A No. 1 ranking doesn’t mean much if you can’t back it up, but the Kamiakin wrestling team certainly did that during a Mid-Columbia Conference dual meet Tuesday in Pasco.
The Braves, ranked No. 1 among the state’s Class 3A teams by Washington Wrestling Report, defeated Chiawana for the first time in their program’s history. And while the 35-27 score was a little close for comfort, it was a sign that Kamiakin’s program had realized coach Jordan Anderson’s vision of a true team victory.
“Every match was important, and we knew everybody had to contribute, even if it just meant not giving up a pin or allowing a decision instead of a major decision,” Anderson said. “We preached not letting each other down, and the kids were phenomenal.
“But we’re not done. We’re just getting started.”
The Braves made a strong statement right off the bat, reeling off three wins to take a 12-0 lead. Kamiakin’s Zach Borisch was impressive in his first match of the year, completely controlling Cory Johnson for a 5-0 decision at 170 pounds. Next up was Luke Eskelson, who wrestled up at 182 and recorded a second-period pin against Clayton Silvers.
“We knew our ’82 was a pinner. We kind of gambled a little bit there. If he was going to lose, he would go down fighting,” Anderson said.
After Kameron Silvers picked up Chiawana’s first victory, a first-period pin over Hayden Larsen at 220 pounds, Nick Little gave Kamiakin an 18-6 lead with the biggest victory of the season so far.
Facing Riverhawks heavyweight Levi McBride, Little trailed 2-0 after one period and then gave up a two-point reversal in the second period. Trailing 4-0 heading into the third, Little still felt confident he could beat McBride, whom he had never defeated.
“He ususally wrestles at 220 pounds, and he’s quick and fast and he’s strong,” Little said. “My mindset was to get to the third round and try to outwork him. That was my goal.”
Sure enough, Little chose the down position to start the third, got a reversal and two nearfall points to tie it at four. Shortly after, Little had McBride’s shoulders on the mat for the win.
“He’s a grinder. He’s the type of heavyweight who will outcondition you,” Anderson said.
Riley Gurr’s first-period pin of Kobe Santoyo at 120 gave Kamiakin a 29-9 lead, but Chiawana wasn’t ready to give up. The Riverhawks reeled off wins in three of the next four matches — including a pin by Nathan Bengen at 126, a major decision by Erick Lucero at 132 and a 19-3 technical fall by Bobby Kasma at 145 — to pull within 32-24.
That set up a critical match at 152 between Kamiakin freshman Sione Halo and Chiawana junior Allen Cruz. A win by Cruz would put the Riverhawks in position to win the meet, but a win by Halo would clinch the victory for the Braves.
Cruz took a 2-1 first-period lead with a takedown, a lead that held through the third period until Halo — starting from the down position — scored a reversal to take the lead, and it held up for a 3-2 victory.
“It was a really fun match,” Halo said. “Allen is a friend of mine and I knew he was really tough. I just knew I had to go in there and be a warrior and do what I’ve been taught.”
106: Morgan McFee (C) d. Tanner Bushman, 6-4. 113: Austin Almaguer (K) t.f. Kevin Llamas, 15-0. 120: Riley Gurr (K) p. Kobe Santoyo, 1:43. 126: Nathan Bengen (C) p. Jesus Ramos, 4:22. 132: Erick Lucero (C) m.d. Micah Truman, 13-2. 138: Franky Garcia (K) d. Dante Sauceda, 6-2. 145: Bobby Kasma (C) t.f. Rece Quintana, 19-3. 152: Sione Halo (K) d. Allen Cruz, 3-2. 160: Bryce Buckley (C) d. Jacob Lawson, 6-5. *170: Zach Borisch (K) d. Cory Johnson, 5-0. 182: Luke Eskelson (K) p. Clayton Silvers, 3:34. 195: Tristan Barnett (K) d. Mason Partlow, 5-3. 220: Kameron Silvers (C) p. Hayden Larsen, 1:27. 285: Nick Little (K) p. Levi McBride, 5:40.