Cruz Del Angel doesn’t care if his opponent is from a 1A school or a 4A school. He will square off with the next man on the mat.
The Kiona-Benton junior ran his win streak to 12-0 Saturday, winning the 182-pound title at the 13th annual Best of the West wrestling tournament at Pasco High School.
“He rises to the occasion,” Bears coach Ben Hill said. “He wants the better kid from the bigger school. If something doesn’t work, he goes to the next thing. He throws out a barrage of things to see what you can defend.”
Del Angel, who went undefeated and won a state title last year as a sophomore, started the day with a bye, followed by a pair of pins and a 5-1 decision before registering a 12-1 major decision over Cody Johnson of Post Falls, Idaho, for the title.
Never miss a local story.
Del Angel won the 170-pound Best of the West title last year.
Post Falls, with five placers, won the team title with 136 points, 10 better than runner-up Lewiston. Chiawana was the top Mid-Columbia school, finishing sixth with 901⁄2 points.
“We were in second most of the tournament,” said Riverhawks coach Jack Anderson, who had five guys place in the top four. “We lost some tough ones in the semifinals to Idaho kids. I’m so proud of our kids. We had a freshman (Bryce Buckley, 113) place higher (fourth) than any other freshman we have had there. Buckley had an amazing tournament. I expect great things out of him in the future.”
Anderson, who wrestled at Central Washington, was a former teammate of Post Falls coach Pete Reardon and Chelan coach Jim McGuffin.
“It’s nice to see old teammates come back together,” Anderson said. “It’s neat to see them and see how good their teams are.”
Kevin Del-Angel of Southridge registered five pins on the day en route to the 195-pound title. His quickest pin of the day — in 1 minute, 11 seconds — came in the quarterfinals against Tristan Bridges of Heritage.
In the championship match, Del-Angel pinned Jacob Waller of Clarkston in 2:38.
“Both of the Del-Angels looked really good this weekend,” Anderson said.
Pasco’s Timmy Martinez captured the 126-pound title, beating Felipe Contreras of Caldwell 4-3.
Martinez finished second at 120 pounds at last year’s tournament.
Brandon Gonzales of Pasco finished fourth at 132 pounds.
Robert Orozco of Connell finished second at 145 after getting pinned by Brooks Ney of Caldwell in the first round.
Ki-Be heavyweight Cody Zyph also finished second, getting pinned by Luis Garcia of Chelan in the first round.
Chelan’s Asa Schwartz, last year’s 195-pound champion, won the 220-pound crown this year, beating Prairie’s Dallas Goodpaster 2-1.
Best of the West
Team scores — Post Falls 136, Lewiston 126, Caldwell 122.5, Chelan 104, North Central 98.5, Chiawana 90.5, Selah 76, Centralia 73.5, Pasco 73, Toppenish 69.5, Southridge 67, Mountain View 63, Kiona-Benton 61, Capital 55, Prairie 52, Clarkston 51, West Salem 50.5, La Grande 49.5, Nampa 49.5, Evergreen 49, Royal 41, Deer Park 39.5, Washougal 39, Centennial 36.5, Heritage 35, Wenatchee 35, Priest River 32, Battle Ground 31, Walla Walla 25.5, Connell 21, Skyview 17, Stayton 15, Inglemoor 6, Lewis & Clark 0.
106 — Robert Gomez (Caldwell) p. Alius Delarosa (Post Falls), 1:14. 113 — Carlos Hernandez (Toppenish) d. Kyle Anson (Selah), 12-10. 120 — Drake Foster (Post Falls) p. Mike Perales (Nampa), 3:22. 126 — Timmy Martinez (Pasco) d. Felipe Contreras (Caldwell), 4-3. 132 — Bryce Parson (Lewiston) p. Erick Garcia (Chelan), 1:58. 138 — Kenji Yamashita (Mountain View) m.d. Tristen Snow (West Salem), 12-2. 145 — Brooks Ney (Caldwell) p. Robert Orozco (Connell), 1:15. 152 — Izaec Quintanilla (North Central) d. Kellen Pelzel (Centralia), 9-6. 160 — Cole Riccardo (Centralia) d. Bryson Pierce (North Central), 7-4. 170 — Anthony Thomas (Evergreen) m.d. Seth McLeod (Post Falls), 12-3. 182 — Cruz Del Angel (Ki-Be) m.d. Cody Johnson Post Falls), 12-1. 195 — Kevin Del-Angel (Southridge) p. Jacob Waller (Clarkston), 2:38. 220 — Asa Schwartz (Chelan) d. Dallas Goodpaster (Prairie), 2-1. 285 — Luis Garcia (Chelan) p. Cody Zyph (Ki-Be), 1:34.
Mid-Columbia placers (third/fourth)
106 — 4. Eli Sikes (Chiawana). 113 — 4. Bryce Buckley (Chiawana). 120 — 3. Chris Montelongo (Chiawana). 126 — 4. Pedro Murillo (Chiawana). 132 — 4. Brandon Gonzales (Pasco). 170 — 3. Alex Myrick (Royal). 182 — 3. Austin Silvers (Chiawana).