It was his first Mid-Columbia Conference dual match for Kamiakin High School on Thursday night, and Xavier Zavala did not want to let his new teammates down.
With Kamiakin having to forfeit at 126 pounds, Zavala knew he had to pin Pasco’s Nick Massey at 120 pounds to forge a tie.
The transfer from Richland High did just that, pinning Massey with just 10 seconds left in the first round for a 36-36 match.
The final score would eventually read 37-36 in favor of visiting Pasco, who won on criteria ‘D’ for the most wins (8-6).
“Coach and my team told me to go out and get a pin, and I said I would,” Zavala said. “I would never win anything without my teammates. We were cheering for our teammates, letting them know we were there for them. We started slow, but once we started winning, we got more confident. It’s a bummer to lose by one.”
Pasco got a win from Hezekiah Sparks at 106 pounds, then Nate Tovar registered a pin at 113 to tie the score at 30-30.
Zavala’s pin gave the Braves the lead, but the forfeit tied it up again.
“This was a team effort,” Pasco coach Jay Covington said. “I asked them to fight, and they gave me a fight. I knew it would be a good dual, but I didn’t think it would turn out like this. They are a quality team. They were missing a few kids in the lineup — it could have been a different outcome.”
The Braves wrestled without Austin Almaguer, who had an elbow injury, and heavyweight Brock McCue gave up 77 pounds to Pasco’s Davion Pruitt, but held his own in a 4-2 loss.
“They came out and took it to us in the beginning,” Kamiakin coach Jordan Anderson said. “We woke up in the middle, but the forfeit at the end hurt. We got a big win at 170 (Gilbert Marquez) and we had a lot of guys step up. We did a lot of good stuff and I am proud of them. They scrapped. We will be better next week.”
The Bulldog won the first two matches by pin, including one by defending state champion Isaiah Gonzalez at 138 pounds. Gonzalez, who won a state title at 113 last year, pinned Rece Quintana in 3:19 for a 12-0 Pasco lead.
“I went where the team needed me,” said Gonzalez, who is working his way back after breaking his collarbone over the summer. “Everyone stepped up. Kamiakin is one of the top teams in the league.”
The Braves followed with pins by Joey Chavez (145), Kevin Cornejo (152), Sione Hale (160) and Marquez.
Team scores: Pasco 37, Kamiakin 36. 106: Hezekiah Sparks (P) d. Peyton Smith, 4-3. 113: Nate Tovar (P) p. Austin Hayward, 2:38. 120: Xavier Zavala (K) p. Nick Massey, 1:50. 126: Miguel Hinajosa (P) won by forfeit. 132: Jordan Renteria (P) p. Michael Wheeler, 5:09. 138: Isaiah Gonzalez (P) p. Rece Quintana, 3:19. 145: Joey Chavez (K) p. David Tobias, 3:56. 152: Kevin Cornejo (K) p. Jay Hallibaugh, 2:35. 160: Sione Halo (K) p. Armando Suarez, 1:07. 170: Gilbert Marquez (K) p. Orlando Hurley, 1:47. 182: Avery Burrows (P) d. Jacob Olson, 7-4. 195: Jose Tovar (P) d. Ben Hollenberg, 5-3. 220: Luke Eskelsen (K) p. Dominick Almaguer, 1:51. 285: Davion Pruitt d. Brock McCue, 4-2.