Kapolei’s Branden Pagurayan rooting for stacked state bracket at 152

Kapolei's Branden Pagurayan defeated Campbell's Malcolm Bell in the final of the 152-pound weight class at the OIA West Division championships. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

Having laid waste to the OIA West, Kapolei’s Branden Pagurayan has bigger things in mind. 

Paguraya, who is halfway to a state slam as a junior, dominated the OIA West Division championships at Pearl City on Saturday, earning two stoppages and a 19-5 major decision over Campbell’s Malcolm Bell in the final. It was Pagurayan’s third West crown, more than anyone in school history. 

Pagurayan, ranked No. 3 in Hawaii Prep World’s pound-for-pound rankings, says he treated it like any other tournament, but there are big things on the horizon. He will stay at 152 pounds in hopes of drawing Kanai Tapia of Kamehameha into the bracket for a state rematch after Tapia beat Pagurayan in overtime in the finals at Officials. 

“I am sticking to his weight class,” Pagurayan said. “I want to try to beat the best to be the best. I always try to avenge my losses.”


To complicate matters even further, fellow state champion Boltyn Taam of Moanalua won the East at 152 on Saturday. He is expected to move up to defend his title at 160, but if he stays it would put three of the state’s best wrestlers in the same bracket with the OIA champion presumably earning the top seed and putting the other two against each other in the semifinals. 

Tapia is ranked No. 5 in the pound-for-pound rankings and Taam is No. 6.

Pagurayan has pretty much taken apart every opponent since his loss and his reputation is so great that only two wrestlers competed in his weight class in the East while the West was loaded with 10. 

“I feel pretty prepared. I have been training constantly,” Pagurayan said. “(The loss) motivated me to work harder. I’ve never been put in that position this season.”

While Pagurayan has the pressure of the slam to think about, Waianae’s Nicholas Cordeiro is still trying to win his first. The reigning OIA champion repeated in the West on Saturday to become the first Searider to do so in this century, pinning Campbell’s Zairyn Ramos in the first period to start Waianae on its way to the team title.

Branson Magsayo, Daniel Branigan and Kayzehn Aiwohi-Frisby also won West titles for the Seariders, their most in a single season since 2015. 

Aiea had a pair of repeaters in Weiyi Zheng and Dante Bareng. It’s the first time the school had a repeat champion since Kevin Kiyuna way back in 2002. Zheng is a two-time state placer but never higher than sixth and Bareng is looking to reach the podium for the first time.

Don’t tell Campbell’s Brock Gooman that the Western Championships are just another tournament, as he has seen everything in his three years at the event. He won it all in 2018, suffered an injury that knocked him out of the bracket last year and came back to win it again on Saturday.

He beat Mililani’s Asher Pilanca 6-2 to open his day then learned that he would be crowned champion without wrestling for it because neither of the other two semifinalists were in play — one of them missed weight and the other scratched because of an injury. 

Leilehua had two first-time West champs in Khansith Chanthabouasith at lightweight and Vitale Afoa at heavy. Pontus Thiravong of Radford and Kapolei’s Charles Hanohano took away plenty of momentum for next week with titles at the heavier weights and Orion Fonoti of Mililani and Pearl City’s James Lum did the same at the lighter weights. 

OIA West Division championships

At Pearl City H.S.

