Baldwin’s Tianna Fernandez was in trouble, but she got out of it.
The No. 8 pound-for-pound wrestler in the Hawaii Prep World rankings found a way to beat Brianna Funakoshi of Aiea in the 102-pound division, 10-6, in the second overtime period to advance to Thursday’s semifinals at the Texaco/HHSAA State Wrestling Championships.
“Me and her were going at it in the beginning of season,” Fernandez said. “She’s really good and tall and fast and she can drop levels in a split second and be stuck to your leg. I kept thinking if I win, I’m done for the day and rest for tomorrow. It’s my senior year and I want to win first. I want to finally win states.”
Regulation and the first overtime ended 5-5. Fernandez was losing 6-5 due to an Funakoshi escape in the second overtime..
“I doubted myself so many times when she got that escape,” she said afterward. “I was like ‘Oh my God, I’m done.’ And then they blew the whistle and she kept stalling me and pushing me away. I was like, ‘Omg what am I going to do?’ I can’t even get in close.
“I just ran up to her, grabbed her head, squeezed her with all I could, head down and hoped I got something and I did, so I squeezed even tighter. I was like, ‘Please!’ ”
What resulted was a five-point move, two for the takedown and three for a near fall.
Fernandez has placed fifth twice and second as a sophomore in her three previous trips to the state tournament. She won MIT, Officials and the MIL this year at 102.
Funakoshi nearly won an OIA title this year, losing 3-2 to Campbell’s Majesty Terukina in the final.