Lions have four individual champs in McAlester runner-up finish

By Kevin Farr -


Four individual champions as well as one runner-up propelled the Durant Lions to a second place team finish at the tough McAlester Invitational over the weekend.

It was the second Top 3 tournament finish this season for the Lions, who have their first home dual of the year tonight at 6 p.m. facing off against perennial power Shawnee.

Sophomores Connor Hall, Cody Hicks and Josh McKim along with unbeaten freshman Tagen Jamison claimed top spots in their respective weight classes with senior Braden Rudolf adding the second place showing.

Jamison continued his impressive high school debut by posting seven victories at 126 pounds, five of which came via fall. He pinned Kole Lambert of Kingfisher in 1:59 of the quarterfinals, notched an 8-0 major decision against Grove’s Gage Gates in the semifinals and finally posted a 6-1 decision over Ty Nohelty from McAlester in the championship.

Hall was dominant at 138 pounds by going a perfect 8-0 in the tournament with six wins by fall. He pinned Gye Roedel from Kingfisher in just 59 seconds in the quarterfinals before stopping Ada’s Gavin Owens for a semifinal 12-3 major decision. The title tilt saw Hall pin Richard Mack III of North Desoto, Texas in 5:56.

Making his season debut, Hicks rolled through the 145-pound bracket by notching eight victories with no defeats. Six of the wins came by fall including a quarterfinal triumph against Prague’s Trent Palmer in 57 seconds and semifinal victory over Kai Sarwinski of Grove in 1:18. In the finale, he outlasted Poteau’s Jarrett Lilley for a 5-4 decision.

At heavyweight it was all McKim as the Lion grappler recorded wins in all eight of his matches, six of which came by pin fall. He dispatched Colton Bristow from Prague in the quarterfinals by fall at 1:16 and then recorded a 1-0 decision against McGuinness’ Dane Farris for the semifinals. In the championship, McKim added a fall win over Luis Cruz of McKinney North in 3:01.

Rudolf cruised through the 170-pound bracket with only one match not ending early before dropping a narrow 5-3 verdict to McKinney North’s Mylin Mosley in the finals.

Durant also had several other solid performances by wrestlers in other weight classes to help aid the second place team finish.

One of those came at 152 pounds where Ethan Horner claimed third by finishing with a 5-2 record. In the third place match he notched his second pin fall win over Chase Hamilton of McKinney North in the tournament, ending the contest in 2:19.

The Lions picked up a pair of fourth place finishes with Jared Pierce at 113 pounds and Isaiah Wright at 195.

Pierce tallied two wins in the tournament, defeating Cameron Davis from North Desoto by fall in 3:38 as well as Poteau’s Curtis Culvell in a fall at 1:41.

Wright had a strong effort with a 6-3 record at 195 that included a 14-8 decision against North Desoto’s Dylan Oliver in the quarterfinals and another 14-9 verdict over Brian Santamaria of McAlester in the consolation semifinals.

Preston Lewis (106 pounds), Caden Orlando (132 pounds) and Fulton Gorges (195 pounds) notched fifth place showings as well.

Lewis picked up a forfeit against Victoria Mersberger of Fort Smith Northside in the fifth place match while Orlando battled through a tough bracket with four wins, including a fall triumph at 2:00 over Poteau’s Tyler Broom to avenge an earlier tournament defeat.

Ty Rudolf posted a ninth place finish with Alex Jamison also finishing 11th at the 160-pound classification. Rudolf toppled Rodney Patten from McKinney North for a 5-1 decision in his final match while Jamison dropped Grove’s Cole Buckholtz by an 8-4 count.


By Kevin Farr

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