The Garden City Buffaloes wrestling team returned home from Pine Creek, Colo., as champions of the prestigious Battle of the Best Tournament. The Buffs had a clean sweep of the competition, going 7-0 in the round robin duals on their way to their first tournament win of the year Saturday night.
It was also the first time the program won the Pine Creek tournament.
The only Kansas school in the tournament, Garden started off with a bang, winning its opening dual vs. the Centauri Falcons, 64-18, Friday night in Pool A play. The Buffs won 11 out of the 14 matches against the Falcons, on their way to the rout.
The Buffs then dispatched the Castle View Sabercats, 53-15, Liberty Lancers, 78-6, and the Pueblo East Eagles, 48-32, Friday night to take control of Pool A on Friday.
On Saturday, opening with the last dual in pool play, the Buffs demolished the host team, the Pine Creek Eagles, 68-12. The win over the Eagles, and the four previous wins on Friday, earned them the right to move the championship triangular against the Falcon Falcons and the Ponderosa Mountains, who won Pool B and Pool C, respectively. In pool play, the Buffaloes won 54 out of 69 matches, giving them an impressive 78 percent winning percentage.
First up for the Buffs in the championship triangular were the Mustangs, who took Garde City to the limit, giving the Buffaloes their closest duel of the tournament. After splitting the 14 matches between the two, the Buffaloes hung on and beat the Mustangs, 42-36, and advancing to face the Falcons for the tournament title.
Garden City then took the team title by winning eight of the 14 matches against Falcon.
Freshman Tyler May (220 lbs) and junior Alex Rodriguez (195) had an impressive performance at the Battle of the Best tournament, as the only two Buffs who returned to Garden City without a blemish on their record, each going 7-0.
Alex Herrera (113), Silas Pineda (120), Diago Hernandez (126) and Jacob Holt (132) all went 6-1, with several other Buffs going 5-2.
Now the Buffaloes will participate in their second Colorado tournaments in as many weeks as they travel to Palmer Ridge, Colo., to participate in the Palmer Ridge Invitational Saturday.