The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 23, 2013

T-Wolves trio earn title shots

OKLAHOMA CITY — First-year North wrestling coach Greg Henning can remember a couple of years of the 21 he spent at Tuttle when the Tigers claimed four individual state titles.

What he cannot remember is taking three to the state tournament and all three going to the final, but that’s where the Timberwolves are following one day of the state wrestling tournament at State Fair Arena.

Today, in the Class 6A 126-pound brackets, North sophomore Hayden Hansen will wrestle Union’s Luke Wolfenberger for a state championship. Not long after that, junior Blake Bassham will take on Broken Arrow’s Tanner Bailey for the 145-pound crown. Moments after that it will be junior Levi Berry facing Ponca City’s Brannon Hunt in the 160-pound final.

“In all three matches we got the first takedown,” Henning said of the bouts that got them there. “Statistics will tell you when that happens, you win 80 percent of the time.”

In fact, all three matches were quite similar. None were shootouts, each one offered exciting moments, yet none of them appeared in danger of going the other way.

Henning told his grapplers they didn’t have to be pretty, they only had to win. Yet, had it been a beauty contest, they might have won that, too, hardly putting themselves in a vulnerable spot.

“You have to keep your composure,” Bassham said. “Make as few mistakes as possible and that usually wins matches.”

Given the trio’s fantastic success, North is even in third place in the Class 6A team race, amassing 44 points to trail only Edmond North (90 1/2) and Broken Arrow (56 1/2).

Today, consolation matches begin at 10:30 a.m. with the consolation finals scheduled to end around 2:15 p.m. After the crowd is chased out, the State Fair Arena doors will open again at 4 p.m., with opening ceremonies beginning an hour later. At 5:45, beginning with the 106-pounders, the finals begin.

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