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State champ material

February 07, 2024 - 00:00
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Four county youth bring home gold in wrestling, hoop shoot

  • State champ material
  • State champ material
  • State champ material
    BEST IN STATE – Kingfisher County was well-represented at both the Junior High All-State Wrestling Tournament and the Elks Hoop Shoot state competition last weekend. On the left are Aislin Barnett (top) of Kingfisher and Emily Bryson (bottom) of Henness

The Oklahoma high school wrestling and basketball postseason is near and, once they conclude, we very well could see some state champions from Kingfisher County.

Four county youth got a jump start on that very feat last weekend.

In wrestling, Aislin Barnett and Emily Bryson brought home the state championship in their respective weight classes at the 2024 Junior High All-State Tournament in Oklahoma City. Two days later, Pressley Page and Brett Reese won their respective divisions at the Elks Hoop Shoot state competition in Dale.

••• A seventh grader at Kingfi sher Junior High, Barnett won the top weight class in the sixth and seventh grade girls division at State Fair Arena.

She claimed gold by pinning Leilanee Shawnee of Little Axe in 2:47 of the championship bout on Thursday night.

It capped a dominant tournament run for Barnett, who pinned every opponent she faced.

After receiving a bye in the round of 32, Barnett pinned Reyleigh Liles of Broken Arrow in 2:48 to earn a spot in the quarterfi nals.

Once there, Karissa Jones of Perry found herself the victim of a pin at 1:08.

Barnett needed just 1:07 to beat Hennessey Takedown Club’s Andrea Cox in the semifinals, earning her a spot in the championship. Barnett is no stranger to center stage at the Junior High All-State Tournament.

The daughter of Robert and Amy Barnett, she won the 161-pound state championship last year, making her a two-time state champ. Hennessey’s Cox pinned her first three foes before her loss to Barnett in the semifinals.

She then beat Pixxie Pearson in 1:25 to reach the third-place match where she was defeated by Autumn Jones, giving her fourth place.

Kingfisher had three other placers outside of Barnett at Junior High All-State.

Sophie Ellis was third at 72 pounds in sixth and seventh grade girls while Emily Hamil took fourth at 88 pounds.

Kaden Willms wrestled at 110 pounds in sixth and seventh grade boys and placd fifth.

Bowen Pearson, a sixth grader at KUE, was third in the 96-pound division of sixth and seventh grade boys.

Pearson represented his club team, Scrap Yard Training, at the tournament.

••• Bryson was also dominant in her run to gold and led a very strong showing by the Hennessey Takedown Club.

The daughter of Doug and Tammy Bryson, she won all four of her matches via pin in the 92-pound division of sixth and seventh grade girls.

The fastest was her first. She needed just 22 seconds to beat Bixby’s Lynette Mullin in the round of 16.

Melina Owens of Moore lasted 2:49 in the quarterfinals and then Gracie Majors of Grove made it until 2:45 before she was pinned by Bryson in the semifinals.

That put Bryson against Lana Vaughan of Guthrie for the championship.

Vaughan didn’t make it out of the first period as Bryson pinned her in just 1:31.

Bryson and Cox helped their wrestling club to a third-place overall finish in the team standings.

Hennessey had 42 points behind Union’s 87 and Prodigy Elite’s 52. Kingfisher was sixth with 32 points.

Hennessey had two other placers, one of whom also reached the finals.

Chloe Kelly was the runner- up at 80 pounds.

She won her first match by a 13-2 major decision and then pinned Emily Nunez of Mustang in just 38 seconds in her second bout.

She was beaten by Kylee Ooton of Prodigy Elite for the gold medal.

Kaisley Taber was fourth at 130 pounds for the Hennessey club.

••• The 8-9 year-old division of the Elks Hoop Shoot in Oklahoma is owned by Kingfisher County.

Page and Reese made sure of it when they won their respective divisions last weekend.

And they’re no strangers to basketball.

Page is a third grader at Heritage Elementary and is the daughter of Lindsey and Brady Page, the latter being the boys basketball coach at Hennessey.

Reese is a second grader at Dover Elementary and the son of Lindsay and Jared Reese. His father coached Kingfisher to four state championships and now coaches boys basketball at Dover.

The duo had previously won their local and Northwest District competitions to earn a spot at state.

And both came in clutch down the stretch.

Page needed to make 3 of her last 4 attempts to force a shootout.

There was no shootout as she made all four to give her 18 of 25 overall, making her the winner by one.

Reese made 9 of 10 in his first round Saturday, making him the last shooter in the second round, which consisted of 15 free throws.

Being the last shooter, he knew he needed to make 14 to force a shootout.

And he missed his first attempt.

Unbothered, Reese drained the next 14, then won in a shootout for the state title.

The two aren’t done. They’ll next compete at the Southwest Regional 11 semifinal March 16 in Dallas.

There they will compete against state champs from Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana.

Kingfisher fifth grader Brinkley Taylor took part in the 10-11 year-old girls competition and took third.

Taylor made 17 of 25, just two shots behind the winner.

Tucker White, sixth grader at Okarche, took fourth in the 12-13 year-old boys state competition.