Mariners place sixth in toughest wrestling tournament in Alaska

The Homer Mariners finished sixth with 86 points among 43 wrestling teams at the annual Lancer Smith Memorial tournament Friday and Saturday at Colony High School. It’s considered the toughest tournament in Alaska.

The Mariners are taking this week off before hosting the Voznesenka Cougars in a dual at 6 p.m. Dec. 1 to celebrate Senior Night. 

South won the Lancer Smith tourney with 224.5 points, while Colony finished second with 178.5.

Timmy Woo finished second as the top individual for Homer, recording three major decisions en route to the 152-pound final, where he lost 9-6 to North Pole’s Ethan Schumaker.

Woo suffered only his second loss in 36 matches Saturday in the Championship against Ethan Shoemaker from North Pole in the tournament. Woo scored the first takedown in the most exciting match of the season.  Shoemaker battled back to take the lead 6-4 in the third period.  Both wrestlers were aggressive on their feet and scoring takedowns. No back points were scored. Woo tied up the match 6-6 with 28 seconds.  He let Shoemaker go to get another takedown and go for the win, but Shoemaker was able to score a final takedown and secure a 9-6 victory.  Woo won four other matches.

Luciano Fasulo (120 pounds) and Jared Brant (132) both finished fourth in their weight classes for Homer. Brant picked up a big win over Aaron Olson from Bethel en route to his fourth-place finish. Olson, the  No. 1 ranked wrestler who beat Brant in overtime two weeks ago went down 4-3.  Brant scored a reversal and takedown to hold off Olson; Brant’s only losses were to third place finisher Brenan Powell from East.

Freshman Fasulo was unseeded and was able to win five matches in a row to get into the consolation finals match against Jacob Shack of South Anchorage. Fasulo defeated Sean Tavarez of Ketchikan 14-0.  Tavarez was ranked No. 3 in 4A. Fasulo is ranked No. 4 in Small Schools but outlasted the top three this weekend. His sister Jadzia who wrestled at the Colony Scramble won two matches and is getting tuned up for the Girls State Tournament in a couple of weeks. Chris Cudaback, 152, defended his Colony JV Scramble title with a four win and zero loss weekend.

Sophomore Tristen Cook, 170, placed fifth.  He avenged a first round loss to Brandon Antesberger of North Pole. Cook caught Antesberger, a top-ranked 4A wrestler, in a head lock and was able to coast to a 3-2 victory. He then went on to beat Nathan Carstens from Nikiski 8-3. Carstens was the 160-pound state champion last year. Cook remains ranked No. 2 behind Spencer Woods of Kotzebue. Teddy Croft, a sophomore at 160, lost to highly ranked 4A wrestlers. He battled tough and won two matches. Levi King, again filling in for injured Kyle Wells at 182, beat No. 4 ranked Drew Pekkar of Bethel.  He continues to show progress each week.