PASCO -- There were a handful of seconds left in the first period of Jackson Fromm's 152-pound wrestling match Thursday night when his coach, Jay Covington hollered out, "Short time! Get some points!"
Short time, long time. The Pasco Bulldogs seemed to have all the time in the world to score in a 49-24 CBBN 3A win over the visiting Hanford Falcons.
The Bulldogs scored 19 nearfalls and finished off three pins in the dual. Of the 10 matches they won, only two were straight decisions.
"From 113 to 170, we call that pin city," said Gilbert Mendoza, who just missed a technical fall at 132 with a 14-1 major decision.
With the dual starting at 126, Pasco won the first seven matches and led 31-0, locking up the decision with a forfeit still coming their way.
Hugo Mabry got it started with an 18-1 tech fall at 126, scoring 12 nearfall points. Then came Mendoza at 132 (10 back points) and Deondre Sparks with a 19-3 tech fall at 138 (nine back points and a series of catch-and-release takedowns late in the second period).
Robert Mendoza, Gilbert's twin, got the night's first pin at 145, followed by Fromm's 16-0 tech fall. Anthony McKittrick was the first Bulldog not to score extra points, winning 10-3 over Jeff Anheier at 160.
"We've been doing that all year," said Pasco's Lonnie Hurley, who bumped up to 170 and won a thriller, 9-7, over Joe Traverso. "Coach has prepared us to keep going, keep pushing until the end."
TJ Avery scored the night's fastest pin with a 22-second stop at 220 for Pasco. Dalton McDonald closed out the action with a second-period pin at 113, and the Bulldogs added a forfeit victory at 120 for the 25-point margin.
Hurley and Traverso, both state veterans, definitely provided the showcase match of the night. Hurley jumped out with a pair of first-period takedowns but could only manage an escape in the second to lead 5-2 heading into the final round.
Traverso, starting the third in the down position, got his escape quickly and then shot in for a double-leg takedown to pull even at 5-all. He gambled, cutting Hurley loose with about a minute left to go down a point. But he perfectly countered Hurley's shot at a double, turning the tables for another takedown and a 7-6 lead.
The action was halted with 5 seconds left when Traverso was hit with a stall warning, giving Hurley one last chance for an escape and tie score. His first move off the whistle was countered, but with the clock closing in on zeros, he somersaulted and slipped around behind Traverso as the buzzer sounded.
The referee and timer ruled the reversal happened before the buzzer, with a penalty point added when Traverso was called for scissoring the head.
The final was a crowd-pleasing 9-7 win for Hurley.
That last-second somersault might have looked like a Hail Mary, Hurley said, but there was a plan there.
"Me and my teammate, Iowa, worked on that move prior to the match," Hurley said of the desperation somersault and referring to McKittrick and his short-cropped blond hair that looks straight out of the cornfields of the Midwest.
Hanford dominated the upper weights, with Casey Enderlin (182), Will Bishop (195) and Jeff Weyand (285) all winning on pins, followed by Blake Llaranas stopping his 106 match in the first period.
But aside from the four pins, Hanford coach Dom Duncan did not like what he saw.
"We didn't wrestle very well tonight," he said after the Falcons fell to 3-3 in league. "We didn't finish moves. Pasco was a step ahead of us."
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are hoping their 6-1, second-place mark in the CBBN 3A -- plus a lineup that will double-up with varsity talent at several weights -- will lead to a big postseason.
"That's our goal," said Gilbert Mendoza. "District title, regional title, place top five at state."
106--Blake Llarenas (H) p. Bobby Guzman 1:13. 113--Dalton McDonald (P) p. James Miller 3:31. 120--Timmy Martinez (P) won by forfeit. 126*--Hugo Mabry (P) t.f. Ben Hofner 18-1. 132--Gilbert Mendoza (P) m.d. Michael Parkman 14-1. 138--Deondre Sparks (P) t.f. David Zhai 19-3. 145--Robert Mendoza (P) p. Brennan Raines 2:35. 152--Jackson Fromm (P) t.f. Eric Mata 16-0. 160--Anthony McKittrick (P) d. Jeff Anheier 10-3. 170--Lonnie Hurley (P) d. Joe Traverso 9-7. 182--Casey Enderlin (H) p. Rudy Jimenez 2:14. 195--Will Bishop (H) p. James Dobosz :38. 220--TJ Avery (P) p. Parker Rollison :22. 285--Jeff Weyand (H) p. Arturo Tejada 1:20.
* Kevin Anthony: 509-582-1403; firstname.lastname@example.org