Buffs' wrestlers repeat as 6A state wrestling champs

3/1/2014

By BRETT MARSHALL

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

WICHITA — Efrain Sanchez put out the appetizer with an early third-place finish at 106 pounds.

Michael Prieto and Tevin Briscoe served the main course at 113 and 138 pounds.

And Sammy Reyes and Montana Fuller had put the finishing touches on the Garden City Buffaloes' second consecutive state championship by reaching the championship matches at 195 and 285 pounds on Friday night.

The end result was the Buffaloes' second consecutive and ninth Class 6A team championship in school history on Saturday at Hartman Arena.

The Buffs finished this title run wire to wire as the state's No. 1-ranked team and they wrestled like it over the two days of the tournament. They ended with 153.5 points to runner-up Derby's 135.5 and it was Briscoe's 138-pound victory over Derby's Garrett Xanders (4-3 decision) that put the Buffs over the top against the Panthers, who trailed by just seven points going into Saturday's action.

"It feels great, each one feels special," said GCHS coach Carlos Prieto, who now has a state title in each of his two years at the helm of the Buffs' mat program. "The kids wrestled great. I felt like we would wrestle well today, and we did. I couldn't be more proud of the boys. They were just incredible."

Michael Prieto and Briscoe now become two-time champions, joining former Buffs' Jon Bigler (1978-79), Rob Mouser (1996-97) and Jason Nichols (2000-01) as the only back-to-back state titlists.

Prieto won his 113-pound gold medal with a dominating 12-2 major decision over Jacob Bonham of Gardner-Edgerton; Briscoe took that 4-3 win over Xanders in a nail-biter in which a penalty stalling point by Xanders proved to be the difference.

Efrain Sanchez came through with a third-place finish at 106 pounds, winning a pair of matches on Saturday, the last in the consolation final with a 4-2 decision over Will Whitaker of Olathe Northwest.

Alec Castillo placed fourth at 132 pounds, having been pinned by Husayn Sultani of Olathe East at 4:51 of the match. 

Freshman Jesse Nunez came through with three wins and a loss on Saturday to take fifth at 152 pounds. He won his medal with a 6-1 decision over Kevin Folsom of Wichita Northwest. After winning an earlier 12-4 major decision, Zac Finch lost his consolation final at 160 pounds when he was pinned by Matt McLeod of Blue Valley North at 3:28.

The last two matches of the day for the Buffs, after they had wrapped up the team title, saw seniors Sammy Reyes and Montana Fuller come up just short in a pair of nail-biting losses at 195 and 285 pounds. Those two had proved pivotal in the team points chase on Friday night, winning by pins to catapult the Buffs past Derby at the end of day one.

Reyes, though, lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to unbeaten Seth Pesek of Gardner-Edgerton, the same wrestler who beat him in the semifinals a year ago, and who had beaten him 7-2 earlier this year. Fuller, too, was close, and with the score tied at 1-all with 20 seconds remaining, got himself into a position where Alex Jones of Lawrence earned a 3-point near fall to win the match.

In the end, though, the Buffs had eight medalists to equal their 2013 output and brought home the championship trophy for the ninth time in school history.

For more details, read Monday's Telegram or go to www.gctelegram.com on Monday morning.

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