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Janet Haxton
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Kochenower grabs lone win on Day 1

February 25, 2024 - 00:00
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KHS sophomore gets quarterfinal pin at 3A state wrestling tournament

  • Kochenower grabs lone win on Day 1
    KHS sophomore Brayden Kochenower (right) works on taking down Blackwell’s Laker Ingram during their quarterfinal match Thursday. [KT&FP Staff Photo]

Brayden Kochenower helped salvage the day for Kingfisher wrestling.

The Jacket sophomore pinned Blackwell’s Laker Ingram in the third period of their 138-pound quarterfinal to give KHS its lone win on the opening day of the Class 3A state wrestling tournament.

Kochenower was the fifth and last Kingfisher grappler to take the mat at State Fair Arena.

Prior to his win, both Damien Haynes (144 pounds) and Mason Alig (175) lost wrestle-in matches, eliminating them from the tournament.

Next up was freshman Jaxon Sheppard, who won the west regional the previous weekend.

He was taking on Blackwell’s Sabon Batton, who already had a match under his belt.

Batton pinned Hennessey’s Westyn Hopkins in the first period of their wrestle-in match, which landed Batton in the main bracket.

He jumped on Sheppard early and often and had a sizable lead before pinning him at 3:27.

The bad news continued for KHS at 132 pounds.

Senior Gant Browning, taking part in his fourth state tournament, also fell behind early.

He was eventually pinned at 3:03 by Blackwell’s Payton Head.

Sheppard and Browning were sent to the consolation bracket, which resumed Friday (after press time).

Kochenower, meanwhile, will take part in a semifinal later in the day.

He staked an early lead and held onto it, taking a 7-2 advantage into the final period.

Ingram charged back and pulled within 7-6 before Kochenower got an escape point.

Kochenower then took Ingram down and pinned him at 5:18.

He faced Cade Maynes of Community Christian.

Maynes beat Pawhuska’s Traven Richardson, who was the east regional champ, with a 10-3 decision.

Coleman Kauffman of Vinita eliminated Haynes in their match with a 14-4 major decision.

Alig was beating Vian’s Tristan Wiley, but got caught in the second period and was pinned at 2:46.