Somwhat unexpectedly, Hoquiam transformed the only dual meeting of trans-Myrtle Street wrestling rivals into a Grizzly pinfest.
Recording seven of their nine contested victories via pins, the Grizzlies flattened Aberdeen, 55-18, in a non-league contest Wednesday night at Sam Benn Gym.
The Grizzlies, who have performed well in tournaments but were something of an unknown quantity in dual matches this season, may have entered this contest as slight favorites. But even HHS coach Fidel Sanchez was surprised by the margin of victory.
Sanchez attributed the decisiveness of the score to the ability of his club to convert potential decisions into pins. Several of the falls came in contests in which they trailed at some point during the match.
“When we had a chance to pin them, we did,” Sanchez noted. “That’s why it was so lopsided.”
Aberdeen coach Chuck Veloni, while noting some bright spots, was disappointed with his team’s overall showing.
“The main point was we wrestled like we practiced in the last week,” Veloni said. “Too many kids took too much time off during Christmas break. It was frustrating. Our kids are better than that.”
Leading 15-9 after a series of entertaining early matches, Hoquiam began its decisive run at 160 pounds. Sophomore Tahj Malone, locked in an evenly contested battle in the opening minute, pinned Aberdeen’s Drew Stocker with four seconds remaining in the first round.
Then Hoquiam’s Alex Valliere, down 12-9 early in the second round, dominated the remainder of the contest to notch a 23-14 major decision over Tavo Sanchez in a slam-bang 170-pound bout in which the Benn Gym record for rapid-fire reversals may have been threatened. Valliere led 18-14 after two rounds.
Following a pin by Grizzly senior Kenny Huffman at 182 pounds, Aberdeen’s Ben Tupper momentarily stemmed the tide by decisioning Shawn Penn-McKinney at 195.
But, bouncing back from an early 4-0 deficit, Hoquiam 220-pounder Gary Aube pinned Henry Fultz in the first round to give the visitors a 31-12 lead. Even with five matches remaining (the dual started at 132 pounds), that was an insurmountable advantage, since the Grizzlies had a forfeit victory in their pocket at 106.
Elliot Foss, Austin Prosch, David Molitor and Shiianna Anderson recorded the other HHS pins.
Molitor trailed 6-5 when he caught Tristen Jimenez midway through the second round of their 145-pound encounter. Anderson pinned Peyton Glanz in an all-female 113-pound contest.
Sanchez cited Malone, Aube and Valliere for particularly strong showings.
“In the third rounds, I thought we had the upper hand,” the HHS coach said.
Aggressive Kolby Shelton, at 152 pounds, and heavyweight Jordon Logan registered pins for the Bobcats.
Aberdeen’s highlight, however, came from senior 138-pounder Erikk Machowek, whose 8-6 overtime victory over Tristan Stutesman may have been the night’s most exciting match.
Trailing 5-4, Stutesman scored a takedown with 22 seconds remaining in regulation, only to be immediately reversed by Machowek. Stutesman then escaped in the final seconds to force overtime.
Machowek’s takedown in the opening 30 seconds of OT ended the contest.
Veloni also praised the performances of Shelton, Tristen Jimenez, Erick Juarez (who lost a tight match to state veteran Jesse Velez) and his two female varsity wrestlers, Glanz and Ali Morris.
Hoquiam’s Emma Skinner and Jenna Doll won two matches apiece during the girls portion of a girls/JV preliminary to the varsity contest. Grizzlies Bree Hyder and Ericka DuBore and Aberdeen’s Alexis Miranda, Liz Gomez, Lisa Rounsivill, Kaylee Nguyen and Bianca Aguilar won the other female matches.
The Bobcats return to Evergreen 2A Conference competition tonight at home against River Ridge. Hoquiam hosts Cashmere in a dual match Friday that will serve as a prelude to Saturday’s Grizzly Alumni Invitational tournament.
132 — Jesse Velez (H) dec. Erick Juarez, 6-4. 138 — Erikk Machowek (A) dec. Tristan Stutesman, 8-6, OT. 145 — David Molitor (H) pinned Tristen Jimenez, 3:04. 152 — Kolby Shelton (A) pinned Angel Mazariegos, 3:57. 160 — Tahj Malone (H) pinned Drew Stocker, 1:56. 170 — Alex Valliere (H) maj. decision over Tavo Sanchez, 23-14. 182 — Kenny Huffman (H) pinned Justin Baldwin, 1:41. 195 — Ben Tupper (A) def. Shawn Penn-McKinney, 8-6.
220 — Gary Aube (H) pinned Henry Fultz, 1:24. 285 — Jordon Logan (A) pinned Tyler Smith, 2:22. 106 — Mariah Nelle (H) won forfeit. 113 — Shiianna Anderson (H) pinned Peyton Glanz, 0:22. 120 — Elliot Foss (H) pinned Ali Morris, 1:26. 126 — Austin Prosch (H) pinned Austin Pierce, 0:38.