It took a while for Corona del Sol to get its standouts out onto the mat, but once they got there, nothing was going to stop them.
Ryan Miller’s first period pin over Hamiton’s Grant Province in the 152-pound championship started a four-man parade to the top of the awards stand for the Aztecs, who were the top team on Wednesday at the 5A-I and 5A-II state wrestling tournaments at Wells Fargo Arena. Corona del Sol scored 180.5 points to easily top Mesa’s 126 and the Aztecs will go into Saturday’s state team tournament as the top seed.
The top eight teams in both 5A-I and 5A-II advance to the state team tournament, a team-dual format event in which the official team champion will be crowned. The team tournament is on Saturday at Tempe High School, with the championship dual scheduled for 6 p.m.
The next six teams to qualify in 5A-I were Chandler, Mesquite, Brophy, Dobson, Skyline and Red Mountain. The 5A-II top seed is Tucson Ironwood Ridge, who beat out perennial power Tucson Sunnyside (who was second). Those two teams were followed by Marcos de Niza, Desert Mountain, Sandra Day O’Conner, Boulder Creek, Cibola and Marana Mountain View.
After Miller’s title, Blake Ortiz followed up with a hard-fought 8-3 victory over Mesa’s Nick Robles at 160 pounds. Ortiz, a senior, finished third a year ago and wrapped up his season at 43-1.
After Ortiz got his first title, Derek Felton got his second with a workmanlike 15-1 win over Gilbert’s Tyler Cattey in the 171-pound final. Felton capped his career with back-to-back undefeated seasons and closes with a 187-8 career mark.
The final Aztec champion was Sam Fulton at 189 pounds. Fulton trailed 3-2 going into the second period against Highland’s Colten Oliver, but Fulton scored five points in the second period and went on to the 9-6 victory.
At 215 pounds, Basha’s Jake Smith survived a marathon match with Kofa’s Tyler Masson, who entered the match with a 51-1 record. Smith and Masson went into sudden death overtime and when Masson was called for an illegal hold while trying to keep Smith from getting an escape, Smith had the 5-4 win and a title.
Smith was also named the meet’s outstanding wrestler.
Chandler freshman Dalton Brady started the night with a 3-2 win over Desert Ridge Nate Covarrubias at 103 pounds. Teammate Max Mejia couldn’t make it 2-for-2 for the Wolves, however, as Desert Vista’s Robbie Mathers captured the title at 112 with a 7-5 win.
Other champions from the East Valley were Westwood’s Daniel Mendoza at 119, Brophy’s Tadeo Ruelas at 130, unbeaten Mike Hamel of Mesquite at 140, Edgar Verdi of Mesa at 145 and Hamilton’s Tevin Hood at heavyweight.
In the 5A-II tournament, Desert Mountain’s Shane McGough was named the outstanding wrestler of the tournament. McGough won all four of his matches by pin, the quickest coming in the championship match (1:08) against Sunnyside’s Raul Moraga. Desert Mountain had two champions, the other one coming from heavyweight Tyeler Davison, who pinned Lake Havasu’s Ryan Jordan in the third period.
Marcos de Niza’s 189-pounder, Dylan Yole, captured the Padres’ lone title.