At its best when its best was warranted, three-time defending State 2A champion Deer Park won numerous close matches en route to victory in the regional tournament Saturday in Ellensburg.
The Stags had seven finalists and won six individual championships during the 226-170.5 victory over CWAC power Othello. Great Northern League newcomer East Valley finished third with a 147.5 points and Cheney fourth.
DP sophomores Jake Konzal and Cole Harris, one-two last year in state at 103 pounds, had regional wins in the 112- and 119-pound weight classes.
Billy Rhoads, state runner-up a year ago, needed overtime against Othello’s Eddie Garza, winning 4-2. Dylan Miller, third in state, reached the finals at 160 with a 1-0 victory and won the title by injury default.
The Stags also got a 215-pound title from sophomore CJ Rodriguez, 9-7, and at 285, where Shawn Burton, chosen region wrestler of the year pinned his way to the crown.
Other GNL champions were EV’s Adam Brown at 140 over DP’s Seth Grable by 15-point technical fall and Clarkston’s Brock Beeler by pin at 171.
DP has 10 state qualifiers. The GNL advances 23 of the 56 regional qualifiers to Mat Classic XXIII in Tacoma next weekend.
Reardan’s hope of a repeat state title faces a roadblock in former 1A power Warden and, perhaps, Kittitas.
The pair outscored the Indians with 255.5 and 193.5 points to 128 during the regional tourney in Reardan. Five per weight advance to state.
Reardan had four finalists, including champions Waylen Anderson (145) and Charlie Eldred (152). They have seven state qualifiers.
Warden has 13 state qualifiers, three of them regional champs.
Other local champions among the 11 area finalists include Conan Kalugin (130, Springdale); Kelan Sax (171, Selkirk); and Zack Carrell (285, Almira/Coulee-Hartline) over teammate Jesse Billups.
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