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Saturday's round: TCA qualifies a record-tying seven wrestlers for state
Highlights from Friday’s high school sports scene around the Pikes Peak region.
3A Region 3
TCA qualifies 7
At Jefferson: TCA’s Andrew Register took first place in the 138-pound weight class, while a record-tying seven Titans wrestlers qualified for the state tournament over the weekend.
TCA coach Sean Collins admitted the results even surprised him.
“I knew we were young, but had great leadership on this team -- so I didn’t know what to expect,” the sixth-year coach said. “So having seven was a little bit of a surprise.”
TCA’s storybook tournament was led by Register, who won all three of his regional matches, improving to 31-5 on the season.
“He just continues to work and gets better,” said Collins about Register, who finished fifth at state last season. “We’ll see what he can do (at state) this time around.”
And he won’t be alone.
Jordan Birch (113) is also returning to the state tourney after his second-place finish for the Titans.
Along with them, TCA qualified Ryan Francis (106), Nathaniel Johnston (120), Charles Baker (126), Zach Johns (152) and Vissili Boner (285).
“We’ve had seven before,” Collins said. “But now we have a little more firepower. Hopefully we can break into the top 10, as we keep solidifying ourselves as a program.”
Meanwhile, Ellicott, the other area team in the region, qualified four wrestlers.
Fabian Hermosillo (145) won the championship match over Sheridan's John Pearce with a pin in 4:52. He will be joined at state by teammates Randy Munoz (113), Rual Morales (160) and Dylan Kelly (220).
As a team, TCA finished sixth with a score of 136, followed by Ellicott at 95.
5A Region 4
Coronado qualifies 8
At Standley Lake: Coronado won three regional titles, as the Cougars qualified eight wrestlers for the state tournament.
Coronado’s Trent Watson (106 class), Adrian Cordova (120) and Devan Cruz (126) all went undefeated, taking first in their respective classes.
Watson had three pins in four matches, Cordova included a pin in 32 seconds to his four-overall wins and Cruz had two pins in his three matches.
At the state meet in Denver next weekend, Cordova and Watson will try to defend their state titles.
They'll be joined by teammates Jess Hankin (113), Grady Pina (160), Richard Cote (170), Sam Smith (195) and Joe Hunt (285).
As a team, Coronado finished second at 201.5.
4A Region 3
Palmer Ridge qualifies 6
At Mullen: In the class-160 championship, Palmer Ridge’s Adam Bryan pinned Pueblo Central’s Johnny Ray Vallejo in 5 minutes, 14 seconds, on a day where six Bears qualified for state.
Returning to the state meet will be the Thalhammer brothers, Rylen (113) and Tyler (138), who both took third in their respective classes. Joining them for the second straight season is Erik Guy (145) who went from fourth at regionals last season to third this season.
Rounding out the qualifiers for Palmer Ridge are Michael Brierton (132) and Pheonix Versey (195), who will both be making their first appearances at state.
The Bears finished sixth overall at 122.5.
4A Region 4
Falcon qualifies 4
At Montrose: Falcon’s Cody Soulka pinned Pueblo Centennial’s Caleb Miranda in 1:14 in the class-152 championship match, on a day where four Falcons wrestlers qualified for state.
His brother, Kyle (160), who finished fifth at state last season, also qualified with a fourth-place finish.
Meanwhile, Justin Barron will also return to the state meet for the second-straight year, while Nate Smith (220) makes his first trip.
Sierra, the area's other team in this region, qualified no wrestlers.
Overall, Falcon finished fifth as a team at 120, while Sierra finished 16th with 11 points.
3A Region 4
Florence qualifies 4
At Monte Vista: Florence’s Dillon Bellino won by a major decision over Monte Vista's Jose Duran in the 113 championship match, as the Huskies qualified four wrestlers for state at regionals.
Meanwhile, Colorado Springs Christian qualified three – Brian Follet (120), Connor Craddock (145) and Cameron Krautschun (160), while Manitou Springs qualified Nate Titcomb (195) for the second-straight year and St. Mary’s qualified Miles Kean (285).
Jake Yslas (126), Scott Sandoval (152) and Connor Ward (220) round-out the state qualifiers for the Huskies.
Overall, Florence finished sixth at 121, Manitou Springs finished ninth at 83, CSCS followed in 10th at 67 and St. Mary’s trailed the field with a score of 27.
2A Region 4
Peyton, Calhan combine to send 3 to state
At CSU-Pueblo: Peyton and Calhan qualified a combined three wrestlers to highlight the regional meet for the area’s schools.
For Peyton, Rich Lancaster returns to the state meet after he took fourth place in the 170-pound weight class. Joining him will be teammate Dillon Pelkola (120) and Jacob Freeland (145) from Calhan.
