The Texaco/HHSAA State Wrestling Championships begin today at Blaisdell Arena.
For our latest coverage, check out our state wrestling tournament page.
Here are a few intriguing matches to watch in the second round.
Kysen Terukina (Kamehameha) vs. Kahiliwa Joy (Baldwin)
The rematch is on. Joy shocked Terukina with a pin at Officials and it is highly doubtful that the reigning state champion has forgot about it. Joy was put in this position after being upset by Lahainaluna’s Kanoa Lanoza at the MIL championships.
Isaac Stalcup (Leilehua) vs. Corey Cabanban (Saint Louis)
Cabanban gets the OIA runner up in the second round in his run to the grand slam and he has historically been pushed in the second round. Everyone wants to see a Garcia-Cabanban rematch in the final, but Stalcup had an easy time with the OIA before falling to Garcia. You can bet Leilehua coaches Kevin Corbett and Charles Ariola have thought of a few tricks since the brackets were announced.
Christian Tavares (Radford) vs. Kawehi Gillcoat (Lahainaluna)
This second round match is worthy of a final, but Tavares’ slipup puts it in the second round. Both of these guys have been on the state podium twice and Gillcoat is a three-time MIL champ while Tavares has never got it done at the OIAs. The problem in this battle might be in saving something for the next round, where Kapolei’s Jacob Yamaguchi might be waiting.
Branden Pagurayan (Kapolei) vs. Jake Angelo (Iolani)
Pagurayan is hot as the OIA champ, but he draws a two-time state placer who has been through the gauntlet before and was kicked into the consolation bracket after a 16-14 shootout with Nicholas Mair of Kaiser last year. He responded to that adversity with quick pins in his next two matches then fought back to take fifth. .
Kasey Kikuyama vs. Kaysen Takenaka
Much has been made of the OIA stacking the 170-pound bracket, and this is the result. Both guys have placed at states twice with Takenaka reaching the final as a freshman at 132 pounds. Kikuyama has never shied away from a good scrap, though, entering KJ Pascua’s and Kachi Respicio’s bracket last year and fighting back from drawing the top seed the year in the first round the year before.
Kachi Respicio vs. Gianni Oyadomari
Respicio knew what he was getting himself into when he dropped to 170 and he gets his first OIA rematch here. He brings a lot of pedigree to this matchup but only managed to beat Oyadomari by a single point at OIAs. He is going to want to get one of his opponents out early before he reaches his second straight final, but that might not be possible in this weight class.
Legend Matautia (Punahou) vs. Laulii Iosefa (McKinley)
There is only one state placer in this bracket, and the top seed gets him in the second round. Iosefa went 4-1 at this weight in last year’s state tournament while Matautia struggled at 195 and has been beset by injuries through much of this year. Punahou has had only one state champ not named Cameron Kato since 2013 while a McKinley wrestler hasn’t taken it all since Rene Suehiro way back in 2003.
Cody Bollig (kamehameha) vs. Gerri-co Jenks (Waianae)
While Keanu Punley was the champ at the OIA’s toughest weight, Bollig made it through the gauntlet in the ILH’s big bracket. He was supposed to get an easier road for his troubles, but draws the guy who pinned him in 3:20 in last year’s state tournament and has a wealth of experience to draw upon.
Anjelynn Baron (Roosevelt) vs. Tianna Fernandez (Baldwin)
Baron broke through with the OIA title after placing third at states last year, but she certainly wasn’t rewarded for her efforts. Fearless Fernandez reached the state final last year and was only put into this position because she challenged reigning state champ Ira Navarro at the MIL championships. These two have avoided each other so far this year.
Jahnea Miguel (Baldwin) vs. Iwi Kinimaka (Campbell)
Miguel took one for the team this year, qualifying at 145 after winning the state crown at 127 last year in an impressive run. Kinimaka won’t be fazed, though, she reached the state final herself last year at 138 before getting stuck by Kuanoe Keahi of Lahainaluna. Kinimaka lost 13-1 to Miguel at the Garner Ivey to begin the season and has had trouble with Maui girls all year, losing twice more to Lahainaluna’s Tayler Pelegrino-Hayase, who also resides in this stacked bracket. .
Kyara Velez (Radford) vs. Kapoina Bailey (Konawaena)
Bailey fought her way into the state final last year before losing to another Big Island girl (Ivory Ayers of Keaau), but she is back as the BIIF champ and looking to seal the deal. She will find a stiff challenge in Velez, who placed fourth in the same bracket last year. Konawaena has never had a state champion.
Michelle Tanuvasa (Pearl City) vs. Anela Kahuli Apo (Kamehameha)
Tanuvasa has quietly put together a stellar career with back-to-back OIA titles, but she wants to do better than last year’s fifth place finish. In her way is the 2017 ILH champ, who took fourth at state last year. Apo wrecked it at 184 last year until running into Pearl City’s Jennie Fuamatu while Tanuvasa lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Kyara Velez of Radford at 168.