Led by Central Valley High School, local teams have qualified a bundle of wrestlers for regional competition this weekend.
CV tied for third during the Greater Spokane League dual match season but dominated district competition. Twentyseven wrestlers combined for a 62-39 match record and 329.5 points.
The Bears gained 13 regional berths, nearly one-quarter of the available 56 spots to the Region IV AAA tournament in Walla Walla on Friday and Saturday.
University advances eight wrestlers to the AAA meet.
From the AA district tournament, champion East Valley sends nine wrestlers and West Valley sends eight to this weekend’s regional at Riverside.
Until last weekend, said CV coach Dale Ethridge, “We wrestled at a championship level all year and didn’t get a champion.”
That was remedied at district where the Bears had five district champions, a runnerup, three third placers and four fourths in 16-wrestler brackets.
Individual winners were John Reese at 108, Rick Giampietri at 158, Shane Yackel at 168, Joe Thiefault at 178 and Bob Perkes at 275 pounds.
Giampietri was in his fourth straight district final, winning for the third time.
Last year’s state third placer Shane Cunanan finished second last weekend at 115 pounds.
Third place finishers were Courtney Brown at 141, Tyree Clowe at 190 and Aaron Bauer at 275.
Placing fourth were Brandon Brown at 122, Brad Smith at 148, John Jolley at 178 and Matt Ahrens at 215.
University’s league co-champions were disappointed in district, particularly at 178 where Titan Mike Clark missed the top four.
Involved in so many big wins for U-Hi during the year, Clark lost twice to CV’s placers including Jolley, whom he had beaten earlier this year to win the Bear-Titan dual match.
“John was in the toughest position, his first match back (from injury) and with the weight on his shoulders,” said Ethridge. “He got him tonight.”
University state champion Andy Roberts and Jeff Schmedding won titles at 129 and 215 pounds respectively.
Finishing second were Craig Bishop at 108 and Josh Knowles at 122. Third were Gordon Bash at 101 and Jared Osborn at 115. Fourth were Conor Jordan at 115 and Ed Stretch at 135.
As several wrestlers proved, being your team’s number two at a given weight class isn’t all bad.
East Valley’s Kevin Woolf didn’t get to wrestle a varsity match but he reached the finals at 108 pounds finishing second to teammate Gary Adamson to advance to regionals.
Teammate Justin Walker, who beat nearly all the area’s best 115-pounders during the year and was seeded second in district, wasn’t as lucky, placing fourth.
Top three wrestlers from the Frontier League meet five from the Mid-Valley in the Region IV AA meet.
Knight Ben Wise, however, won at 215 pounds. Rusty Ruchert at 148 and Quinton Chapman at 129 were second.
Placing third were Joe Adamson at 122, Matt Eastman at 135, Albert Ruperd at 141 and Mike Manuel at 158.
Of West Valley’s qualifiers, six reached the finals, two of them champions. Top-seeded 115-pounder Quinn Sharpe who was third at state last year, and Josh Kelp at 190 were the titlists.
Ty Roberts at 101, Cory Richardson at 122, Dave Cooper at 135 and Jason Miller at 178 placed second.
Also in regionals are Eagle third placers Josh Ludwig at 129 and Josh Castor at 215. In the A-B regional, Freeman qualified David Aman, who finished second at 215, Dan Ross at 129 and Greg Dahlstrom at 190, who both placed fourth.
Knights retain the throne
East Valley, by a mere point, retained the Golden Throne, emblematic of school spirit.
EV’s girls basketball team won over West Valley by just four points, 55-51 in a thriller. Although the Knight boys kept things close until the half, they weren’t as fortunate. WV’s league-leading boys won 70-47.
It was a case of too much inside power. Vinnie Pecht and Joe Bonner combined for 29 points and 21 rebounds against their outsized foe. Josh Sweet’s sweet outside shooting accounted for five 3-point baskets and 17 more points.
WV took charge of the game with six points in the final 23 seconds of the first half. David Schillinger converted a three-point play and Sweet swished a trey at the buzzer for a 33-24 lead.
But it was Pecht who dominated the night.
“He’s played like that all year,” said coach Joe Feist. “Against (other teams) there are a lot more big kids he has to deal with. Against EV he had an obvious size advantage.”
No more than five points separated the girls teams during the night. With the score 53-51 and less than two minutes to go, twice the Knights turned the ball over and WV failed to score.
Angela Overdorff scored 15 points and Star Olson 12 during the Knight win.
EV’s girls are home against Colville and in Pullman this weekend with a chance to move up in the standings. WV’s boys are in Clarkston and host Riverside in hopes of maintaining their league lead.
Upset win bolsters Freeman
Saturday night’s upset victory at Medical Lake gave Freeman’s boys basketball team a boost.
Not only was the Scotties win on the road good for confidence, but it also moved them closer to second place in the Northeast A League.
If the team beat Lakeside at hom on Wednesday, Freeman would be tied with the two teams it beat.
Regular season ends this weekend with home games against Kettle Falls and league unbeaten Chewelah.
Freeman continued to get balanced scoring from several players. Last weekend Andy Hill had 28 points in the two wins, Nick Schuerman scored 27, Garen Friberg 22 and Marc Reed 21.
Valley Christian in playoffs
An upset victory at home Friday, one of two weekend wins for Valley Christian School, lifted the Panthers into the Bi-County League playoffs.
Season-long scoring star Jeremy Sandin, his inside runningmate Aaron Asbury and guard Michael Spuler lifted the team over third-place Sprague Harrington.
The win was vital prior to Saturday’s season-ending win over Davenport that moved VC into fourth place in its division.
The Panthers played Odessa Wednesday night in a loser out game with the winner advancing to the double-elimination portion of the tournament.
Post players Sandin, who averaged more than 22 points per game in league, and Asbury scored 29 and 27 points respectively during the upset victory over Sprague-Harrington.
Next night they shared scoring honors with 17 points each and Spuler scored 14 against Davenport to return to the district playoffs.
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