Respicio and Punley advance to 170 final

Leilehua's Keanu Punley, right, is shown wrestling and beating Kahuku's Sitaleki Tongi 5-2 in the 170-pound final at the Officials tournament in December. The two wrestled again Saturday in the OIA championships 170 final, with Punley edging Tongi 5-4. Punley meets Campbell's Kachi Respcio for the OIA title later Saturday. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

As expected, the OIA championships semifinals at 170 pounds were razor close Saturday at Leilehua gym.

Kachi Respcio of Campbell held off Gianni Oyadomari of Kapolei 6-5, and Keanu Punley of Leilehua rallied back late to defeat Sitaleki Tongi of Kahuku 5-4.

Respcio and Punley will meet in the final later Saturday.


At the Officials tournament in December, Respicio won the 182-pound class, and Punley beat Tongi 5-2 for the 170-pound title.


Then at the OIA West meet last week, Pearl City’s Kasey Kikuyama rose above everyone to win at 170. That’s when he beat Punley in the final 3-0 after dispatching Repsicio in the semifinals.

However, Kikuyama was bounced from OIA championship contention on Friday in a 3-1 loss to Respicio.

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