OKLAHOMA CITY — All’s well that ends well? Well, maybe.
Norman North entered the Class 6A state wrestling tournament with multiple state-title dreams. Blake Bassham, Hayden Hansen and Levi Berry had all wrestled for gold a year ago and Berry even took it home. A year later, the experience wasn’t quite the same at State Fair Arena.
“It’s not the way we wanted it to turn out,” Hansen said.
On the other hand, a year ago, only Berry exited with a victory. This time around, both Berry and Hansen did it. Of course, it came in the third-place match.
“It feels good to go out on a win,” Hansen said.
It was the best North could do. Hansen, at 145 pounds, stopped Jenks’ Jake Pattinson with a 5-0 decision to give himself a third-place finish to go with last season’s second-place finish.
“I was hoping for a state title,” he said. “I didn’t get it, but I still have one more year.”
Bassham and Berry, both seniors, do not, though collegiate wrestling may be in their future. As high school athletes, Berry exited with a victory without having to wrestle, securing an injury default from Bixby’s Mason Thompson; meanwhile Bassham left on a losing note, falling to Jenks’ Austin Eades 3-1.
Bassham reflected on how little margin for error the state tourney affords.
“It’s the top of the top, the best of the best,” he said. “You’ve got to fight for every point you get.”
Though not what they’d planned, it can hardly go down as a bad year for the Timberwolves, who are wrestling under the tutelage of second-year coach Greg Henning.
In addition to Berry, Hansen and Bassham, they also brought 113-pounder Sam Avant, a freshman, to the state tourney, as well as freshman heavyweight Gage Johnson, with Avant making it to the second day, though his season ended with a 9-1 major decision loss to Moore’s Justin Gundlach.