Kamron Whitewater finished his weekend undefeated and with the honor of Outstanding Lightweight Wrestler, helping the Page Sand Devils go 7-1 at the Veterans Memorial Invitational hosted by Window Rock High School.
Whitewater, wrestling at 113 pounds, had two first-period pins, two second-period pins, two technical falls and two wins by forfeit. The senior was one of eight Page Sand Devils to make it to the individual medal rounds. After dominating his first-round foe through three periods, Whitewater used a near fall call in the third period to edge his Gallup opponent, 3-2, to come out of the tourney unscathed.
Before going into the medal rounds, Kaleb June, Dorian Daw and Kimball Begay each went 7-1 for the Division III Sand Devils, whose only team loss of the tourney at 65-12 came to D-I Sunnyside. One of June's four first-period falls while competing at 132 pounds came in 14 seconds against Monument Valley, which Page toppled 69-9.
With Whitewater providing a tech fall and June contributing a first-period fall, Page edged D-II Ironwood, 36-34. The Sand Devils got crucial wins by decision from Christian Penrod (145 pounds), Begay, Myron Bryant (182) and heavyweight Levi Telshaw to pull off the victory.
Penrod finished at 6-2, picking up three first-period pins to go with a third-period pin against Monument Valley, a tech fall and the decision. Bryant had a 5-3 tourney, collecting two first-period pins, a win by forfeit and two decisions. Telshaw, who went 6-2 overall, won five of his matches by putting his opponents' shoulders to the mat to go with a decision.
Terran Blackgoat, Page's 220-pounder, notched an important second-period pin against Ironwood and went 5-3 overall. Daw also had a pin in the second period against Ironwood.
Taylor Nez had a 6-2 showing, and his dominance over the weekend was highlighted by three pins that came in 30 seconds or less. In fact, other than his losses against Sunnyside and Ironwood and a win by forfeit, Nez needed just one period to earn most of his victories.
Missing just one weight class, 138 pounds, thanks to the return of Penrod, Page cruised through most of its matches, blanking D-IV San Carlos, beating Los Alamos of New Mexico 49-35 and trouncing D-III Blue Ridge, which competes in Section Four along with Page, 57-12. The Sand Devils also owned the mats against Pinon, 64-9, and Ganado, 67-9, both of which are D-IV programs.
Whitewater had two near falls over his Sunnyside opponent in the first period before getting the pin in the next period. Wrestling at the weight class just above Whitewater at 120 pounds, Zachery Ruiz ended his weekend with a 5-3 record, with four of the wins coming by fall.
Ruiz won both his medal rounds by pin, with Penrod, June, Daw, Begay, and Nez each going 1-1 in individual action.
COCONINO 52, GREENWAY 42
Ranked fourth in the early 4A Conference rankings, the Panthers added another win to their undefeated regular-season record, warding off the 43rd-ranked Demons in Phoenix Tuesday to improve to 7-0.
The senior duo of Brett McGowan and Joram Watson was responsible for 24 of Coconino's points, as they each ended the night with 12. Eight different Panthers contributed a field goal in the victory, with McGowan, Watson, Emilio Esquivel and Harding Eddie all hitting from 3-point range. McGowan and Esquivel, who tallied eight points, both drilled two buckets from beyond the arc.
Coconino returns home Thursday to face the Washington Rams, who as of press time sat at No. 31 in the 4A power rankings.