106—1. Nicholas Cordeiro, Wain; 2. Isaiah Siaris, Mil; 3. Zairyn Ramos, Camp; 4. Nicholas Williams, Aiea; 5. LJ Oki, Kapo; 6. Kaeo Travis-Ligsay, Lei.
113—1. Khansith Chanthabouasith, Lei; 2. Kinau McBrayer, Kapo; 3. Cameron Quitugua, PC; 4. Gredyn Ramos, Camp; 5. Andrew Bushong, Wain; 6. Jason Tashiro, Mil.
120—1. Branson Magsayo, Wain; 2. Micah Ongies-Vellalos, PC; 3. Kenichi Price, Waip; 4. Matthew Cook, Lei; 5. Kenji Carino, Aiea; 6. Atalbert DeBrum, Kapo.
126—1. James Lum, PC; 2. Prestiege Kahookele-Himalaya, Nan; 3. Ashton Manibusan, Rad; 4. Kainoa Sumailo, Camp; 5. Jayden Jones, Kapo; 6. Keanu Windham-Salas, Wain.
132—1. Weiyi Zheng, Aiea; 2. Shaiden Bailey, Wain; 3. Mason Chung, Mil; 4. Anthony Lopez, Camp; 5. Zackree Inis, Waip; 6. Keola Bright, Nan.
138—1. Daniel Branigan, Wain; 2. Joe-Xiah Rapoza, PC; 3. Kaimana McBrayer, Kapo; 4 Holden Soares, Camp; 5. Dante Bareng, Aiea; 6. Zander Writes, Rad.
145—1. Orion Fonoti, Mil; 2. Breeze Keolanui, Wain; 3. Isaiah Armington, Kapo; 4. Jory Daack, Rad; 5. Carl Laa, Nan; 6. Gabriel Freeman, Ca,p.
152—1. Branden Pagurayan, Kapo; 2. Malcolm Bell, Camp; 3. Elijah Pinales, Lei; 4. Ryno Kahalewai, Nan; 5. Mieszko Stachowski, Mil; 6. Kekoa Archuleta, Aiea.
160—1. Brock Gooman, Camp; 2. Vanderlei Yong, Wain; 3. Chase Daack, Rad; 4. Timothy Uriam, Kapo; 5. Asher Pilanca, Mil; 6. Quinn Gatiuan PC.
170—1. Khali Vilavong, Camp; 2. Kilohana Swanson, Kapo; 3. Micah Davidson, Rad; 4. Jordan Chang, Waip; 5. Rylan Muramoto, Mil; 6. Jet Li Lam, Wain.
182—1. Kayzehn Aiwohi-Frisby, Wain; 2. Jamil Sampel, Kapo; 3. Kurvon Battle, Mil; 4. Brendan Kristolaitis, Rad; 5. Ryan Penuliar, Lei; 6. Holbin Cash Meyers, Nan.
195—1. Pontus Thiravong, Rad; 2. Billy Makaila, Kapo; 3. Ariez Sylve-Matautia, Lei; 4. Sedric Crawford, Nan; 5. Ryan Pascua, Wail; 6. Kainoa Santos, Wain.
220—1. Charles Hanohano, Kapo; 2. Luke Kaneaiakala, Nan; 3. Garrison Melanson, Rad; 4. Jason Flores, Lei; 5. Jayson Solofua, Camp.
285—1. Vitale Afoa, Lei; 2. Jeremiah Gabrillo, Rad; 3. Jace Filipo Rodrigues, Wain; 4. Lopaka Feesago, PC; 5. Rods Bruce, Aiea; 6. Zion Samuels, Nan.
97—1. Erin Hikiji, Mil; 2. Jazmyn Enriquez, Camp; 3. Tristan Nitta, Mil; 4. Giana Ragudos, Aiea; 5. Angelina Godoy-Holt, Kapo; 6. Tiana DeSantos, Lei.
102—1. Brianna Funakoshi, Aiea; 2. Kennedy Javier, Mil; 3. Jaunisty Malaia-Naehu, Wain; 4. Mya Cullen-Leong, Camp; 5. Keara Botanes, Kapo; 6. Jaysha Cachuella, Kapo.
107—1. Alizeih Villalpando, Camp; 2. Jaclyn Richards, Lei; 3. Victoriana Kim, Mil; 4. Angelina Calpito, Mil; 5. Devina Ayala-Billings, Wain; 6. Mesha Albano, Waip.
112—1. Ino Terukina, Camp; 2. Shantelle Mangrobang, Lei; 3. Makena Abe, Mil; 4. Hailey Jose, Camp; 5. Kailee Wilcox, Nan; 6. Chez Panui, Aiea.
117—1. Victoria Lee, Mil; 2. Kili Terukina, Camp; 3. Kelsie Caminos Freitas, Lei; 4. Kyley Navarro-Hiwauli, Wain.
122—1. Makana Cooper, PC; 2. Karlee Nelson, Camp; 3. Katie Simancek, Lei; 4. Kaitlyn VanGorder, Rad; 5. Keisha Domingo, Waip; 6. Mariah Stedman, Lei.
127—1. Brooke Cabinian, Lei; 2. Jolina Lefao, Mil; 3. Kristine Ono, PC; 4. Kelly Ibarra, Kapo; 5. Princess Faumui, Camp; 6. Navia Duran, Aiea.
132–1. Marcella Reynolds, Rad; 2. Ariana Morales, Kapo; Serenity Truth, Rad; 4. Fiorela Casimiro, Camp; 5. Destinee Somera, Lei.
138—1. Jamie Grilho, Aiea; 2. Kianna Chargualaf, Camp; 3. Jazaria Hall, Rad; 4. Jacey Chung, PC; 5. Maria Maifea, Wain; 6. Destiny Tuisano, Wain.
145—1. Tiare Carlson, Wain; 2. Anissa Wright, Camp; 3. Hunter Ganoot, Aiea; 4. Adonija Robertson, Rad; 5. Zeignalynn Mew-Kang, PC; 6. Kimberly Kealoha, Mil.
155—1. Autumn Williams, Aiea; 2. Ani Muraoka, Camp; 3. Markaiya Spencer, Wain; 4. Nanea Kahoonei-Awai, Wain; 5. Keila Olivas-Low, Lei; 6. Phiona Kerisano, Nan.
168—1. Shannlynne Mahoe, Nan; 2. Kehani Siuta, Aiea; 3. Grace Tanuvasa, Waip; 4. Leina Balancio-Sadamaru, Wain; 5. Hulita Ahonima, Lei; 6. Hekla Alexsdottir, Wain.
184—1. Jacina Fonoti, Mil; 2. Kaitlynn Costa Viliamu, Wain; 3. Aryiana Giron, PC.
225—1. Alexandra Endo, Wain; 2. Keisha Keamo-Ah-Kiong, Nan; 3. Ati Fonoti, Mil; 4. Savannah Pilialoha, Waip; 5. Tyra Bagono, Aiea; 6. Abcde Gohier, Mil.


  1. WrestlingCLIQ February 2, 2020 7:47 am

    RUNNERS on your mark get ready GO! Lol run to that class with an EASY route to a state title lol.

  2. OIA Fan February 2, 2020 10:19 am

    I’ve watched Pagurayan wrestle. He’s the real deal. About as dominant a wrestler that you’ll find in the state. Just to clarify, he’s from the west, not the East. He had 10 wrestlers in his weight class, including him. Taam had only one other wrestler in his weight class. I’m also curious about the source that says Taam is expected to move up a weight class for states. It looks like he’s staying at 152.

  3. almost accurate February 2, 2020 10:51 am

    “ It was Pagurayan’s third West crown, more than anyone in school history.“

    Maybe for the boys, but not more than anyone in school history. You all just published an article last year on a Kapolei wrestler who has 4 West crowns.

  4. 808wrestlah February 2, 2020 10:33 pm

    Boys West at 160 is incorrect. Waianae boy did not make weight on day 2, he should not place higher then the boys that made weight and wrestled.

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