10 will advance to 6-5A sub-state
It has been said that “all good things come to those who wait.”
That might be the latest motto for the Garden City High School Lady Buffaloes wrestling team after its stunning performance in Saturday’s Class 5-6A Regional I at Dodge City High School’s gymnasium.
Carlos Prieto, the head coach of both girls and boys programs, watched as one girl after another girl battled their way into a qualifying spot for next week’s Class 5-6A Sub-State on Feb. 19 at Wichita Heights.
In all, there were 10 of the 11 Lady Buffs’ wrestlers who will move onto the next step of the lengthy qualifying to reach the 6-5A state tournament, which will be contested on Feb. 25 at Hartman Arena in Park City, just north of Wichita.
“We qualified all but one of the girls and it was heartbreaking to see Kallista (Rhoades, 170-pounder) not qualifying,” Prieto said. “She had been battling the flu all week and missed some practices, but still wanted to compete. I’m proud of the way the girls battled all day.”
That performance by the Lady Buffs left them with 162 points, just 17 points behind Dodge City’s winning 179 total. It was well back to third-place Great Bend’s 117 points. In all, 12 teams competed.
“The biggest surprise was Lilly More (1st at 191 pounds),” Prieto said. “I bumped her up and she wrestled really well.”
Each wrestler needed to finish fourth or higher to move to the next level, and the Buffs earned two first-places, one runner-up, four third-place finishes and three fourths.
Leading the parade was senior Anjelina Serrano, who captured gold at 132 pounds, by winning both of her matches, including the capstone title bout with a dramatic 7-5 sudden victory over Meritza Jiminez of Hutchinson.
In one of the final matches of the day, it was Moore who garnered the second gold medal when she pinned Leilani Torres of Liberal at the 2:35 mark of the second period to claim the 191-pound crown.
Belle Hernandez claimed the lone runner-up silver medal at 126 pounds after winning her semifinal match before losing by fall to Great Bend’s Breanna Ridgeway, who is unbeaten in 30 matches. Hernandez, though, took Ridgeway into the final minute of the third period, the match ending at the 5:05 mark.
Third-places were captured by Chloe Sullivan at 101 pounds, who got a chance at redemption in the consolation final when she squeaked out a 2-0 decision over Stephanie Ortega of Dodge City after being pinned by Ortega in the quarterfinal round.
Also taking thirds were Sara Chapa at 115 pounds, Angel Serrano at 143 pounds and Alondra Guzman at 155 pounds. Chapa earned her place with a pin of Emily Alonzo of Dodge City at 1:25 of the first; Angel Serrano, at 143 pounds, pinned Halle Lohmeyer of Hays at 1:23 of the first; and Guzman, competing at 155 pounds, won a 6-2 decision over Jaymie Murry of Newton.
Earning the fourth-place finishes to claim the final sub-state spot were Anahi Cervantes at 109 pounds, Kamryn Foster at 120 pounds and Bethanie Cruz at 138 pounds.
“Overall, I am pleased with our performance, but we have to correct the little mistakes our girls continue to make if we want to make it past this next week,” Prieto said.