A historic Montesano showing at Hoquiam’s Grizzly Alumni Association wrestling tournament wasn’t quite enough to escape the long arm of the LAW.
Class 3A Lincoln of Tacoma, whose acronym LAW (Lincoln Abes Wrestling) adorns its uniforms, edged the Bulldogs to capture team honors in the Grizzly Alumni Association meet Saturday at Hoquiam Square Garden.
The Abes amassed 194 points to finish 24 points ahead of the Bulldogs. Monte’s second-place finish is, however, believed to be the highest in school history in this prestigious multi-classification meet.
Host Hoquiam, despite having only one finalist, placed third at 150 points. Class B Willapa Harbor, beating several upper-classification schools, was fourth with 143 1/2.
Montesano produced three of the Twin Harbors’ six champions — Jacob Ellefson at 113 pounds, Austin Cain at 132 and Anthony Louthan at 170.
Aberdeen’s Tristen Jimenez (145) and Jordon Logan (heavyweight) and Willapa Harbor’s Matthew Boyes (195) also brought home titles.
Winning 11 of its first 12 matches, the young Bulldogs actually owned the team lead until Lincoln utilized its superior depth by piling up points in the final consolation rounds.
“I think we only had 10 kids here and every single one of them got fifth or better,” Bulldog coach Jeff Klinger said. “We’re excited about our performance as a team. We’re working hard in the (wrestling) room and it’s paying off.”
Ellefson remained unbeaten for the season by pinning all three of his opponents. He dominated Willapa Harbor’s Brandon Johnson before pinning him midway through the second round.
Cain was similarly in control while decisioning River Ridge’s Daniel Montesa, 8-3, in the 132-pound final.
Although always on the attack, Louthan didn’t break things open until the third round en route to a 7-0 decision over Willapa Harbor’s Shiloh Borden.
Montesano’s two losing finalists suffered near-identical fates.
Cashmere’s Austin Thompson pulled off an escape with 19 seconds remaining to edge Monte’s Austin Vinson, 9-8, in the 120-pound title match.
A last-minute escape also proved the difference in a 3-2 decision win by Mark Morris’ Christian Rivera-Lopez over Montesano’s Tyler Izatt in the 106-pound title match.
Aberdeen’s Jimenez followed a reversal with a lightning-quick pin over Wahkiakum’s Alex Johnson in 59 seconds at 145 pounds.
State veteran Logan sparred with North Beach’s Daniel Fruh, last year’s state Class B runner-up, for the opening minute before a takedown and subsequent pin ended matters in 1:26.
Aberdeen’s Erikk Machowek found the going tough against unbeaten state veteran Ethan Visser of Cashmere in the 138-pound title match. Visser won by pin in 3:19.
Bobcat coach Chuck Veloni was encouraged by his team’s showing after disappointing performances in a couple of dual matches earlier in the week. He credited a 3-hour “recommitment” practice on Friday with paying dividends.
“The kids worked hard yesterday and are wrestling well today,” he said prior to the title round.
Willapa Harbor’s Boyes dominated the final three minutes for a surprisingly lopsided 19-8 major decision over Lincoln’s Jeremy Lukosh in a battle of once-beaten 195-pounders.
The tide turned late in the second round when Boyes countered a missed Lukosh takedown attempt with a five-point takedown/near-fall combination that produced a 13-6 advantage.
That provided some revenge for teammate Hunter Borden’s hard-fought decision loss to another Lincoln wrestler, B.J. Hawthorne, moments earlier in the 182-pound title bout.
Last year’s state Class B champion, Borden appeared to have a clear advantage in stamina as a deadlocked match entered the closing seconds. But the gasping Hawthorne found enough energy for one final thrust and his takedown with five seconds left produced a 6-4 decision win.
“We needed to finish the night off better (but) we’re definitely pleased with our day,” Willapa Harbor coach Preston Crow said.
Hoquiam’s Jesse Velez suffered his first loss of the season when Mark Morris state 2A veteran Jordan Stello turned and pinned him midway through the second round of their 126-pound title match. The contest was tied at 2-2 after one round.
Grizzly coach Fidel Sanchez viewed his team’s performance with mixed emotions.
“As far as (a lack of) kids in the finals, we got a gut check on that — and that’s a good thing,” Sanchez said. “Now we know what we have to do against tough competition.”
But Sanchez was pleased that his team’s depth produced a third-place finish.
“It’s a good feeling, always to be in the top three (in tournaments),” he said.
Elma was also represented in the tourney, but most of the top Eagles were competing in the Gut Check Challenge in Olympia.
Lincoln 194, Montesano 170, Hoquiam 150, Willapa Harbor 143 1/2, Cashmere 134, Aberdeen 131 1/2, River Ridge 113, Mark Morris 99, Unattached 95, Wahkiakum 68, Winlock/Toledo/Onalaska 36, Fort Vancouver 34, North Beach 29, Elma 27, Quileute Tribal 7.
(Note: No matches to decide third and fourth places)
106: Championship — Christian Rivera-Lopez (MM) dec. Tyler Izatt (Monte), 3-2. Thirds — Deonte Blackston (Una) and Emmet Kang (Lin). 113: Championship — Jacob Ellefson (Monte) pinned Brandon Johnson (WH), 2:18. Thirds — Chris Jackson (Lin) and Ryan Calumpit (RR). 120: Championship — Nathan Thompson (Cash) dec. Austin Vinson (Monte), 9-8. Thirds: Joseph Lewis (WH) and Kamar Long (Lin). 126: Championship — Jordan Stello (MM) pinned Jesse Velez (Hoq), 3:00. Thirds — Solomon Sok (Lin) and Matthew Lewis (WH). 132: Championship — Austin Cain (Monte) dec. Daniel Montesa (RR), 8-3. Thirds — David Molitor (Hoq) and Luke Stacey (Wah). 138: Championship — Ethan Visser (Cash) pinned Erikk Machowek (Aber), 3:19. Thirds — Logan Holbrook (W-T-O) and Tristan Stutesman (Hoq). 145: Championship — Tristen Jimenez (Aber) pinned Alex Johnson (Wah), 0:59. Thirds — Matthew Overbey (Monte) and Bryant Bubel (Cash).
152: Championship — Brock Steele (Cash) dec. Jacob Zocco (RR), 6-1. Thirds: Mason Mackey (Wah) and Elijah Crawford (Lin). 160: Championship — Elijah Camacho (RR) pinned Jacob James (Cash), 3:53. Thirds — Kylar Prante (Monte) and Grant Camenzind (WH). 170: Championship — Anthony Louthan (Monte) dec. Shiloh Borden (WH), 7-0. Thirds: Tavo Sanchez (Aber) and Alex Valliere (Hoq). 182: Championship — B.J. Hawthorne (Lin) dec. Hunter Borden (WH), 6-4. Thirds — Kenny Huffman (Hoq) and Trystan Mendez (Wah). 195: Championship — Matthew Boyes (WH) dec. Jeremy Lukosh (Lin), 19-8. Thirds — Tyler Carillo (Cash) and Taylor Rupe (Monte). 220: Championship — Aliyas Fletcher (Lin) dec. Joe Leal (MM), 12-2. Thirds — James Hamilton (WH) and Gary Aube (Hoq). 285: Championship — Jordon Logan (Aber) pinned Daniel Fruh (NB), 1:26. Thirds — Tyler Smith (Hoq) and William Willsey (Lin).