Unbeaten Gonzaga Prep, already enjoying unbridled wrestling success, added another milestone with its 34-26 victory over Mead.
“It is the first time ever in the history of the program,” said coach Phil McLean, architect of Gonzaga’s rise to prominence. “It’s nice for a team that has been working hard.”
Earlier in the week McLean pointed to the 129- and 141-pound matches as being pivotal and it turned out they were.
After earning a push in the five upper weights preceding Gonzaga’s lighter weights strength, the team reeled off five wins in six matches for a 34-16 lead.
Included was Tom Brown’s 14-5 major decision over Joe McClellan at 129 pounds. Brown scored on two near falls for six points in the third period.
“I thought I had him pinned,” said the Gonzaga junior, unbeaten in four league matches. “Sometimes you get the call, sometimes you don’t.”
Following Tyler Kuhn’s win in the next match that assured Gonzaga no worse than a tie, Nick Bliss survived a pin attempt by Lyle Beerbohm at 141. Although losing 8-6 when Beerbohm scored five points from underneath, it clinched a victory for the Bullpups.
Gonzaga won three of the five upper weights matches considered vital to both teams, including Dave Rucker’s 11-2 win at 215 pounds.
Rucker and Steve Fish, who both moved up a weight, had split their meetings a year ago. Rucker took an early five-point lead when he used a head and arm to counter Fish’s bear hug takedown try.
“That win helped,” McLean said. “It was pretty big.”
Mead’s Joe Collier broke a 4-4 tie with a stunning pin of Ciaron Essex with just 6 seconds remaining in their 275-pound match to tie. Then the Bullpups took command.
Tonight Gonzaga is at Rogers, next week it hosts unbeaten CV.
“Every night is an emotional roller coaster,” said McLean.
Central Valley remained unbeaten, one-half game behind the Bullpups with a 48-16 victory over Shadle Park, winning the first five matches by fall or forfeit.
Included was Joe Thiefault’s pin at 190 with four seconds left. He trailed 9-7 at the time.
University (3-1) had four pins in a 48-13 win at Lewis and Clark (0-3) that moved the Titans into third place. Jeremy Tiffany (178) of U-Hi beat Neil Carson 7-6 with a takedown in the final 30 seconds. LC’s Brian Lehrman (101) had a first-round pin over previously unbeaten Gordon Bash.
Brian Largent’s 6-3 win over Chris Gay at 141 put North Central ahead and the Indians (3-2) rallied for a 40-26 win at Ferris (2-2). The Saxons led 20-19 before NC won four of the final five matches. At 178, Nick Pavlin of Ferris led Fred Siedel 8-5 with 30 seconds left but lost 9-8 on a reverse.
Jeremiah Divis (129) and Jamie Lontz (148) had wins to improve their records to 12-1 as visiting Colville (2-0) rolled to a 57-15 win over Pullman (0-1). Colville’s David Suta (135) pinned Tim Alt in the second round after trailing 6-0, one of nine pins plus a technical fall for the victors.
At Clarkston (0-1), East Valley (1-0) beat the Bantams 43-30 in a wild match that featured nine pins and a forfeit in 14 matches.
Gary Adamson (108) decisioned Aaron LaRock 14-10. LaRock had pinned Adamson at a Christmas tournament.