By KEVIN THOMPSON
The Ulysses Tigers sent five wrestlers to the 4A state tournament, and two of them came back champions.
Jason Perez captured the title at 113 pounds with a 4-3 decision over Tyler Mies of team champion Andale, who had beaten Perez twice this season, including in the title match at last week's regional.
It was the senior Perez's second title, as he won at 103 pounds last year.
Razzy Morales culminated his high school wrestling career with a title at 152 pounds in a 3-1 decision over Mark Hobson of Bonner Springs.
The two Tigers' titles helped a five-man Ulysses squad place eighth at the state 4A tournament at the Bicentennial Center in Salina, the highest Tiger team finish under fifth-year coach Joe Gonzales.
For Perez, the final was his closest match of the tournament. On Friday evening, he won his semifinal match 15-6 over Cesar Regalado of Pratt.
Perez reached that round with a fall in 3:17 in the second round after opening with an 8-0 decision in the first round.
Perez finished the season with a 32-5 record.
For Morales, who finished sixth in state last year at the 140-pound level and sixth as a sophomore, the road was a little tougher. He defeated Hugoton's Patrick Weaver in the semifinals 6-3 after winning his first two rounds 3-2 and 9-3.
It was a bit of redemption for the Ulysses senior, who lost to Weaver last year in the fifth-place match.
This was also Morales' sixth win in eight matchups this year against the Hugoton junior.
"It was a good win for him," Gonzales said. "I was pretty proud of the way he wrestled and turned his season around."
Morales had been ranked fifth all year, so for him to shock everyone by winning the title was pretty exciting, Gonzales said.
Morales ends the season 37-4, including 12 straight through the league, regional and state tournaments.
The two seniors' wrestling styles differed on their title paths.
"With Jason's match being kind of close, that put me on the edge of my seat," Gonzales said. "But with Razzy, every match he wrestles is really close, so I was a little bit more comfortable and confident with him keeping it close."
Armando Sandoval was the other medalist for Ulysses. The junior placed fifth with a 16-8 major decision over Michael Bird of Mulvane.
Sandoval won his first two rounds by a fall and a technical fall before losing 7-6 in the semifinals to Cole Cannon of DeSoto.
In that match, Sandoval was up 6-5 in the late seconds of the match before getting taken down.
He lost to Darien Willis of Sumner 5-3 in consolation to put him in the fifth-place match, where he won definitively.
"That was a heart-breaker loss," Gonzales said of the last-second loss. "But I'm proud of how he came back. He battled back."
Hugoton finished 12th with 53 points.
The Eagle's top placer was Colten Lissolo, who placed third at 220.
The defending state champion, Lissolo lost to Colton Bonner of Baldwin (the eventual champion) in the second round on Friday.
Lissolo had defeated Bonner last year in the second round on his trip to a state title.
Finding himself in the consolation round, Lissolo pinned his first three opponents before defeating Jordan Brown of Concordia for third place.
Lissolo finished the season 18-2.
Lawson Fiss finished fourth at 145 for Hugoton. The junior lost to eventual champion Aaron Seybold of Pittsburg 6-0 in the semifinals. He won a 4-2 consolation match before falling 6-3 to Tanner Ogden of Royal Valley.
Fiss ends the season 38-6.
Weaver placed fifth at 152. After winning his first two rounds by f all before losing to Morales, he rebounded with a 3-1 win over Rusty Yarrow of Clay Center and took fifth with a fall in 1:35 over Derek Frost of Coffeyville Field Kindley.
Weaver finished the season 20-11.
Other Hugoton wresters were Ty Haller going 1-2 at 170 and Logan Livengood (1-2) at 120.
Other Ulysses wrestlers were senior Michael Salas (1-2) at 195 and junior Steven Degollado (0-2) at 220.