Senior 215-pound wrestler Jordan Douglas isn’t No. 1 in his weight class at University. But he’s certainly a major reason the Titans remain No. 1 in the Greater Spokane League.
Douglas, who backs Jake Laden in the weight class, rallied in the third period to beat Sheldon Cole 5-3 and Laden moved up and followed with a major decision at 285 over league unbeaten Dan Schoulz.
Those wins capped U-Hi’s comeback 35-20 triumph over host Central Valley Thursday night in the Battle of the Bone between GSL unbeatens.
The triumph by Douglas, one of nine seniors in the Titans (9-0) lineup, might have been the most vital of four gripping contests over the course of the match that helped them defend the league title in front of a packed and noisy house at CV (8-1).
Two double-leg takedowns, the winner coming with 38 seconds remaining, were the difference.
“Everybody like Jake and Dustin Johnson have been helping me in practice,” said Douglas, who has wrestled behind Laden for three varsity seasons. “We watched some film on this guy and I knew that I could double (him). Whatever (coach) Don (Owen) wants, I’ll do.”
His win was one of four straight upper-weight victories, all by seniors, that brought U-Hi back from a 20-12 deficit.
“My seniors,” Don Owen said. “I’m never going to see a bunch like them again. I love those kids. They work so hard and are such good citizens.”
Two more of them, Tyler Clark and Brandon Matlock, staked the Titans to a 6-0 lead. Matlock held off CV freshman Colton Orrino 3-2 at 119 pounds in a grinder between standout wrestlers.
“He had great strategy for the match, stayed right with it and that was a monster momentum changer,” Owen said.
The Bears won five of the next seven, with two major decisions and a pin for the eight-point lead.
At 140 pounds, CV’s Patrick Grady scored five points in the final minute for a win that offset senior Brandon Byers’ comeback win for U-Hi a match earlier. Trailing 6-2, Byers scored three third-period takedowns and added a fourth in overtime for the 10-8 triumph over Braden Davis.
“That’s where they beat us,” said CV coach Tommy Owen, Don’s nephew, “hustling in the late stages of the match.”
Sophomore 145-pounder Adrian Orndorff won another pivotal match to keep U-Hi in the hunt and the upper-weight senior guns – Jacob Fry, Johnson, Douglas and Laden – came through at the end of the night.
“That was a good match,” Tommy Owen said. “When it’s 22-20 with three matches left, that means two teams are battling.”
“There were no losers tonight,” Don Owen said.
• It was rivalry night elsewhere in the GSL as the dual match season came to an end. Third-place Mead (7-2) jumped to an early lead over visiting Mt. Spokane (5-4) and got a key win at 160 by Sam Voigtlander, 5-4 over state veteran Austin Pea, for a 41-22 triumph. … Jake Ecklund’s 8-5 decision at 171, the night’s final match, lifted host North Central (6-3) to a 35-34 escape over Shadle Park (4-5). The Indians also got a big pin at 152 … Anthony Canton led 2-0 when his pin at 215 sealed Ferris’ (4-5) 35-25 home win against Lewis and Clark (2-7). The Tigers’ Nolan Templeton remained perfect at 285, reversing Drew Sharkey for a pin while trailing 6-5. … Visiting Rogers (1-8) took a 48-24 win over Gonzaga Prep (0-9).
Host Cheney (4-2) got a pin by Hunter Pederson over Dylan Usselman at 119 for a quick start during a 45-20 win over Medical Lake (1-5). … Jaren Novakovich (119), Nick Sweeney (125), Cody Chapman (135), Zach Pyatt (152) and Aaron Christiansen (285) had pins as East Valley (5-1) won 43-27 at Clarkston (2-3).