Edgar Verde of Mesa didn't look like the No. 1 seed in his 145-pound 5A-I state wrestling bout. He didn't even sound like one.
"I'm not the greatest at takedowns," Verde said after rallying for a 6-4 win in three overtimes in his semifinal bout Tuesday night against Bobby Davis of Mesa Red Mountain.
Verde got the late win to advance to tonight's final against second-seeded Manny Reyes of Chandler, who pinned his semifinal opponent with 40 seconds left in the match at Arizona State's Wells Fargo Arena.
All the top seeds in 5A-I won their bouts to reach the finals, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. today. There will be five Tempe Corona del Sol wrestlers in championship matches - all No. 1 seeds.
In one of the most entertaining and longest battles of the night, Verde was down 4-2 after two periods and looked in trouble against the fifth-seeded Davis, until a late takedown forced an extra 1-minute period. A scoreless 30-second period led to the third overtime.
"I knew I needed a takedown, he kept letting me up, a takedown was all I could get," said Verde. "He seemed tired. So as long as I kept driving at him, I knew I could get something out of it."
Top-seeded Ryan Miller of Corona, the state champion at 145 last year, is in the 152-pound final after routing Skyline's Josh Roberts 12-0 in the semifinals. Chandler Hamilton's Grant Province, the No. 2 seed, will be his opponent.
Highland's Chad Done pulled off a minor upset, as a No. 3 seed, beating second-seeded Hector Calderon of Phoenix Maryvale, 9-5, at 125.
"There was 20 seconds left, I was very tired, and I guess I was a little overconfident, because I thought I had the match wrapped up but he threw me on my back," Done said. "It was the fifth time I had wrestled him this year and he beat me every time until now."
Wednesday's 189-pound championship should be interesting with top-seeded Sam Fulton of Corona facing No. 3 Colton Oliver of Gilbert Highland. Fulton pinned Red Mountain's Bobby Worth with 49 seconds left in the second period while Oliver had to hold off John Dillon of Chandler Basha 4-3.
"He was strong," Fulton said of Worth. "I just kept going. I thought he was stronger than me, but I just kept going. It worked - I put him on his back."
Oliver said he felt "awesome" being in his first championship bout in his first year on varsity.
"I've wrestled him twice," Oliver said of Fulton. "Both times it didn't come out in my favor. I just need to wrestle smarter. The last two times I didn't wrestle smart against him."
In the heavyweight class, third-seeded Tevin Hood of Hamilton pinned No. 2 Mario Ramirez of Red Mountain, to reach the final against top-seed Mike Howard of Corona.
In 5A-II, Tempe Marcos de Niza 103-pounder Frank Armenta started the night with 9-5 win over No. 5 Dante Patrick of Scottsdale Desert Mountain.
"Just another match," Armenta said. "Just got to keep going to win, it feels good when they come after you."
Padre 189-pounder Dylan Yole upset top-seed Cedric Gonzalez of Tucson Sunnyside 6-5 in his semifinal to reach the championship bout against John Couvaras of Scottsdale Desert Mountain.
Desert Mountain's Shane McGough pinned his semifinal opponent, fifth-seeded Preston Andrews of Anthem Boulder Creek with 1:23 left in the second period, giving him a chance to defend his 125-pound state title.
Wednesday’s championship finals
103 – Nate Covarrubias (Desert Ridge) vs. Dalton Brady (Chandler)
112 – Robbie Mathers (Desert Vista) vs. Vidal Max Mejia (Chandler)
119 – Daniel Mendoza (Westwood) vs. Gabe Ballesteros (Mesa)
125 – Nick Suwyn (Mountain Ridge) vs. Chad Done (Highland)
130 – Brandon McElveen (Mesquite) vs. Tadeo Ruelas (Brophy)
135 – Reyes Cortez (Maryvale) vs. Paul Looper (Brophy)
140 – Mike Hamel (Mesquite) vs. Graig Alger (Mesa)
145 – Edgar Verde (Mesa) vs. Manny Reyes (Chandler)
152 – Ryan Miller (Corona) vs. Grant Province (Hamilton)
160 – Blake Ortiz (Corona) vs. Nick Robles (Mesa)
171 – Derek Felton (Corona) vs. Tyler Cattey (Gilbert)
189 – Sam Fulton (Corona) vs. Colten Oliver (Highland)
215 – Tyler Masson (Kofa) vs. Jake Smith (Basha)
285 – Mike Howard (Corona) vs. Tevin Hood (Hamilton)
Tuesday’s semifinal results
103 – Covarrubias (DR) def. Herrera (Dob) 9-0; Brady (Chan) def. Lechuga (Mary) 16-1
112 – Mathers (DV) def. Lopez (Dob) 5-2; Mejia (Chan) maj. dec. McIntyre (Sky) 14-2
119 – Mendoza (WW) pinned Curt Done (High), 2:55; Ballesteros (Mesa) def. Alejandro (NC), 3:19
125 – Suwyn (MR) maj. dec. Carroll (MP) 13-3; Chad Done (High) def. Calderon (Mary) 9-5.
