COLLINSVILLE — There was a chance for another tie between Collinsville and Skiatook on Tuesday night.
No. 1 Collinsville fended off second-ranked Skiatook 35-26 in a dual between the best two wrestling teams in Class 5A.
Skiatook won the dual state title last year, but the two schools tied for first at the state tournament, sharing the 5A championship. The rivals almost had to share a victory again Tuesday night, right after the schools’ junior high teams tied on the same mat.
“Everybody knows what kind of rivalry we have,” Collinsville coach Wes Harding said. “This dual has been talked about for months. Everybody was looking forward to it. We had a big crowd. Really, you couldn’t ask for two more exciting duals.”
Skiatook (6-1) stormed back after the Cardinals (7-0) started with a 24-0 lead. The contest began with a Clay Gates 9-3 decision over Brody Gee at 106 pounds. Cameron Steed then beat Josey Jernegan 6-0 at 113.
Cole Brooks recorded the first fall of the night at 120, pinning Jacob Myers in 47 seconds. That was the first of two falls in a row for Collinsville, as Troy Spratley stuck Kyle Bowman in 3:55. The back-to-back pins were followed by a forfeit at 132 in Jordan Williams’ favor, putting the Cardinals ahead, 24-0.
“That was a big run for us,” Harding said.
Skiatook then started a run of its own, as Cody Francis put the Bulldogs on the board with a 2-1 decision against Garrett Strickland at 138. Collinsville won the next two matches via major decision and decision, respectively, before Cougar Anderson earned a 20-7 major decision against Wyatt Hartley, shortening Skiatook’s deficit to 32-7.
Skiatook’s Richie Lee pinned Jaren Seabolt in 2:46 in the next match before BK Seago beat Brayden Gilkey 7-1 to make the score 32-16. After Hunter Hall tallied a major decision at 195 pounds for the Bulldogs, Alex Johnson pinned Baylor Weathers in 1:44 to keep Skiatook’s chances alive with one match left.
Collinsville’s Zach Morris fended off Skiatook’s needed pin, though, with a 2-1 decision over Nate Easky to seal the Cardinals’ win.
“I wasn’t real confident, even though we had that kind of lead, because I know what kind of upper weights that they have,” Harding said. “I think if we meet them again at dual state — if we meet them — it’s gonna be another good dual.”
Neither team was fully healthy Tuesday, Collinsville took an exceptional blow without three-time state champion Caleb Tanner — who has been sidelined the past three weeks with a concussion — at 132 pounds. Missing Tanner forced the Cardinals to bump everyone up a weight from 120 pounds on. Harding expects everyone to be healthy by dual state, Feb. 14-15.
“Usually, we find a way to come together at the end,” Harding said. “And, knock on wood, I hope that happens.”