Second-seeded Kaysen Takenaka of ‘Iolani edged Pearl City’s Kasey Kikuyama 7-5 in the 170-pound quarterfinals of the state wrestling meet on Wednesday at Blaisdell Arena.
Takenaka joins top-seeded Keanu Punley of Leilehua, Kachi Respicio of Campbell and Roosevelt’s Salvador Gonzalez in the semifinals of the power-packed bracket.
Kikuyama held a 3-2 lead, but Takenaka tied it up 3-3. From there, things happened quickly.
Kikuyama nearly had a takedown (and coach Todd Los Banos said after the match that he thought Kikuyama did have a takedown) that would have made it 5-3.
So with the score still 3-3, Takenaka pulled off a reversal and a near pin for a total of four points to make it 7-3, but the scoreboard only showed a 5-3 score. Kikuyama tied it up (5-5 on the erroneous scoreboard, when it should have been 7-5) with an escape and a stalling call on Takenaka as the match ended.
The officials quickly fixed the scoreboard to 7-5, but there was a protest by Pearl City, with coaches asking to give Kikuyama what they felt was a takedown.
For a few seconds, both wrestlers went to the middle of the mat and prepared for overtime, but in the end, the officials ruled that Takenaka had won.
“I’m going to make it to the finals and hopefully win,” Takenaka said afterward. “I was surprised he was a lot stronger than I expected. Coming in, I wasn’t too familiar with the OIA wrestlers.”
In the other 170 quarterfinals, Respicio defeated Kapolei’s Gianni Oyadomari 9-3, Punley beat Kamehameha’s Kainalu Huddy 6-2, and Roosevelt’s Gonzalez pinned Hawaii Prep’s Jake Grimme in 27 seconds.
That pin is a rare feat in the 170 championship bracket at a major tournament this season.