Top performers: Kione Gill, Tahoma; Alex Cruz, Orting; Donnie Krissak, Bethel
All three won individual Tri-State titles at the Tri-State Wrestling Tournament
Reno tournament of champions (Reno, Nevada)
Although Brandon Kaylor did not defend his title for Bonney Lake, the Panthers still found their trip to the Reno Tournament of Champions in Nevada a success.
Last year, only two wrestlers placed. This year, they doubled that with the highest placer being Sam Peterson coming in second in the 220-pound weight division.
“I'm very impressed, we doubled placers from last year from two to four,” Bonney Lake coach Dan Pitsch said. “We had 94 points as a team which was 20 more than last year, we wrestled tough and had good matches.”
Peterson, the reigning 220-pound state champion, rumbled all the way to the 220-pound title match in Reno on Saturday. But first he had to edge Nick Villarreal of Gilroy for a 5-4 decision – despite trailing in the final round.
Peterson was leading 3-1 before Villarreal got an escape and a takedown with a minute remaining to take a 4-3 lead and Peterson’s late reversal got him two points at the end to advance to the championship.
He fell behind early in the final match against Chase Trussell of Morgan and wasn’t able to recover in a 10-1 loss.
“The one thing about Sam is that he doesn't have the experience but he is very coachable and a hard worker,” Pitsch said. “I am not that surprised, he is a tough kid and getting better every day, he deserves it.”
Rounding out the placers were Brenden Chaowanapibool in fourth in the 113-pound weight class and Kaylor was fourth in the 120-pound class. Yusief Lillie took sixth in the 113-pound class.
Kaylor, an Oregon State University signee, didn’t lose a match last season on his way to his third state title and he won the 113-pound title in Reno a year ago. He is the No. 8-ranked wrestler nationally in the 113-pound weight class by FloWrestling.
But this year he was competing in the 120-pound weight class at Reno. He advanced to the quarterfinals to face Henry Porter of Oakdale, California, but lost a 9-5 decision, with Porter getting a late nearfall for three extra points in the third round. Nic Aguilar of Gilroy won the title.
The Sound Sound had four wrestlers reach the 113-pound quarterfinals with Chaowanapibool, Lillie and Curtis’ Maka Yacapin.
Lillie lost a 2-1 decision to eventual champion Brendon Garcia of Pueblo County, Colorado. Garcia, a two-time state champion in Colorado, got a go-ahead point in the third period for an escape and got a stall warning with nine seconds remaining but held on for the win over Bonney Lake’s freshman.
So then Garcia advanced to the semifinals to face Yacapin, who cruised past Zeke Kelly of Pleasant Grove, 18-2 in the quarterfinals. And Garcia got an 8-0 win over the Curtis sophomore.
Chaowanapibool reached the other semifinal after a pin in 5:49 against Carson Sauriol of Poway, but he ran into Steele Dias of Green Valley, who got a 5-0 decision to face Garcia in the championship.
“It makes our competition look very different and it'll help us immensely,” Pitsch said. “It’s a huge boost of confidence, and it will help us come February when we want to wrestle at our best, that's our goal.”
Tri-State Tournament (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)
It’s considered by many wrestling coaches to be tougher than the state tournament.
All wrestlers, all classifications, one tournament – comprising some of the best wrestlers from the Northwest.
And Orting’s Alex Cruz came away a Tri-State champion in the 138-pound weight class, Tahoma’s Kione Gill won the 220-pound title and Bethel’s Donnie Krissak won the 98-pound championship.
Cruz, a three-time state champion signed with the University of Virginia, beat Martin Wilkie of Havre, Montana, with a 10-6 decision for his title.
Gill cruised past Payton Castro of Moses Lake with a pin in 1 minute, 57 seconds. And Krissak had a pin in 3:14 against Eli Warner of Frenchtown.
Auburn Riverside’s Yusef Nelson reached the 113-pound title, but lost to Chase Randall of Mead, 9-3, for his first loss of the season. And White River’s Nate Moore reached the 152-pound title, but fell against Braydon Huber of Post Falls, Idaho, 5-1.
Kentridge’s John Shores took third in that 152-pound class.
White River’s Mason Sabin, transfer from Bonney Lake, reached the 182-pound title but lost to Tucker Nadeau of Flathead, 8-3. Ryan Redford of White River placed third in that class.
And Graham-Kapowsin’s Noah Cortez placed third in the 106-pound class, White River’s Jack Ervien was third in the 170-pound class, White River’s Weston Lyver took fourth in the 145-pound class, Tahoma’s Gunner Starred was fourth in the 160-pound class.
Post Falls won the team title with 220 points, edging Flathead (173.5). White River was the highest placing team from the South Sound with 145 points.
