Trey Ronayne knew the challenges were going to be few and far between.

It’s why he never let up.

“I have to work hard no matter who it is I am wrestling,” the Basha senior 170-pounder said earlier this season. “I can’t let up just because the competition isn’t what I like. I just go do my thing.”

That thing has him go undefeated in Arizona to win state for the second straight year to be the Tribune Wrestler of the Year in 2013-2014.

His lone defeat came in the semifinals at the Reno Tournament of Champions when he lost, 9-4, to Maple Mountain’s Kimbrell Bastian, who is ranked in the top 10 nationally.

“I wanted to wrestle him and I enjoyed it,” Ronayne said. “I’m going to (Grand Canyon University) and he’s going to (Utah Valley) so I’ll see him a lot over the years and I can’t wait to see him again. I could have won it if I wrestled smarter.”

Ronayne, who missed the state tournament his sophomore year after needing Tommy John surgery just before the postseason began, didn’t have such problems at the state tournament. He had two pins and an injury default in order to make the finals.

His championship match against Mountain View’s Kieffer Taylor was one of the Division I state tournament’s most anticipated, and it didn’t disappoint.

Ronayne grabbed the early lead with a couple of powerful takedowns before Taylor got back into it partially because of a penalty point when Ronayne was called for a illegal slam and another penalty point late in the match.

Ronayne closed out the win for a 5-4 win to become the program’s first two-time state champion.

“When he came into the room as a freshman you could tell there is something there,” Basha coach Mike Garcia said. “He had a great work ethic and is very coachable. He would do it without questioning anything. He would just do it.”

It led to a career record of 142-18, with 13 of those defeats coming his freshman season, along with being a two-time All-American at high school nationals in Virginia Beach.

“He’s pretty methodical and has a reserved personality,” Garcia said. “He expects to win so he doesn’t get all that excited but when he won state he showed all kinds of expression and really went crazy.

“Trey is a great example for everyone who wrestles for Basha. It’s about the way you drill and push yourself in practice. It’s not about having a smorgasbord of moves. It’s about perfecting a few moves, everyone knew the high crotch was coming and it didn’t matter — and working hard every single day.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN

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