PASCO — P.J. Murillo is testament that as much as wrestling shines a light on individual achievement, at the end of the day it's about team.
Moments after his 9-2 decision Saturday in the 126-pound championship of the Bob Mars Tournament, the Chiawana junior was reflecting on what a difference a year makes.
Last year as a sophomore, Murillo finished sixth in this tournament. On Friday, he battled through two close decisions -- including a 6-5 win over Kamiakin's Junior Pina in a championship-worthy semifinal -- before taking charge of his title match with Daniel Percifield of Columbia-Burbank.
So what was the big difference this year?
"My team," Murillo said. "Our wrestling team is a family. We drag our butts to camp when you don't want to go."
That offseason work was on display for the Riverhawks, as they won three individual titles and finished third in the team standings.
"It shows how dedicated we are," said Murillo, who was joined on the winner's step of the podium by teammates Chris Montelongo at 113 and Boss Garcia at 145.
Local teams won nine titles in the annual tournament in the Lions Den at Kennewick.
Richland senior Josh Andrew won his third Bob Mars title at 120, matching the crowns he won at 103 as a freshman and sophomore.
Southridge's Connor Rosane repeated as a champion with his win at 160. The senior pinned his way to the title, ending the championship against Othello's Jesus Montes in 1:52.
Stephen Villarreal at 195 and Joey Gomez at 220 were champions to help Othello finish second in the team standings, three points ahead of Chiawana but 24 back of repeat champion Pendleton.
Zach Grimm at 182 gave Columbia-Burbank a champion on a strong showing from the 1A Coyotes, who had three wrestlers in the finals.
But no one's title was a bigger surprise than the one claimed by Kiona-Benton's Cruz Del Angel at 170 pounds. The Bears sophomore, who went to the 1A state tourney last year but didn't place, upset Kamiakin's Sisto Santana Pina, who finished third at 160 pounds in the 3A state meet last season.
It happened quickly: The two tied up, and Del Angel tripped Pina straight to his back for a 38-second pin. After the match, Pina was limping heavily, favoring his right ankle.
"I'm going in there with a full attitude that I can win any match," Del Angel said, adding that he's shooting for "bigger meadows" this year at state.
Andrew dominated the field at 120 with a 31-second pin and two technical falls. He won his championship match 15-0 over Zillah's Juan Diaz, then revealed his plans on how to follow up last year's sixth-place finish at state.
"I plan on not losing a match," said Andrew, who spent part of his summer as a "little fish in a big pond" wrestling with team Washington at the Junior National Duals in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Team scores--Pendleton 171, Othello 147, Chiawana 144, Zillah 142 1/2, Kiona-Benton 126 1/2, Southridge 113, Richland 94 1/2, Kamiakin 76, Columbia-Burbank 68, Quincy 68, Walla Walla 67, Wapato 44, Moses Lake JV 35, Kennewick 29, Wenatchee JV 18.
Championship match, third- and fourth-place finishers
106--Gabe Martinez (Qui) d. Manny Martinez (Oth) 3-0; Omar Gomez (Wap); Trey Long (ML). 113--Chris Montelongo (Chi) d. Colton Skeen (Pen) 5-2; Christian Alejandrez (Qui); Anthony Barrera (Oth). 120--Josh Andrew (Rich) t.f. Juan Diaz (Zil) 15-0; Wil Babbitt (WW); Joey Gomez (Oth). 126--P.J. Murillo (Chi) d. Daniel Percifield (CB) 9-2; Junior Pina (Kam); Alec Espinoza (Oth). 132--Trevor Hancock (Pen) d. Mark McKeown (Chi) 9-7; Brandon Gonzalez (Chi); Harley Kolp (Kam). 138--Dylan Holcomb (Pen) d. Cortez Hernandez (Zil) 5-2; Daniel Navarro (SR); Kamran Lativov (Chi). 145--Boss Garcia (Chi) d. Colt Glenn (Pen) 5-1; Sergio Sanchez (Zil); Kris Young (KB). 152--Shane McMurray (Zil) d. Tucker Simonton (CB) 9-3; Caleb Villarreal (Oth); Blake Bishop (Chi). 160--Connor Rosane (SR) p. Jesus Montes (Oth) 1:52; Nathan Ottley (Ken); Ethan Johnson (Pen). 170--Cruz Del Angel (KB) p. Sisto Santana Pina (Kam) :38; Alex Ortiz (Pen); Jim Meyers (Zil). 182--Zach Grimm (CB) d. Cameron Simpson (Rich) 4-3; Ricardo Rodriguez (Wap); Cody Saltz (KB). 195--Stephen Villarreal (Oth) p. Tanner Carry (Pen) 1:20; Randy Harris (SR); Nico Hernandez (ML). 220--Joey Gomez (Oth) p. Julio Aleman (SR) 2:06; Logan Reardon (WW); Jesus Acosta (Zil). 285--Josh Aho (Zil) d. Corey Brumbaugh (KB) 5-0; Matt Gibson (SR); Kyle Hall (RV).