Up until its dual with Derby in the middle of January, Goddard was widely considered as the top wrestling team in Class 6A.
But since that 27-25 loss to Derby, in which they trailed by as many as 20 points, the Lions haven't quite received the same kind of attention.
While it didn't win the eight-team Northwest regional Saturday afternoon — a regional that included six ranked teams — Goddard took second with 193 points and the Lions head into next week's state tournament at Intrust Bank Arena with a little steam, in hopes of winning a third consecutive state title.
Garden City won the regional with 207 points; Dodge City took third with 166 points, while Northwest finished fourth with 143.5 points.
Of Goddard's 14 wrestlers, 11 made it to either the final or consolation matches, which means a berth in the state tournament.
"You know, qualifying 11-that's not bad," Goddard coach Brett Means said. "I feel like we could have competed a little better with Garden City, but I think it will be a battle at state between them, us, Derby and Heights."
"I think by finishing second, it gives us a little more motivation."
Heading into the finals, Garden City led Goddard 179 1/2 to 177, but only once during the championship duals did either team square off against one another and that was at 103 with the Lions' Kaleb Bonilla and the Buffaloes' Anthony Calderon.
After a scoreless first period, Bonilla led 3-1 after the second period, thanks to a quick takedown and a reversal at the end of the two mintues.
Calderon cut Bonilla's lead to 5-4 with a takedown late in the third period but Bonilla answered late with a reversal for a 6-4 victory.
"The fact that my match was against the team that was close to us in team scores made it more important," Bonilla said. "It feels good to win and I know I can be a state champ next week."
At 140, Goddard's Trey Houlden defeated Hunter Edwards from Dodge City 7-5. Houlden recorded three takedowns and an escape.
"I thought my defense was really good today," Houlden said. "When he got me by my legs, I scrambled and got out."
* Kyle Caylor, Sean Gaither, Tevin Kendall and Trey Page all won championships for Northwest. At 152, Gaither defeated Jacob Eggers from Dodge City 6-4, while Kendall took down Dakota Spencer from Goddard 6-4. Caylor defeated Josh Hicks from Goddard 6-5, while Page won the 285 class by topping Dodge City's Jesse Trent 5-1.
We got our eight kids qualified and we are happy with that," Northwest coach Eric Prichard said. "We would have liked to have had more, but we have enough to give us a chance next week."
* Other regional champions include Dalton Miller (112) and Cody Beasley (119) from Campus, Chase Locke (130) from Maize, and D.J. Collins (160) from South, who pinned Garden City's Eddy Gomez at 160 pounds.
1. Garden City 207 2. Goddard 193 3. Dodge City 166 4. Northwest 143.5 5. Maize 143 6. South 111.5 7. Campus 76.5 8. North 32.
103—1. Bonilla, GD, def Calderon, GC, 6-4; 3. Dollman, NW, pinned Barbezbain, MZ, :44. 112— 1. Miller, C, def Martinez, GD, 16-1; 3. Garcia, DC, def Escarcega, GC, 6-3. 119— 1. Beasley, C, def Witten, MZ, 11-5; 3. Hurtado, GC, def Lemon, GD, 6-5. 125— 1. Anguiano, GC pinned Webber, WS 5:36; 3. Nuno, MZ def Stone WNW 6-5. 130— 1. Locke, MZ, def Vasquez, DC 4-3; 3. Greenlee, GC, def Belle, GD, 11-1. 135— 1. Medina, GC, def Cox, MZ, injury default; 3. Terrell, WNW, def Webb, WS, 9-3. 140— 1. Houlden, GD, def Edwards, DC, 7-5; 3. Ortiz, GC, def Cassity, MZ, 6-3. 145— 1. Dozier, GC, def Blundell, DC, 16-1; 3. Elliott, GD, pinned Garcia, MZ, 3:32. 152— 1. Gaither, NW, def. Eggers, DC, 6-4; 3. Heiman, GC, def Rodd, C, 11-1. 160— 1. Collins, WS, pinned Gomez, GC, 4:38; 3. Ybarra, DC, def Le, GD 5-2. 171— 1. Kendall, NW, def Spencer, GD, 6-4; 3. Jones, WS, def Shockley, GC, 3-2. 189— 1. Banner, DC, def Beard, GD, 7-2; 3. Brandon, WS, def Olson, MZ, 10-2. 215— 1. Caylor, NW, def Hicks, GD, 6-5;3. Ediger, DC, pinned Nelson, WN, 1:22. 285— 1. Page, NW, def Trent, DC, 5-1; 3. Woodruff, GD, pinned Schmidt, WN 1:52.