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High School Sports

High School Sports

Lions Clothier, Jones take state wrestling titles

Lawrence High sophomore Alan Clothier, right, takes on Shawnee Mission Northwest senior LaPhonso McKinnis in the Class 6A 182-pound championship at the state tournament on March 1, 2014, in Park City. Clothier won by a 2-1 decision.

Lawrence High sophomore Alan Clothier, right, takes on Shawnee Mission Northwest senior LaPhonso McKinnis in the Class 6A 182-pound championship at the state tournament on March 1, 2014, in Park City. Clothier won by a 2-1 decision.

March 2, 2014

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Lawrence High sophomore Alan Clothier, right, takes on Shawnee Mission Northwest senior LaPhonso McKinnis in the Class 6A 182-pound championship at the state tournament on March 1, 2014, in Park City. Clothier won by a 2-1 decision.

Lawrence High sophomore Alan Clothier, right, takes on Shawnee Mission Northwest senior LaPhonso McKinnis in the Class 6A 182-pound championship at the state tournament on March 1, 2014, in Park City. Clothier won by a 2-1 decision.

Lawrence High senior Alex Jones, 285 pounds, wrestles against Garden City High's Montana Fuller on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in the 6A state championship. Jones won by a 4-1 decision.

Lawrence High senior Alex Jones, 285 pounds, wrestles against Garden City High's Montana Fuller on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in the 6A state championship. Jones won by a 4-1 decision.

Lawrence High sophomore Alan Clothier waited a long time for his chance at revenge. Oh, how sweet it was.

After falling short of a state title last year, Clothier’s preparation over the offseason and work during the season were more focused than ever. It all paid off as Clothier won the 182-pound state championship by a 2-1 decision over Shawnee Mission Northwest’s LaPhonso McKinnis on Saturday afternoon at Hartman Arena.

The Lions had more to cheer about afterward when senior Alex Jones won the 285-pound state championship to help LHS take 10th place in the team standings.

Clothier took third place in the 170-pound weight class last year, losing by pin in the semifinals. He seethed that McKinnis, whom he beat twice in the regular season last season, won the state title.

“It feels great because last year I knew I should have been in the finals and at least had a chance to win the state championship, but I got caught,” said Clothier, who had a cut under his left eye and knot on his forehead. “This is just amazing. It pushed me harder and harder to get here and win the state championship.”

Clothier (30-1) jumped into one of his coach’s arms with both of his arms raised in the air before being embraced by Reece Wright-Conklin, a former three-time state champion at LHS. Clothier beat McKinnis (40-5) four times this year.

“I won three times, so I was a little shaky because there is always that one match that they catch you, and I was a little scared,” Clothier said. “But once we started to wrestle, I knew I had it.”

LHS coach Pat Naughton added: “Like everybody says, it’s hard to beat a team or somebody three times. That’s the fourth time this year that he’s beaten him, and McKinnis is no slouch. He’s an awesome wrestler.”

Jones, who fell one match short of a medal last year, locked up Garden City senior Montana Fuller (14-3) in a cradle in the final 10 seconds for the three points he needed in a 4-1 win by decision to capture the 285-pound state title.

Jones (22-7) celebrated with a yell and a cartwheel while his coaches hugged and his teammates jumped up and down. He cried as the referee raised his arm as the champion.

“I can’t even describe it,” Jones said. “I still can’t believe I’m the man on top. I always feel like I’m the underdog, and I feel like that’s when I play the best.”

Jones seemed more loose than usual before his match. He showed his personality by pulling out a yo-yo when he was introduced during the parade of champions before all of the finals matches, and instead of his usual pacing back-and-forth during meets, he spent most of the long wait before his match standing around his teammates.

“With him, he’s so gifted athletically, and he’s like a natural athlete,” said teammate Ryan Bellinger, who matched up with Jones in practices throughout the season. “What we really had to work on was getting his mind right before matches. If we could get him mad, he pretty much could go out there and beat anybody, and that’s what he did.”

It wasn’t until after Jones went to a heavyweight wrestling camp this summer that he began to realize how good he was.

