PASCO -- Schools throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho are out for the Christmas holiday, but 32 schools loaded up the buses and brought their wrestling teams to Pasco High School for the 11th annual Best of the West tournament.
Deer Park won the team dual portion of the tournament Tuesday, besting Hermiston by one point (criteria).
On Wednesday, Hermiston walked away with four individual titles as the tournament came to a close. Centralia won the team trophy, beating Hermiston 142-141.5.
"It was 36-36 that was a good dual," Hermiston coach Curt Berger said of the Deer Park match. "There were 100 different ways we could have won that match, but they do have a good team. This is a good tournament. It's close to home, and guys other than just the varsity get a lot of matches. There's no pressure like there is at district or state."
The Bulldogs are a little beat up from the Tri-State tournament last weekend and the flu has hit a few members of the team, but Tyler Berger (125), Joey Delgado (135), Bryce McMahon (152) and Curtis Berger (189) were able to avoid both injury and illness.
"Those four guys are fantastic," coach Berger said. "We put four in the finals and got four wins. Washington has great wrestling. Every team has one or two great guys and that makes the competition that much better."
Curtis Berger (16-1) sliced through the competition at 189. He had a bye in the first round, then rattled off three first-round pins before meeting up with Cole Schwartz of Chelan in the finals.
Berger dominated the match, winning by decision 11-4, with all of Schwartz's points coming as Berger kept releasing his opponent in hopes of earning more points.
"He was a lot stronger than the others today," said Berger, who has signed to wrestle at North Dakota State. "He's not as good as some I've seen this year, but better than others."
Delgado (18-0), who has not lost a match since Tri-State last year, registered four pins en route to the 135 title -- the first coming in just 11 seconds over LaGrande's Andrew Humphreys. In the finals, Delgado pinned Andrew Henderson of Capital in 1:54.
"I'm glad I came," said Delgado, a two-time state champion with an 111-2 career record after Wednesday's matches. "There are different types of wrestling state to state and the guys in Washington have a different style to me. We wrestle in Washington a lot -- they are tougher. This is a great tournament to come to during the Christmas break."
Freshman Tyler Berger (16-1), Curtis Berger's cousin, beat Chris Lazo of Centralia 8-3 in the finals, while McMahon (17-3) steamrolled the competition at 152.
McMahon won his first match by pin in 6 seconds, his second in 28 seconds and the third in 1:48. In the semifinals, he needed 1:30 to pin Jason Jorgensen of Deer Park, and just 54 seconds to pin Travis Addy of Prairie in the finals.
Connell's Jacob Rae won the 160-pound title, pinning Brendan Casey of Washougal in 2:46.
"There were a lot of tough kids here," said Rae, who is 12-0 this season. "There's always something to learn from each match."
Chiawana senior Nick Garcia (12-3) placed second at 130, dropping a 7-3 championship match to Joe Grable of Deer Park. The tournament is the first action Garcia has seen in three weeks after spraining his MCL.
The match was scoreless after the first period and tied at 2 after two rounds. In the third, Grable opened with an escape and had a pair of takedowns, the second coming with just 5 seconds left in the match.
"The finals are always a battle," Garcia said. "He's the only one I've lost to here at the tournament. He beat me yesterday in overtime. He's pretty good for a freshman."
Best of the West
Team scores -- Centralia 142, Hermiston 141.5, Deer Park 135.5, Evergreen 133, Crook County 89, Nampa 78, Chiawana 75.5, Toppensih 73.5, Prairie 73, Capital 70.5, Washougal 65, Chelan 53, Pasco 51.5, Connell 51, Priest River 50, Skyview 48.5, LaGrande 48, Kiona-Benton 42, Wenatchee 41, Selah 40, Foss 38, Battle Ground 36, Grandview 35.5, Jackson 30, Clarkston 25, West Salem 24.5, Riverside 23, Southridge 19, Columbia-Burbank 9.5, Cascade 8, Mountain View 3.
103 -- Michael Nguyen (Evergreen) p. Andrew Hahn (Foss), 3:42. Third/fourth -- Chris Montelongo (Chiawana) md. Carlos Hernandez (Toppenish), 8-0.
112 -- Matthew Nguyen (Evergreen) p. Chism King (Washougal), 2:38. Third/fourth -- Hunter Manwaring (Capital) p. Joel Wiley (Prairie), 1:23.
119 -- Luis Gonzales (Skyview) d. Kyle Shaw (Centralia), 6-1. Third/fourth -- Peyton Zeller (Evergreen) md. Dandy Dittell (Foss), 16-3.
125 -- Tyler Berger (Hermiston) d. Chris Lazo (Centralia), 8-3. Third/fourth -- Davis Gonzales (Ki-Be) md. Rosalio Contreras (Evergreen), 13-5.
130 -- Joe Grable (Deer Park) d. Nick Garcia (Chiawana), 7-3. Third/fourth -- Adam Jordan (Nampa) d. Matt McCallum (Ki-Be), 5-3.
135 -- Joey Delgado (Hermiston) p. Andrew Henderson (Capital), 1:54. Third/fourth -- Andy Katzenberger (Crook County), won by forfeit.
140 -- Connor White (LaGrande) p. Adan Chavez (Toppenish), :18. Third/fourth -- Kellen Pelzel (Centralia) won by forfeit.
145 -- Billy Rhoads (Deer Park) d. Chris Pooley (Priest River), 6-4. Third/fourth -- Daniel Ramirez (Chiawana) d. Kyle Anderson (Capital), 11-8.
152 -- Bryce McMahon (Hermiston) p. Travis Addy (Prairie), :54. Third/fourth -- Trevor Wilson (Crook County) d. Jason Jorgensen (Deer Park), no score given.
160 -- Jacob Rae (Connell) p. Brendan Casey (Washougal), 2:46. Third/fourth -- Cody Rabidue (Priest River) p. Tanner Johnson (Riverside), 4:15.
171 -- Aaron Frank (Deer Park) p. Alby Paz (Chelan), 1:34. Third/fourth -- Trevor Ough (Crook County) d. Ryan Feiock (Jackson), 4-0.
189 -- Curtis Berger (Hermiston) d. Cole Schwartz (Chelan), 11-4. Third/fourth -- Cody Geary (Prairie) p. Jacob Waller (Clarkston), 5:48.
215 -- Tim Peraza (Evergreen) won by injury default over Kole Braaten (Centralia). Third/fourth -- Pat Smith (Wenatchee) p. JW Pierson (Nampa), 2:38.
285 -- Ruben Martinez (Nampa) d. Justin Gillaspie (Centralia), 8-2. Third/fourth -- Richie Rodriguez (Selah) md. Albert Torrez (Pasco), 9-1.