Overall, Peyton finished ninth, Calhan finished 12th, Hanover finished 16th and the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind finished in 17th place.
Fountain-Fort Carson 67, Rampart 40
At F-FC: Pikes Peak 5A No. 1 Fountain-Fort Carson’s Alexander Davis scored a season-high 28 points thanks to seven 3s and the Trojans outscored Rampart 35-14 in the second half of the rout.
Trojans coach Greg Williams knows his team is in good shape to grab its second-straight 5A Metro League title.
“We have a good hold of it,” Williams said. “We just need to take care of business now.”
Rampart was led by Donovan Oldham's 12 points, along with Noah Taylor's 10 points and three 3s.
Liberty (13-8 overall, 6-2 5A Metro) trails Fountain-Fort Carson (13-7, 7-1) by one game in the standings and needs help catching the Trojans.
Fountain-Fort Carson has two game remaining. It travels to Doherty on Tuesday and hosts Palmer on Friday in the regular-season finale.
Liberty hosts Rampart then Doherty to conclude its season.
Doherty 48, Palmer 43
At Palmer: Former Palmer standout and current Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson had his No. 21 retired Saturday in front of a packed gym at Palmer High School.
As fans chanted his name during the halftime ceremony, Jackson tried to put his feelings into words.
“It’s hard to explain,” Jackson said “especially coming from a school with so many great athletes and ballplayers. People have supported me so much and to have my jersey enshrined is just a great thing.”
As for the game, Palmer held a 21-20 lead at halftime, but blew the lead late in the fourth quarter.
Rival Doherty was led by Eli Peterson’s 12 points, five rebounds and five blocks.
And in the final minutes of the game, Zairus Cooks converted two steals into layups, as the Spartans (13-8 overall, 4-4 5A Metro) handed the Terrors (2-19, 1-7) over their sixth-straight loss.
Peyton 71, Vanguard 48
At Vanguard: The Vanguard School’s grip on the 2A Black Forest title took a hit Saturday -- a big one.
The visiting Peyton Panthers were led by Shelby Patterson, who scored 15, while Taylor Bond added 13 points, as the Panthers (16-2 overall, 7-1 2A Black Forest) took control of their own destiny with one game remaining.
Caitlin Bower scored 15 points to lead Vanguard.
The Panthers trailed 16-15 after the first quarter, before they took control of the final three quarters.
With one game remaing apiece, a Peyton win or Vanguard loss gives the Panthers the title. On the other hand, a Peyton loss and a Coursers win gives Vanguard the title.
Friday, the Courses face Colorado Springs School, while the Panthers travel to ECA.
Pueblo West 49, Sand Creek 43
At Sand Creek: Sand Creek’s Mikayla Reese hit three 3s on her way to 15 points, but the Scorpions couldn’t find a way to beat last year’s 4A state runner-up Pueblo West.
Teammate Oliana Squires added 10 points in the loss.
Sand Creek (17-4) had won 13 straight games and locked up the 4A Pikes Peak title, before Saturday.
On this day, no Scorpions player could shut down Daisy Romero, who scored a game-high 19 for Pueblo West.
Pine Creek 48, Liberty 40
At Pine Creek: Pine Creek’s Kayla Travis scored 18 and Kaelyn Schultz went 9-of-10 from the line, adding 15, as the Eagles held on.
Liberty’s Kathryn Koch scored 14 on 70 percent shooting, but she was the lone Lancers player in double digits.
The Lancers trailed 34-20 after three quarters.
Pine Creek (10-12 overall, 3-6 5A Metro) went 16-for-25 from the line. Liberty (11-10, 3-5) went 10-for-16.
James Irwin 29, Ellicott 23
At James Irwin: James Irwin (7-12 overall, 6-8 Tri-Peaks East) won its second-straight game to close the season.
Ellicott (9-10, 6-8) lost two straight to close its season.
Buena Vista 37, Fountain Valley 30
At fountain Valley: Delia Brekken scored 12, but Fountain Valley (1-15) was outscored 14-to-6 in the fourth quarter to lose its 14th straight.
Fountain Valley 4, Bishop Machebeuf 3
At Big Bear North: Fountain Valley’s Jakub Myska scored the game-winning goal with 2 minutes remaining, as the Danes won three straight games to close the regular season.
Garrett Van Wyhe added two goals in the second period
Early in the third period, Aleski Pulkkila scored to give the Danes the lead, before Bishop Machebeuf tied the game at 3 with 12:36 left in the game.
Myska scored his 21st goal of the season 10 minutes later.
Fountain Valley (14-4, 12-1) heads into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed from the Peak Conference.