The Delta High team won the tournament by blanketing most of the weight divisions with multiple wrestlers appearing in the semis. Payson High was as equally strong as their reputation preceded them. Cedar High performed as the best Region 9 team, and Hurricane’s trio of exceptional grapplers delivered on their goals.
Delta’s Dane Nielson won the 160-pound division by picking up a 5-2 decision over Payson’s Kaelen Loveless in a tightly contested bout. Nielson gained a 1-0 lead in the first period, and then outscored Loveless 3-1 in the second.
“I knew he was going to be tough, he had a good outside single so I just came in and worked my stuff,” Nielson said. “He was tough, I just kept after him.”
With his work accomplished at the regional tournament, he now will prepare to finish his high school career with a state medal this week at Utah Valley University.
“You can always do better,” said Nielson. “I’m happy I won, but I think this is a stepping stone for next week.”
Three-time state champion Mitch Brown of Payson added to his remarkable career record (190-13) by winning the 126-pound division. Brown is soon to become an Air Force Cadet in June, he’s signed to wrestle for the Falcons’ wrestling team, and aspires to become a pilot.
He was surgical in his match against Delta’s Bracken Lovell. Brown went up 4-1 in the first period and then with 33 seconds left in the second period, he earned the pin for the win.
Asked about his assessment of the 3A South Division’s quality of wrestlers, Brown said, “I’d say the quality is pretty good. Delta is here, they’re always tough, Canyon View really showed up, quite a few tough kids.
“It was good overall.”
Cedar was bolstered by finals wins by Dusty Hone (113), Mason Williamson (170) and Cameron Williamson (195). The latter Williamson earned a pin six seconds before the match ended— his fifth pin of the tournament. He had a 9-4 lead on Dalton Judd of Payson in the third period, but Judd had top position and was moving Williamson back and forth, dragging him, and pulling him backwards. Then Williamson flipped the situation and closed with emphatic strength.
“I was just trying to stay on top after that first take down, he was strong, but I was in better shape,” Williamson said. “That’s what won me the match right there, is being in great shape.
“That got me worried a little bit, because I knew eventually he was going to get that half-deep enough, I just hipped it, I decided to hip into him a little bit. I could feel him off to the side a little bit, so I just hipped into him.
“I got lucky. Make your own luck I guess.”
Hurricane’s state title hopefuls Josh Pettus (106), Zach Prince (152) and Brian Scott (220) all went about their business in winning their divisions. Scott joined Brown of Payson as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestlers.
Kalob Stevenson of Desert Hills finished the night with his 285-pound finals’ pin over Snow Canyon’s Sheydon Scott. Stevenson continued his recent good work, and will add just a little more to his game according to Desert Hills’ coach Warren Richins.
“He’s been coming out more and more aggressive the last few weeks,” Richins said. “He’s been impressing everybody. It will be really hard for anybody to get the better of him at state.
“He’s gotta keep doing what he’s been doing for another week, get a little better, a little stronger, and a little meaner for one more week.”
The two-day tournament was a unique happening for St. George and coach Richins said he was grateful for all of the help Desert Hills High school received in putting on the event.
“We put in charge some great people,” said Richins. “Our AD, Kim Monkres, directed well and we just had great contribution by people in the community.
“I didn’t know for sure how the experience was going to be, but a lot of people came out to help make it happen. It ran smoothly, it ran on time, I’m happy with the way it went.”
“I was happy for the opportunity to have some really great wrestling in St. George,” Richins said to the question of ‘did you feel pressure?’ about hosting such an event.
3A SOUTH DIVISION REGIONAL FINALS RESULTS
106 Josh Pettus (H) 3-2 dec. Kohl Tolbert (D)
113 Dusty Hone (C) 6-2 dec. Jose Garcia (D)
120 Branson Ashworth (SF) 7-1 dec. Jared Ewart (D)
126 Mitch Brown (P) pin (2nd) Bracken Lovell (D)
132 Jed Mellen (P) tech. 16-1 (2nd) Kolby Lloyd (C)
138 Zac Loveless (P) pin (2nd) Blade Edwards (D)
145 Cole Ford (P) 18-7 dec. Dustyn Roberts (DH)
152 Zach Prince (H) 7-4 dec. Tyler Nielson (D)
160 Dane Nielson (D) 5-2 dec. Kaelen Loveless (P)
170 Mason Williamson (C) pin (3rd) Alvino Baldivino (CV)
182 Ryan Petersen (D) 3-2 dec. Aaron Lee (NSP)
195 Cameron Williamson (C) pin (3rd) Dalton Judd (P)
220 Brian Scott (H) 3-1 dec. Curtis Bulloch (SC)
285 Kalob Stevenson (DH) pin (3rd) Sheydon John (SC)
Most Outstanding Wrestlers
Mitch Brown (P)
Brian Scott (H)
Canyon View 204.5
Desert Hills 180
Snow Canyon 169
North Sanpete 127
Pine View 125
Spanish Fork 94
Canyon View 0—1—2—3
Desert Hills 1—1—3—0
Snow Canyon 0—2—0—2
North Sanpete 0—1—1—0
Pine View 0—0—0—1
Spanish Fork 1—0—0—1
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