“He didn’t really have that confidence in his stuff just yet,” Naughton said. “… You still haven’t seen the best of him. There’s still a lot of stuff that he hasn’t shown yet to anybody here but does in practice.”

Free State sophomore Sam Skwarlo rebounded from a first-round loss Friday to take fourth in the 170-pound weight class. He lost by pin for the first time this season.

“When a kid loses in the first round of the state tournament then comes out the back door to get fourth place, that’s amazing,” FSHS coach Mike Gillman said. “… He’s one of our hardest-working kids by far, and that shows an example to our younger kids that I brought down here on what it’s going to take to get down to that spot.”

6A State

Saturday at Park City

Team scores: Garden City 153.5, Derby 135.5, Blue Valley Northwest 115, Wichita Northwest 114, Olathe North 109, Manhattan 100, Junction City 97, Gardner-Edgerton 94.5, Maize 88.5, Lawrence 61, Dodge City 59.5, Hutchinson 51, SM Northwest 50, Haysville 49, Olathe Northwest 43, Olathe East 40, Blue Valley 34, Washburn Rural 30.5, SM South 27, SM East 26, Blue Valley North 25, Olathe South 23, Blue Valley West 20.5, Topeka 20, Free State 18, Wichita North 18, Wichita East 13, Wichita South 4, SM North 3, SM West 1, Wichita Southeast 1.

Finals

LHS results:

182 pounds: Alan Clothier, LHS, def. LaPhonso McKinnis, SM Northwest, 2-1.

285 pounds: Alex Jones, LHS, def. Montana Fuller, Garden City, 4-1.

Third-place

Free State results

170 pounds: Jared Page, Hutchinson, pinned Sam Skwarlo, Free State, 2:14.

Consolation Round 1

LHS results

106 pounds: Xavier Kenney, LHS, pinned Samarth Thakur, Blue Valley Northwest, 4:51.

145 pounds: Tucker Wilson, LHS, def. Jarad Cypret, Washburn Rural, 14-0.

152 pounds: Kevin Folsom, Wichita Northwest, pinned Cy Burghart, LHS, 0:31.

160 pounds: Trenton Allen, Derby, pinned Isaias Rojo, LHS, 2:22.

Free State results

113 pounds: Quailan Fowler, Free State, pinned Jeramy Sanchez, SM North, 0:15.

120 pounds: Sid Miller, Free State, pinned Hunter Skeens, Gardner-Edgerton, 4:54.

160 pounds: Tyler Moulden, Olathe North, def. Colton Steele, Free State, 3-0.

170 pounds: Sam Skwarlo, Free State, def. Jamie Larson, SM West, 13-4.

285 pounds: Keith Mulligan, Blue Valley, won by forfeit over Tyler Sampson, Free State.

Consolation Round 2

LHS results

106 pounds: Will Whitaker, Olathe Northwest, def. Xavier Kenney, LHS, 12-2.

132 pounds: Garrett Girard, LHS, def. Chris Rodriguez, SM East, 3-0.

145 pounds: Aryus Jones, Junction City, def. Tucker Wilson, LHS, 11-0.

170 pounds: Sam Skwarlo, Free State, def. Ryan Bellinger, Lawrence, 1-0.

Free State results

113 pounds: Benjamin Deaton, Olathe South, pinned Quailan Fowler, Free State, 1:00

120 pounds: Gabe Padilla, Junction City, pinned Sid Miller, Free State, 4:48.

170 pounds: Sam Skwarlo, Free State, def. Ryan Bellinger, Lawrence, 1-0.

Consolation quarterfinals

LHS results

132 pounds: Mike Kenny, Olathe North, def. Garrett Girard, LHS, 16-6.

Free State results

170 pounds: Sam Skwarlo, Free State, def. Devon Baker, Maize, 7-4.

Consolation semifinals

Free State results

170 pounds: Sam Skwarlo, Free State, def. AJ Totta, Blue Valley, 3-2 UTB.

Comments

Lee Queen 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Congratulations Alan and Alex! You made an old Lion proud!

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