Wooten into the finals – again | PostIndependent.com

Wooten into the finals – again

Post Independent/Phil Sandoval Rifle's Tyler Thompson, top, wrestles Bryce Clemmer of Fountain-Fort Carson in the 160-pound division during the state tournament in Denver on Friday. Clemmer won the match 11-3.

DENVER – Luke Wooten will get a chance to defend his state title.The 130-pounder won his semifinal match Friday and has two Rifle Bears teammates with spots in today’s action. Two other teammates were battling to keep their season alive in the loser-out bracket late Friday night. Wooten’s victory over Scott Schaffer wasn’t as wide as his previous three wins in the 130-pound division. But he’ll take the 5-3 decision against the Greeley Central senior gladly. It gives Wooten the chance to become Rifle High’s second back-to-back state champion.

Following the pattern of previous matches, Wooten scored eight seconds in. But, he got a shock when Schaffer took a temporary 3-2 lead with a second-period escape followed up by a reversal.”He really didn’t get much out of me expect those two points,” Wooten said. “The points he got, I pretty much pulled him on top of me – I almost put myself in a really bad position.”A position Wooten promptly erased by reversing Schaffer’s hold.”I was just wrestling careful,” he said. “I was never concerned about losing the match. I’ve got too much want in me to lose. I can’t accept it.”

It took nine seconds for Wooten to regain the lead and take it for good. The hardest part, he said, is the wait for tonight’s championship match.”I’m going to be wrestling a lot of matches in my dreams tonight,” he said. “You sit around all day doing nothing – that kind of sucks.”Freshman James Conrardy’s impressive run through the 112-pound bracket was derailed by Westminster senior Aron Balterria, who nailed a 4-1 decision on the Bear youngster in the championship semifinals.Likewise, Tim Long, who had won three straight matches in the 152-pound division, lost an 8-6 decision to Jordan Titoni of Pine Creek.

Conrardy and Long remain alive in the tournament. After semifinal losses that dropped both into the consolation bracket, they have to win their respective matches this morning to earn a medal bout. Derek Fruetel and Tyler Thompson were involved in second-round consolation matches at 145 and 160 pounds, respectively, late Friday. No results were available at press time. Wins Friday night and this morning advance them to a possible shot at a state medal if they win bouts this morning. Both of Glenwood Springs state qualifiers were eliminated from the 4A tournament after suffering a second loss. In a first-round, 112-pound consolation match, sophomore Blake Newby was major decisioned, 16-2, by Drake Huggans of Northridge. Mike Zerfoss, the Demons’ senior heavyweight, was pinned in 1:25 by Pueblo County’s Jose Rodriquez.

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