130 – McElveen (Mesq) def. Spadafore (Corona) 9-2; Ruelas (Bro) def. Jensen (Sky) 4-3
135 – Cortez (Mary) def. Campbell (Dob) 10-8; Looper (Bro) maj. dec. DeRosa (RM) 16-7
140 – Hamel (Mesq) pinned Bayer (NC), 4:43; Alger (Mesa) def. Monty (MV) 8-2
145 – Verdi (Mesa) def Davis (RM) 6-4, 3OT; Reyes (Chan) pinned Arredondo (MR), 4:40
152 – Miller (Cor) maj. dec. Roberts (Sky) 12-0; Province (Ham) def. Huber (MV) 5-3
160 – Ortiz (Cor) def. Martinez (DV) 9-6; Robles (Mesa) def. Rollins (Sky) 9-7.
171 – Felton (Cor) maj. dec. Counts (DR) 10-1; Cattey (Gil) def. Valencia (Tuc) 7-3.
189 – Fulton (Cor) pinned Worth (RM), 2:11; Oliver (High) def. Dillon (Basha) 4-3.
215 – Masson (Kofa) pinned Bambic (DV), :45 ; Smith (Basha) def. Ukaku (RM) 2-1, OT
285 – Howard (Cor) def. Brown (Sky) 3-1; Hood (Ham) pinned Ramirez (RM), 2:57.
Wednesday’s championship finals
103 – Frank Armenta (Marcos) vs. Trevor Wilson (Ironwood Ridge)
112 – H. Rollins (Sandra Day O’Connor) vs. Tim Ellison (Boulder Creek)
125 – Shane McGough (Desert Mountain) vs. Raul Moraga (Sunnyside)
130 – Kyle Webb (IR) vs. Adam Jungbluth (Marana Mountain View)
135 – Luke McClure (IR) vs. Ernesto Prieto (Cibola)
140 – Joel Rollins (BC) vs. Ryan Torres (Deer Valley)
145 – Kory DeBerry (Sunnyside) vs. David Wilson (IR)
152 – Manny Aranda (Sunnside) vs. D Cotton (O’Connor)
160 – Caleb Crump (MV) vs. T. Devito (O’Connor)
171 – J. Devito (O’Connor) vs. Stephen Lynch (BC)
189 – Dylan Yole (Marcos) vs. vs. John Couvaras (DM)
215 – Aaron Pavlenko (Marcos) vs. Diego Bravo (Sunnyside)
285 – Ryan Jordan (Lake Havasu) vs. Tyeler Davison (DM)
Tuesday's semifinals results
103 – Armenta (Mar) def. Patrick (DM) 9-5; Wilson (IR) def. Jaimes (Cib) 17-4
112 – Rollins (SDO) def. Miranda (SS) 11-4; Ellison (BC) def. Gamez (MV) 9-4
125 – McGough (DM) pinned Andrews (BC), 2:37; Moraga (SS) pinned Amaya (Mill), 4:35.
130 – Webb (IR) def. Morales (MDN) 24-8; Jungbluth (MV) pinned Loop (BC) 3:21
135 – McClure (IR) def. Rascon (MV) 4-2; Prieto (Cib) def. Villa (SS) 13-6
140 – Rollins (BC) def. Robinson (SDO) 8-2; Torres (DV) def. Nahrgong (Cent) 8-3
145 – DeBerry (SS) def. Prince (Iron) 13-0; Wilson (IR) def. Sotelo (MDN) 11-7
152 – Aranda (SS) def. Poh (Hor) 15-7; Cotton (SDO) def. Baca (MDN) 11-7
160 – Crump (MV) def. Boggs (IR) 15-7; T. Devito (SDO) def. Adam Pavlenko (MDN) 7-3
171 – J. Devito (SDO) def. Malsino (MV) 16-9; Lynch (BC) pinned Carlson (IR) 5:18
189 – Yole (MDN) pinned Gonzalez (SS) 5:56; Couvaras (DM) def. Smith (IR) 10-4
215 – Aaron Pavlenko (MDN) pinned Lopez (Cent) 5:56; Bravo (SS) def. Ramsey (West) 4-2
285 – Jordan (LH) def. Monfore (GR) 2-1; Davison (DM) pinned Foster (Iron) 3:29