The smallest contender among the challengers for the Tri-State high school wrestling tournament championship Friday showed why it will be difficult to contend with today.
Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls, the State A/B champ in Washington last year, pushed four wrestlers into the semifinals of the 26th edition of the tournament many consider more difficult than state.
Seven teams are still within eyesight of Lakeside. The Eagles led with 92.5 points following quarterfinal matches, but not including a late consolation round.
Central Valley (75.5) held down second place and also advanced four wrestlers to the championship bracket. Moses Lake was a half-point further back and pre-tournament favorite La Grande (Ore.) was next at 74 points. Gonzaga Prep remains in the chase with 71.5.
La Grande, Gonzaga Prep, Meridian (Idaho), Polson (Mont.) and Sandpoint each kept three alive for individual championships.
Action continues this morning at 8 with loser-out matches. The semifinals will begin at 12:15 p.m., followed by consolation matches and the championship finals at 6.
Jason Belyea (119 pounds), Anthony Layton (130), Aaron Laughery (145) and Matt Westerfelder (160) carried Lakeside to the top.
Eleven of the 13 No. 1 seeds advanced.
In the two most notable upsets, Conor Jordan of University topped 1996 Tri-State finalist Gabe Hoyt of La Grande 9-6 at 135, and Brent Duda of Quincy (Wash.) pinned Casey O’Rourke, also of La Grande, at 171, in 5:42.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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