Bulldogs send four grapplers to state; Volunteers qualify two
KINGMAN - Mason Wester went unbeaten at 145 pounds for the Division III, Section I championship and helped the Kingman Bulldogs place sixth at the 15-team tournament Saturday at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley.
Lee Williams finished 12th behind the strength of Nic Verville's and Kensington Penny's third place finishes.
Wester dominated the section championship by going 3-0 and is seeded No. 3 at this weekend's D-III State Championship tournament. His first two wins were by pin, and then he beat Page's Hayden Gracia by major decision for the title and 25 team points, 15-7. Wester is 39-6 on the season.
Conner Mahlmeister (195) scored 20 points for Kingman by taking second place. He went 2-1 and earned his two victories by pin. He fell in the championship to Show Low's Willie Wyatt by decision, 13-8. Mahlmeister (34-5) is seeded No. 8 at state.
The most interesting trip through the brackets for Kingman had to be Christian Barrios at 113 pounds. Barrios lost in the quarterfinals to Show Low's Tanner Marsh by major decision, 14-3. Barrios then won four consecutive matches to claim third place, including beating Marsh in the third-place match by decision, 6-3. Barrios (33-8) scored 12 points for the Bulldogs and is unseeded at state.
Humberto Ayala (220) earned fourth place and came up with 13 points for Kingman. Ayala went 2-2 at the tournament and is 30-12 overall. Ayala is also unseeded at state.
Ramon Chavez (138) and Tanner Mahlmeister (160) each scored six points for the Bulldogs, going 2-2. Joshua Schreuder (3-2) added 9.5 with a 3-2 record. Kingman wrestlers went 16-20 at the tournament.
Penny (285) and Verville (126) combined to score all 34 points for the Volunteers. Each went 3-1 to place third in their respective divisions and are unseeded for state.
Penny earned 18 points for Lee Williams. His three wins came by pin, but so did his loss to Page's Dakota Richardson in the semifinals. Penny is 28-11 on the season.
Verville (33-4) fell in the semifinals and for the third time this season to Chino Valley's Kendall Foster. Verville was outpointed, 11-4, but bounced back with a pin over Chinle's Raul Yazzie and a major-decision victory over Show Low's Maxx McKrill, 9-1.
Lee Williams was 6-8 at the tournament.
The D-III state tournament begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the Prescott Valley Event Center and continues at 10 a.m. Saturday.