Clay becomes Carencro's first two-time champion
LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Division II, 160 Pounds
May 8th, 2019| Written by: Editor

Weight Class Synopsis Early Championship Rounds Quarterfinals Semifinals Consolation Rounds 3rd and 5th Finals

Carencro's Taylor Clay won his second Division II state championship and the first of two consecutive title for the Bears.

Place 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Name Taylor Clay Kaleb Garcia Nawab Singh William Billings Shad Sheffie Alex Lozano
School Carencro Parkway Live Oak Rayne St. Michael East Jefferson
Seed 1 2 3 6 Not Seeded 5
Class Senior Junior Sophomore Junior Sophomore Senior
Final Record* 25-1 36-2 38-22 26-10 35-24 15-13

*    Louisiana opponents only, not including any types of forfeits, byes or junior varsity events.

Weight Class Synopsis

Barring earth-shattering events, this was a two-man weight class. 

Carencro's Taylor Clay, a defending Division II state champion, and Parkway's Kaleb Garcia, a runner-up in 2018, both only had one loss apiece.  Clay lost 5-4 to Mason Massicot in the finals of the Louisiana Classic, which did not go over well with a lot of the onlookers.  Garcia lost a 6-5 to Zachary's Austin Langley in a tie-breaker.  Taylor had defeated #3 Singh and #6 Billings.  Garcia had beaten #6 Billings.

Clay won the Ken Cole Invitational and the Lafayette Metro, and finished second at the Louisiana Classic.  To reach the finals he had a round-one bye, pinned his round-two opponent in 1:40, his quarterfinals opponent in 2:16 and pinned %5 Alex Lozano of East Jefferson in 0:24 in the semifinals.

Garcia won the Riot on the Red, the Jacob McMillan Memorial, the Lone Survivor and the NW Louisiana Regionals.  He placed third at the Ken Cole Invitational and fourth at the Trey Culotta Invitational.  His path to the finals was a tad more difficult than Clays.  He used a fall in 3:23 to defeat his round-one opponent, a 10-4 decision to beat his round-two opponent, scored a 5-0 decision in the quarterfinals and a 7-1 semifinals decision over #3 Sing in the semifinals.

Early Championship Rounds

R1: (5) Alex Lozano (EJ) pinned Nathan Martin (HNT) in 4:48
R1: Hunter Hanson (ND) pinned Jack Piwko (RUM) in 3:00
R2: (5) Alex Lozano (EJ) pinned Tyrone Bossiere (NOMMA) in 0:34: R2: (3) Nawab Singh (LO) pinned Hunter Hanson (ND) in 5:36
R2: (5) Robert Lozano (EJ) pinned Tyrone Bossiere (NOM) in 0:34; R2: (3) Nawab Singh (LO) pinner Hunter Hanson (ND) in 5:36

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(1) Taylor Clay (CAR) pinned Devin Skipps (SHW) in 2:16
(3) Nawab Singh (LO) pinned (6) William Billings (RAY) in 4:55; (5) Alex Lozano (EJ) pinned Jakob McKee (PR) in 3:59
(2) Kaleb Garcia (PKY) defeated (7) Austin Pratt (TC) 5-0

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(1) Taylor Clay (CAR) pinned (5) Alex Lozano (EJ) in 0:24
(2) Kaleb Garcia (PKY) defeated (3) Nawab Singh (LO) 7-1

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Consolation Rounds

C2: (4) Andrew Schifflin (BC) pinned Jack Piwko (RUM) in 2:29
C2: Zach Jenkins (BNT) pinned Kory Vogel (RIV) in 3:59

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Championship Consolation Rounds

 (3) Nawab Singh (LO) pinned (6) William Bennings (CAD) in 4:55 to place 3rd
Shad Sheffie (StM) pinned (5) Alex Lozano (EJ) in 4:24 to place 5th

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(1) Taylor Clay of Carencro defeated (2) Kaleb Garcia of Parkway 5-2
Points were hard to score in this match, as one might expect in a match between wrestlers who only lost one match all season, and each by only one point.  After 45 seconds had elapsed the second-seeded Garcia shot a single-leg with a shoulder to Clay's thigh, knocking him backward.  But Clay did not give up a takedown easily as he was able to get back on one leg and face Garcia.  But when Garcia lifted Clay's leg and slipped an arm around Clay's back, he was able to force Clay to the mat with 1:10 remaining in the round.  Clay did not move much on the bottom until Garcia tried a nearside cradle.  Clay stood up but Garcia held onto his leg and was able to turn that single into a double and take Clay back to the mat.  However, in doing so, Garcia locked his hands and as the period ended Clay was awarded the penalty point.  The defending state champion, however, was still down 2-1.

Clay won the toss and deferred to Garcia who chose to start on the bottom.  This was not a terribly exciting period.  Midway through Garcia stood-up once but Clay brought him back to the mat.  While no points were scored by either wrestler, the toll of fighting off Clay's attempts to turn him may have fatigued Garcia.

Starting on the bottom, Clay used a Granby roll when Garcia lifted one of his legs, Clay did not score, but he wound up draping over Garcia horizontally, and then rolled both of them over again trying to break Garcia's grip on his leg.  When that did not work Clay lifted one of Garcia's legs up and sprawled back flattening Garcia and breaking Garcia's hold on his leg, allowing Clay to spin behind Garcia for a reversal.  Clay spent some time trying to use a force nelson to turn Garcia, but eventually the two went out of bounds.  With 20 second remaining Clay trapped one of Garcia's arms underneath Garcia, which opened-up a half-nelson opportunity for Clay, and he pounced on it.  As time ran out Clay was awarded two nearfall points and won his second title 5-2.

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