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Browning into semifinals

February 26, 2023 - 00:00
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KHS junior avenges earlier loss with 6-2 win at state; Hix wins wrestle-in

Gant Browning was familiar with his state wrestling opponent.

The Kingfisher High School junior met up with Marlow’s Brayden Bowman in the semifinals of the Hub City Classic last month in Clinton.

Bowman won that match 6-3 and Browning eventually settled for third.

“We think we fixed a couple of the issues we had,” said KHS co-head wrestling coach Steven Wilson ahead of their Class 3A state quarterfinal match Friday at State Fair Arena.

Wilson was right. Browning fought through a first-period takedown by Bowman to dominate the rest of their match and win 6-2.

A junior wrestling in his third state tournament, Browning was set to take on Berryhill’s Hunter Waits in the evening session of the state tournament on Friday (after press time).

Bowman worked his way for a takedown on Browning about a minute into their match.

It took Browning about five seconds to escape and pull within 2-1.

Browning chose down to start the second period and quickly tied it up with an escape.

The Yellowjacket then earned a takedown before the end of the period for a 4-2 lead.

After Bowman chose a neutral position to start the third, Browning got yet another takedown and rode him out the rest of the match.

“We worked on tie-ups, creating better angles and opening up his feet to create some offense,” Wilson said.

Browning moved to 3011 after the win.

Berryhill’s Waits was 34-3 on the season going into the semifinal. He was the east regional champion (Browning was the runner- up in the west).

Hix makes way into main bracket

Hennessey’s Titan Hix made his way into the main heavyweight bracket.

The freshman earned a 9-0 major decision against Berryhill’s Eli Burke in their 3A wrestle-in match.

The victory pushed Hix into the quarterfinals where he was set to take on Justus Gilliam of Sulphur (after press time).

A loss in the wrestle-in match would have been the end of the season for Hix.

However, he assured himself of at least two more matches at state by dominating Burke.

He earned a takedown at the 1:00 mark of the first period and took that 2-0 lead into the second.

Hix then scored a reversal for a 4-0 lead and rode Burke the rest of the period.

The third period saw Hix use another takedown for a 6-0 lead and then got a three-point near-fall at the end of the match.