When the scoreboard reads 50-16, it is perfectly reasonable for one side to come away from a wrestling dual with nothing but smiles on their face, especially in a matchup of neighborhood rivals.
But neither the victorious Chiawana Riverhawks nor losing Pasco Bulldogs — obviously — got their full measure of satisfaction from Tuesday night’s Mid-Columbia Conference match at Pasco High.
Loved the aggression, said Riverhawks senior 120-pounder Chris Montelongo, who recorded one of eight pins for Chiawana. But, added 182-pounder Austen Silvers (59-second pin), the overall effort was “a little sloppy.”
“A lot of guys were looking for the big win,” Silvers said.
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Pasco coach Jay Covington, his lineup stocked with eight freshmen and sophomores, also liked the aggression of his young team. But he didn’t want to hear anything about getting points for effort, even against an experienced and talented Riverhawks team that has posted Mid-Col margins of 55, 38 and now 34 points in its three wins.
“They still won. We just got to get better,” Covington said. “Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t be tough. We expect to win, not to just not get pinned.”
All those pins — including stops by Eli Sikes (106), Bryce Buckley (113), Clayton Smith (152), Abzael Loeza (220) and Martin Villanueva (285) — along with a 15-0 technical fall by Jadin Salazar at 145 put to bed early any hopes of the Bulldogs had of an upset.
Still, there was plenty to cheer for the home fans, starting with wins in the opening matches for Pasco’s Xavier Tobias (6-1 at 132) and Brandon Gonzalez (8-1 at 138). Gonzalez, facing his former teammates after moving in the offseason, was in a tight match with Joel Murillo until snaring a takedown in the final two seconds of the second period.
Also, Pasco senior Jackson Fromm had an entertaining 9-4 win at 160, though credit junior Chad White as the more experienced Fromm threw the kitchen sink at him trying to work some back points.
Pasco sophomore Timmy Martinez, who placed seventh at state at 120 last season, was in a tight bout in the night’s final match at 126 against senior Pedro Murillo.
It was the best matchup of the night, and Martinez was up 2-1 in the second before hitting an escape-takedown-nearfall series to go up 8-1 and finish out 10-2.
“PJ’s a great wrestler. We wrestled a lot last year,” Martinez said. “I kind of got a little leeway (in the second); now I can wrestle my match.”
Martinez and Montelongo both turned in “did you see that?” moves, each somehow reversing their momentum on a dime to put their opponent in trouble.
Martinez didn’t quite get to finish his and wound up back in referee’s position, but Montelongo’s turned into a finishing move after three previous nearfalls.
“We talk about scoring as many bonus points as we can as a team,” said Montelongo, two-time state placer with just one place left to go his senior season.
“I wrote it down my sophomore year. My goal is to be a state champ, and our team goal is to be a state champ.”
Just as Pasco (1-2) has a little ways to go before its youth is ready to contend for in the Mid-Col, the Riverhawks have some climbing to do to be considered among the state’s best.
“We need to start stepping up,” Silvers said.
When asked how much higher a team can step than scoring 50 or 60 points in each dual, he replied, “We need to start blanking teams.”
106—Eli Sikes (C) p. Bobby Guzman 3:33. 113—Bryce Buckley (C) p. Patrick Torres. 120—Chris Montelongo (C) p. Luis Ochoa 2:53. 126—Timmy Martinez (P) m.d. Pedro Murillo 10-2. *132—Xavier Tobias (P) d. Abraham Ledezma 6-1. 138—Brandon Gonzalez (P) d. Joel Murillo 8-1. 145—Jadin Salazar (C) t.f. Jake Covington 15-0. 152—Clayton Smith (C) p. Tristan Killian 1:49. 160—Jackson Fromm (P) d. Chad White 9-4. 170—Anthony Burrows (P) d. Blake Bishop 12-6. 182—Austen Silvers (C) p. Gennadiy Kucheryaviy :59. 195—Bernardo Castillo (C) d. Misael Estrada 4-2. 220—Abzael Loeza (C) p. Roman Cortez 2:56. 285—Martin Villanueva (C) p. Awestyn Shover :34.