It wasn’t quite the show Omaha Burke put on last season, but the Bulldogs’ win at the Metro Conference wrestling tournament on Saturday was impressive, nonetheless.
Class A No. 2 Burke got individual titles from a trio of seniors and left with its third straight Metro team title.
The Bulldogs put five wrestlers into the finals and posted a 37-point victory over fourth-ranked Omaha North, the tournament’s host. Burke crowned five champions last season to win by more than 140 points.
“This was a tough (field),” Burke coach Wes Boehm said. “It was a battle.”
Boehm said his lineup Saturday was as close to full as it has been this season. The Bulldogs’ wins came from top-ranked 126-pounder Jacob Wilcoxen, No. 2 145-pounder Jordan Hammond and No. 1 152-pounder Justice Bridgeford.
Wilcoxen and Hammond are repeat Metro champions. Wilcoxen, a state champion as a junior, was wrestling in his fourth Metro final.
Burke’s Aaron Fletcher, ranked No. 1 at 113, was upset 7-6 in the semifinals Saturday morning by Millard South freshman Isaac DeLoa, ranked second in the class.
“We’re where we need to be right now,” Boehm said, “but we’ve got to keep improving. Every time we walk out of practice, we’ve got to be better wrestlers than when we went in.”
DeLoa went on to hand No. 3 Robert Ozuna of Omaha North his first loss of the season in a back-and-forth championship match. DeLoa and teammate Mark Tompsett — at 220 Saturday after starting the season at 285 pounds — gave the third-ranked Patriots a pair of champions en route to a fourth-place finish.
Millard South was denied a third championship in the final title match of the day. Top-ranked Harrison Phillips of Millard West used his speed to get past Freeman Coleman 8-1 in the 285-pound finale.
“I knew he was stronger, but I was faster,” Phillips said. “I pushed my pace.”
North had two champions in its runner-up showing. LeeRoy Coughran outlasted Ryan Kostszewa 12-9 for the 106-pound crown. Vikings junior JaVaughn Perkins won his third Metro title with a major decision at 160 pounds.
Tenth-ranked Bellevue West also had two individual champions on its way to a third-place finish. The Thunderbirds got golds from top-ranked Preston Lauterbach (170) and No. 2 Aaron Estrada (195). Lauterbach’s bracket featured four of the top six wrestlers in the state.
Omaha Central senior Ronald Wells, ranked No. 1 at 138, won his third Metro crown in four championship appearances, topping third-ranked Jared Green of Burke 11-9 in overtime.
Second-ranked Joe Perez of Papillion-La Vista won the 120-pound class. Bellevue East’s Sam Simpson — No. 4 at 132 — beat second-ranked Hayden Hansen of Omaha Creighton Prep 4-3. Prep’s Jake Anderson took home the 182-pound championship. The second-ranked Anderson got a major decision against No. 6 Anthony Cloyd of Millard South.
Team scores: Omaha Burke 221.5, Omaha North 184.5, Bellevue West 173, Millard South 168.5, Papillion-La Vista 153, Omaha Central l 133.5, Bellevue East 112.5, Omaha Creighton Prep 95, Papillion-La Vista South 94, Millard North 87, Millard West 80, Omaha Westside 50, Omaha Northwest 28.5, Omaha Benson 22, Omaha South 7, Omaha Bryan 3.
Championship matches: 106: LeeRoy Coughran, Omaha North, dec. Ryan Kostszewa, Millard South, 12-9. 113: Isaac DeLoa, Millard South, dec. Robert Ozuna, Omaha North 16-11. 120: Joey Perez, Papillion-La Vista, dec. Jake Garner, Bellevue West, 5-4. 126: Jacob Wilcoxen, Omaha Burke, maj. dec. Erick Vargas, Omaha Westside, 8-0. 132: Sam Simpson, Bellevue East, dec. Hayden Hansen, Omaha Creighton Prep, 4-3. 138: Ronald Wells, Omaha Central, dec. Jared Green, Omaha Burke, 11-9, OT. 145: Jordan Hammond pin Ty Jackson, Bellevue East, 2:52. 152: Justice Bridgeford, Omaha Burk, dec. Tyler Harrington, Millard South, 13-11. 160: JaVaughn Perkins, Omaha North, maj. dec. Quinton Kelley, Omaha Burke, 16-7. 170: Preston Lauterbach, Bellevue West, maj. dec. Jacobi Jones, Omaha North, 17-4. 182: Jake Anderson, Omaha Creighton Prep, maj. dec. Anthony Cloyd, Millard South, 9-0. 195: Aaron Estrada, Bellevue West, inj. def. Miles Russell, Omaha Central. 220: Mark Tompsett, Millard South, maj. dec. Austin Anderson, Bellevue East, 16-3. 285: Harrison Phillips, Millard West, dec. Freeman Coleman, Millard South, 8-1.
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