Mead’s Jordan Rogers and University’s Jacob Mason gave a glimpse into what could possibly be the top tier of the 160-pound weight class for Washington during their dual wrestling match Wednesday at Mead.
After struggling to keep both shoulders off the mat for the final 30 seconds of the opening round and trailing 5-0, Mason, the reigning state champion at 160, stormed back in the second round. He put Rogers on his back and quickly wrapped up the match with a pin at the 3:18 mark.
The win for Mason not only asserted the Titans senior as the favorite to repeat, but also came in the midst of a four-match swing for the Titans (5-0) that propelled them to a 43-18 victory over Mead (2-3) in the Greater Spokane League.
“The 160-pound match was just an outstanding match with two state champions,” U-Hi coach Don Owen said. “I thought we were in really big trouble when we got thrown to our back in the first round. For Jake Mason to come back and win that by pin – we were really excited about that. It wasn’t a great way to start a match, but it was a great way to finish it.”
Mason said the first takedown by Rogers was one that never should have happened, but the Panthers sophomore, who won the 140 state title in 2008-2009, took full advantage of his position, quickly transitioning Mason to his back and bringing him within inches of a pin.
“All I could think of was getting off my back, just refusing to get pinned,” Mason said. “I was just thinking, ‘If I can get out of this I’m coming back hard.’ ”
“He’ll pretty much expect to face Rogers four or five more times this year and Jake is going to have to be ready,” Owen said. “It’s unfortunate you have two great wrestlers at the same weight for them, but it sure makes great drama and great for fans to come out and watch.”
With the excitement generated by the 160 match, the prior bout at 152 between Ryan Zumwalt of U-Hi and Eric Gow was the real turning point for the Titans.
U-Hi built a 13-0 lead in the opening three matches, but the Panthers battled back to pull within one point on a pin by Ben Snow at 145.
Zumwalt, a three-time state placer and state runner-up a year ago at 145, quickly changed the tide of the dual with a 3:04 fall of Gow. After one round, Zumwalt held a 12-3 lead and led 15-3 before putting the match away just after the 3-minute mark.
“Ryan is a really tough wrestler and he went out there and took it to that kid,” Mason said. “It was a good turning point … winning (the dual) tonight was great. Mead’s always been tough as long as I’ve been in high school and this year we took it to them. We’ve been working hard for this year. Mead’s a tough school, but we competed harder than them today.”
Mead coach Phil McLean said a lot of their struggles came with the relative youth of his varsity lineup.
Featuring six sophomores and a freshman, the Panthers took their lumps, still in the midst of the learning process.
“We have a bunch of young guys who aren’t sure of how good they can be and I think they can go with it,” McLean said. “We’re not far off. We’re young and we’re raw, but our guys are battling so I was really happy with that.”
Shadle Park 36, East Valley 33: Trailing the Knights (1-4) 33-30 with two matches remaining, Adam Price brought the Highlanders (3-2) even with a 9-6 decision against Nick Coleck and Kole Nuehs gave them the win with a 7-1 decision in the final match at EV. SP rallied from a 21-6 deficit to draw even at 27 and earned the last nine points of the dual for the victory.
Central Valley 65, Rogers 6: In a dual that featured seven pins by the Bears (4-0), it was a 10-8 decision at 103 that proved to be their one true test against the Pirates (1-3) at CV. Roger Ulrich fended off Chris Douglas with a takedown in the final round to earn the win.
Mt. Spokane 45, Ferris 22: Freshman Jayden Meyer started a run of six consecutive match victories for the Wildcats (4-0) with an 11-2 major decision at 103 that helped bury the host Saxons (1-3).
Lewis and Clark 43, Gonzaga Prep 28: Ryan Leslie sparked a comeback for the host Tigers (1-4) with his pin of Skylar Penberthy in 2:54 at 189. The six points were the beginning of a 36-0 swing by way of six consecutive pins after the Bullpups (0-5) opened the match with a 28-7 lead.
West Valley 40, Lakeland 38: Matt Roth finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Eagles (4-3) over the visiting Hawks (5-4) in a nonleaguer. Roth finished 9 of 14 from the field, including the only 3-pointer he attempted. Lakeland led 23-15 at halftime, but the Eagles seized a five-point lead by midway through the fourth quarter. WV’s Nick Brown grabbed an offensive rebound with 14 seconds left and hit 1 of 2 free throws to keep the Hawks at bay. Lakeland’s Joel Underdahl hit 8 of 22 from the floor, with three 3-pointers, on the way to 23 points.
Cadie Pratt won the floor exercise, vault and all-around to guide Mead to the team win during a five-way GSL meet at North Central. Pratt scored 9.325 on the floor and 8.85 on the vault on the way to 35.625 points. Mead used its dominance on uneven bars, with six of the top 10 places, to pile up 166.125 points and easily outdistance second-place Central Valley’s 151.6. Lakeside’s Anande Egland won the balance beam (9.1) and finished second in the all-around at 35.35. Mt. Spokane’s Courtney Bray won the bars (8.85) and took third in the all-around (35.225).