By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
Two Western Athletic Conference foes, a handful of ranked wrestlers, and it all came down to the final match Tuesday evening at Great Bend High School. All Brody Schnoebelen had to do was beat top-ranked defending state champion Sebastian Lopez. The Garden City junior pinned Schnoebelen to secure a 42-36 dual win for the top-ranked Buffaloes (6A).
Great Bend trailed 21-6 after five lightweight matches. Hayden Kelly picked up an exciting pin at 126 pounds for the lone Panther points in that run. The tide began to turn at 138 pounds with sixth-ranked Skyler McMullen pinned his opponent. Fourth-ranked Jace Schartz followed with a pin at 144 pounds, then third-ranked Cooper Liles pinned Garden City's sixth-ranked Sergio Sanchez at 150 pounds. The Panthers gained a 24-21 edge.
Garden City regained an edge as sixth-ranked Ethen Allen pinned Trevin Maciel at 157 pounds. Second-ranked Colin Kleysteuber pinned Trevin Maciel at 165 pounds for a 33-24 Buffalo advantage.
The sides traded blows from there. Matthew Johnson needed just 50 seconds to pin his opponent at 175 pounds, and Trenton Kern made a big move just a few seconds too late in a 6-3 loss to third-ranked Alan Chairez at 190 pounds. Garden City's ranked wrestler was missing in action at 215 pounds, and Keyven Schroeder took advantage with a pin to level the team score at 36. An out-sized Schnoebelen was unable to do much against the two-time All-American Lopez in the heavyweight match.
Garden City featured ranked wrestlers up and down the roster. Top-ranked Braydon Pacheco opened the dual with a pin against fifth-ranked Triston Tomlinson at 106 pounds. Sixth-ranked Julius Medina won an 8-1 decision against Ambrose Kramer at 113 pounds. Zack Long pinned Zaiden Burkes in 71 seconds at 120 pounds, and top-ranked Ryan Heiman, the reigning runner up at 126 pounds, pinned Caidynn Melton in the 132-pound match.
Garden City girls 52, Great Bend 30
The girls' side was not so close as third-ranked Garden City led 52-12 before a late Lady Panther pin and two open wins to close out the dual.
The big match of the night pitted third-ranked Daizy Gomez against Garden City's fifth-ranked Maya Tarbet at 125 pounds. Gomez was able to secure the fall in the second period. Danica Cline picked up a pin in the final seconds of the first period at 145 pounds. Lea Nokes also had a first-period pin at 170 pounds. Third-ranked Natalee Daniels picked up open points at 190 pounds, and Haylee Holinde picked up open points at 235 pounds.
Just one match lasted all three periods. In that, senior Karley Stukey moved from 105 pounds to 110 pounds for a better match-up, losing a 10-2 major decision. Fourth-ranked Anahi Cervantes would have been the opponent in the open 105-pound match.
Freshman Kaylea McMullen was pinned by second-ranked Julissa Rodriguez at 120 pounds. Braelyn Turner suffered an early pin against sixth-ranked Belle Hernandez at 130 pounds, and Katie Kuhlman made it late into the match at 135 pounds. Hannah Crathorne (115), Jaydon Davis (140), and Kirra Stevens (155) were each pinned in their matches.