TUCSON - The Flowing Wells Invitational lost some of its bite.
By all means it was still a great tournament, the usual test of wills and wrestling staying power, but there was something missing this year.
And not just the star power with state champions Dalton Brady (ill) of Chandler, and the Desert Vista trio of Kendall Love (ankle), Alex Bambic (shoulder) and Robbie Mathers (ill) missing the tournament either all together or defaulting out.
With annual powers such as Cottonwood Mingus, Tucson Sunnyside and Safford having down seasons, it took away some of the drama usually dialed up in the finals of the season's best event.
Tucson Ironwood Ridge won the two-day tournament Saturday for the first time with 175.50 points behind two state champions and two other placers to outlast Cibola (165.5) and Sunnyside (148).
Mesa Mountain View (139) was fourth with Corona del Sol (134.5), Horizon (133), Chandler (128.5) and Desert Vista (115) rounding out the top eight. Every one of those teams were missing key components to their lineup.
"A lot of teams weren't 100 percent for whatever reason," Toros coach Bob Callison said. "You go through it now and hope to be ready at the end of the year."
Area champions were Marcos de Niza's Jesus Morales (132 pounds), Horizon's Bryant Wood (145), Desert Mountain's Dante Patrick (160), Horizon's Garrett Ryan (170), Highland's Christian Allen (182) and Marco's Adam Pavlenko (195).
Patrick was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler after defeating Ironwood Ridge's Adam Bingham 15-2 in the finals.
One of the more anticipated matches came between Wood and Mountain View's Seth Monty after their first meeting ended with Wood beating Monty, a state champion, 10-9, over Christmas break.
This meeting was much more subdued but with the same outcome as Wood came away with the 5-1 win.
Another all East Valley final came at 195 as Pavlenko scored a late takedown to beat Hamilton's Alex Burgoyne 5-3 after trailing 3-1 heading into the final period.