea looks good this year, probably don’t have any more numbers than usual though.Miner penalized for locking her hands. Big deal. She is up 10-2. Miner pins her with 26 seconds left in the second.
Avei Lualemaga (Aiea) vs. Tayor Allen (Campbell)
Lualemaga goes up 4-1 and easily gets the pin in the first period. Aiea, which won states with a skeleton crew two years ago, has three champions in this tournament.