Wrestling: Overland’s Amer Tipura denied 220-pound state championship by rival Mayberry

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Overland's Amer Tipura
Overland’s Amer Tipura, right, looks for an opening against Columbine’s Brian Mayberry during the Class 5A 220-pound state championship match on Feb. 23, 2013, at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Mayberry won 3-1 in overtime, keeping Overland from having its first state champion since 1996. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

DENVER | If Overland’s Amer Tipura and Columbine’s Brian Mayberry wrestled 10 times, each wrestler might win five.

Mayberry took the one that counted most on Feb. 23, as he edged Tipura 3-1 in overtime in the Class 5A 220-pound state championship match at the Pepsi Center.

The two had met three times previously in the past two years and every match had gone to overtime — with Mayberry winning twice and Tipura once, last week — and that’s where the final went tied at 1-1.

“He got me when it was most important,” Tipura said. “He got me in the end.”

Tipura shot for the winning takedown, but Mayberry deftly turned to the side, caught his right leg and took him down for the winning points.

Overland had been looking for its first state champion since 1996, when it had two winners, including two-timer Dale King along with Ryan Miller.

Overland's Amer Tipura
Columbine’s Brian Mayberry, back, raises his hands to celebrate his 3-1 overtime win against Overland’s Amer Tipura, foreground, in the Class 5A 220-pound state championship wrestling match on Feb. 23, 2013, at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Brandon Iwamoto/Aurora Sentinel)

Tipura’s season came to a close at 42-2, with both losses coming to Mayberry. The other defeat came 4-2 in double overtime in the semifinals of the Les Mattocks Invitational on Feb. 2 at Abraham Lincoln High School, a match that left both wrestlers injured and forced them both to injury default their next matches.

It was disappointing for Tipura, who still finished with his first place in two trips to the state tournament. He joined Josh Christopher — who went 2-2 and took sixth at 130 pounds in 2008 — as the only Overland placers at the state tournament in the past 15 seasons.

Overland coach Bert Dalton tried to get Tipura ready for the match as best he could in the back hallways of the Pepsi Center, as the 220-pounder had to wait nearly three hours to get on the mat as the championship matches in 12 other weight classifications played out.

Dalton called his standout “a caged cat” as he warmed up by himself and tried to focus on the task ahead.

Once Tipura and Mayberry finally got on the mat, the match played out like almost all of their meetings. They circled and locked up through a scoreless first period, then each earned an escape point in the following two periods to send the match to overtime.

Tipura got the better of Mayberry a week earlier in the 5A Region 4 championship match, but this time his play for the winning points backfired with Mayberry’s counter move.

Mayberry let out a guttural roar when it was over and the stunned Tipura returned to the back hallway, where he slumped against the wall as Dalton, teammate Javier Alonso and other Overland coaches tried to console him and keep his accomplishments in perspective.

“I guess I had a good season,” he said with a pained look on his face.

Two of the three Trailblazers who qualified for the state tournament placed — which tied Grandview for the most among Aurora teams — as Alonso took sixth at 182 pounds in his first state appearance.

Senior heavyweight Anthony Childs made it to within one victory of the placing round, but a 6-2 loss to Grandview’s Josh Vigil-Harrison kept him off the podium.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555

2013 CLASS 5A STATE WRESTLING TOURNAMENT

Saturday, Feb. 23 at Pepsi Center

AURORA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES

195 pounds: Grant Neal (Regis Jesuit dec. Payton Tapia (Fossil Ridge), 3-2

220 pounds: Brian Mayberry (Columbine) dec. Amer Tipura (Overland), 3-1 (OT)