Top Performer: Hailey Still, Thomas Jefferson
25 points in 51-47 win over Enumclaw
No. 3 Kentridge 38, No. 8 Kentlake 33: The saying goes ‘know thy enemy,’ but for the Chargers and Falcons, it's practically a way of life.
The two teams squared off against each other for the first time since Kentridge handed Kentlake a loss in the 4A state quarterfinals en route to a championship last March.
“We played them five times last year and three before that, so we know each other well,” Kentridge coach Bob Sandall said. “It was almost as if the coaches were calling the plays the other is running.”
With such a tight game, the biggest difference between both teams would be playing inside and that advantage went to the duo of Jordyn Jenkins and JaQuaya Miller for the Chargers.
Jenkins would finish with a game-high 19 points and Miller had eight points. At least four assists from Miller went to Jenkins’ scoring.
“We played up-tempo and we pushed the ball up floor,” Sandall said. “We were able to get some clean shots off and after that, Kentlake played tougher defense.”
Leading the Falcons in scoring was Aolani Talamaivao-Calderon, earning nine. Toni Thibert and Kiernen Denckla both scored eight as well.
Jefferson 51, Enumclaw 47: The Hornets and Raiders pressed each other throughout the entire game as neither team could pull away.
But as the fourth quarter was winding down, Thomas Jefferson was able to still outhustle Enumclaw thanks to the conditioning of their team, coach Frank Parker said.
“We really battled for this game, we outlasted them with our pressure defense and running,” Thomas Jefferson coach Frank Parker said. “We condition every practice, I keep telling them we may not be that good, but we will be the most in shape in the NPSL.”
It also helped that Hailey Still dropped a game-high 25 points in the game.
“Still is always the one we can count on because she drives and gets fouls,” Parker said. “We run and get quick buckets then we settle down. My girls dug really deep and played the pressure defense well tonight.”
Jessica Cerne was the high scorer for Enumclaw with 16 points.
No. 8 White River 71, No. 4 Black Hills 65: The eighth-ranked Hornets jumped out to a large lead after the first quarter thanks to a fast-paced offense.
After the first quarter, it was 24-16 in favor of White River, but Black Hills made it a one-point game at the half.
“It was a fast-paced game, both teams were getting up and down the floor,” Black Hills coach Tanya Greenfield said. “They jumped out at us and both teams were pressing with a lot of buckets in transition.”
Sofia Lavinder led White River with 20 points, and sister Georgia Lavinder was not far behind with 17 points. Chloe Narolski also finished at 14.
“We played a good team and we are working to get better,” Greenfield said.
Despite the loss, four Wolves scored in double figures as Megan River and Kennedi Greenfield scored 11 each, and Lindsey Nurmi and Natania Serhan both scored 10.
North Kitsap 46, South Kitsap 37: The Vikings played a close first half against the Wolves, but pulled away in the second thanks to Noey Barreith.
Barrieth had the game-high in points as she put up 19, with Raelee Moore chipping in 10 as well. The Wolves were led by Emma Erickson, scoring 11 points.
Top performer: Erik Stevenson, Timberline
32 points in 77-50 win over Union
No. 4 Timberline 77, No. 9 Union 50: The Blazers bounced back from their first loss of the season a night earlier to beat a team that played in the 4A state title game a year ago.
Erik Stevenson scored a game-high 32 points as the Wichita State University-bound senior helped the Blazers pull away. Timberline outscored Union 20-7 in the second quarter after it was tied at 21-21 after the first quarter.
Stevenson scored 21 of his 32 points from behind the 3-point line, hitting seven 3s.
Eli Morton added 24 points for the Blazers (6-1), after they lost to North Thurston on Friday night. Ethan Smith scored 16 for Union.
Cascade Christian 63, White River 57: Nothing has come easy for the Cougars so far this season.
Their win over the Hornets was no different.
But behind a complete fourth quarter, the Cougars held on for their third win of the season and second in a row.
“We had a good second quarter and fourth quarter,” Cascade Christian assistant coach Garth Greiner said. “We were up by 11 at one point and White River put pressure on us, and we had to maintain until the end.”
With the Cougars going with just a six-man rotation, it was senior Corbin Nohr who stepped up and led the team with 17 points.
The Cougars stumbled through the first quarter and went into the second down three. But Nohr, Nathan Larsen (15) and Noah Wilkins (10), led the Cougars on a 33-25 run over the course of the next two quarters, putting them in a position to win.
With a lineup comprised mostly of seniors, Greiner said the team knew they had to play better than their first quarter if they had any plans of winning.
“They did a nice job altogether,” Greiner said. “We were able to tighten defensively, it was a good game, we play them every year and it’s a friendly rivalry.”
Despite the loss, Joe Flanigan was a bright spot for the Hornets. He led the team with 18 points.
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