Decatur dominates, will send 11 to Tacoma

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 16, 2014 

BONNEY LAKE — For 40 consecutive minutes, longtime Decatur High School wrestling coach Mike Bressler and his assistants sat in the same corner during finals matches at Saturday’s 3A Region II wrestling tournament.

Bressler and his staff watched eight consecutive title matches — from 120 pounds through 170 — as one Gators wrestler after another took the mat.

It was that kind of day for the Gators, who, as they did at last weekend’s 3A South Puget Sound League subregional, dominated with 222 points to win the regional championship, topping the 12-team field of squads from the SPSL and Narrows leagues.

Bonney Lake was second with 157 points, followed by Lincoln and Enumclaw, tied for third at 150.

Eight of Decatur’s 11 Mat Classic-bound wrestlers participated in regional finals. Four were champions: Trysten Dawson (120 pounds), Leviticus Arizpe (126), Isaiah Diggs (138) and Brandon Zimmerman (160).

The string of seven Decatur wrestlers in the finals started with Dawson’s match, and he didn’t disappoint. He pinned Timberline’s Gage George in 1 minute, 57 seconds, but his pin wasn’t the fastest on the team. That honor went to Zimmerman, who pinned Lincoln’s Murad Vagabov in 41 seconds.

“I honestly think my team is the best in the state,” Dawson said. “We train as hard as we can, even after practice, running at home. … We do whatever we can to be the best.”

Not to be outdone Saturday was Bonney Lake, which was 5-for-5 in regional finals. The Panthers got titles from Carson Corbaley (106 pounds), Colton Tracy (132), Caid Caveness (145), Cayle Williams (152) and Chili Sabin (182).

Sabin had the second-fastest pin of the finals, beating Enumclaw’s Wyley Stewart in 57 seconds to extend his record to 29-0.

The Narrows League’s top teams — Lincoln and Timberline — will send a combined 14 wrestlers to Mat Classic.

The Abes got regional champions from Keidrick O’Bannon (170 pounds) and Aliyas Fletcher, who defeated teammate Jeremy Lukosh, 15-5, in the 195-pound title match.

The Blazers had three regional finalists with one champion — Cole Stevens at heavyweight — but the six Mat Classic-bound wrestlers made coach Jeff Birbeck happiest.

“That’s what I was hoping for,” Birbeck said.

The Hornets, whose 54 dual-match win streak was snapped by Decatur in January, will send nine to the state tournament and got a regional title at 113 pounds from Kyle Opland, who pinned Timberline’s Miles Hart in 1:08.

Two Lacey wrestlers — North Thurston’s Jake Grantham (220 pounds) and Timberline’s Cole Stevens (285), who have a combined 60-2 record — dominated their weight classes.

Grantham (33-1), the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 220 in Class 3A, says he’s the most confident he has been as he enters Mat Classic for the third consecutive year. His only loss this season was to the reigning 4A 220-pound state champion, Puyallup’s Matt Voss.

“I have a lot of momentum coming in,” Grantham said. “I’ve been getting good results so far. I feel like the only thing that can stand in my way is myself. I just have to keep pushing through.”

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