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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Area teams stand out at the Dream Duals

Spokane-area wrestling teams were too good and it resulted in a nightmarish situation at the Washington Dream Duals.

The tournament, Saturday at East Valley, brought 24 teams, six each in four enrollment classifications to East Valley on Saturday.

University and Central Valley in 4A and Lakeside and Medical Lake in 2A won their pools to all earn spots in the finals.

The Titans and Bears declined to do so only because it would have meant facing each other three times in one week. The two meet Wednesday in the Greater Spokane League championship wrestle-offs. U-Hi instead wrestled Battle Ground for the championship, winning Dream Duals for the first time, 47-15.

Medical Lake coach Sam Petersen opted to forego a chance for the unofficial state dual title because he didn’t want to wrestle Lakeside until next week’s Great Northern League championship match.

For officials, it meant juggling the brackets so that in both cases, the No. 2 teams from the respective pools moved up and the finalists dropped down. CV wrestled for third and fourth, Medical Lake for fifth and sixth.

“It’s not going to happen again,” said meet coordinator Tracy Niles. “We’re going to seed them and that’s it.”

Lakeside coach Scott Jones, whose team won the 2A championship 44-28 over Hoquiam, said he would have liked to wrestle the Cardinals.

Things went according to form in the 3A and 1A/B tournaments where East Valley rallied from a 17-0 deficit, winning the final two matches by pin for a 39-27 victory over Kelso for the championship.

Although not as dominant as in past years, Warden won its fourth 1A/B Dream Duals championship, rallying from a 27-21 deficit against Liberty Bell for a 33-27 victory.

Also this year there was an All-Star match for Class B wrestlers between Panorama and Bi-County league schools. The Panorama wrestlers won.

University breezed past Rogers-Puyallup 48-18 and Moses Lake 53-12 to advance to the title match. In the championship, U-Hi took a 26-6 lead and was ahead 29-15 when Battle Ground forfeited the final three matches because of injury or illness.

“I thought we wrestled pretty well our first match,” said coach Don Owen. “In the second I thought we had a couple matches we should have won. And in this last match Battle Ground has four really tough kids. They beat a couple of our best kids head-to-head.”

Freshman 103-pounder Brian Owen lost his first match this year, 9-7, to Kraig Wilson, a senior who placed fourth at state for Rogers-Puyallup last year. Chase Fish was beaten at 112, 7-5 by Battle Ground’s Anthony Edwards, second to Fish last year in state.

Owen got thrown to his back in the second period after taking a 4-2 lead and scrambled to get back in it.

“It was probably the best thing that happened to him,” said Don Owen. “He’s got a lot of talent but has to learn the subtleties about how to score.”

Central Valley, which beat Enumclaw by two points and Battle Ground by a point because of the forfeits, led Auburn-Riverside 30-7, but lost the final six individual matches and a perfect dual weekend, 34-30 to finish fourth.

All-in-all, the coaching brothers said, wrestling athletes from different schools was a good way to prepare for postseason.

It was a sentiment echoed by EV coach Craig Hanson, who took on the Dream Duals, now in their 11th year, five years ago. Like U-Hi, the Knights were winning their first Dream Dual.

“It’s good to finally have one,” he said. “I realize (three-time state champion) Sedro Woolley was not here, but I think it’s a good milestone.”

The Knights beat Squalicum 68-9 and West Valley-Yakima 64-6. They trailed 24-15 but got pins beginning at 160 pounds from Fred Arnold, Jordan Jolley, Tyler Jolley and Chris Helm to come back against Kelso.

Lakeside beat Colville, which finished fourth, 40-32 and Connell 53-17, then jumped on Hoquiam 23-6 through 130 pounds. But the Eagles led just 23-19 before winning four straight. Tony Smith’s pin at 171 clinched victory.

“Since my freshman year, we haven’t won it,” he said, indicating satisfaction with the title.

Then, he added it would have been fun to wrestle Medical Lake.

“One of our goals is to win Dream Duals,” said Jones, whose team won either its third or fourth such title. “It’s a great measuring tool on the way to state.”

Warden’s Nathan Alvarado and Carlos Hernandez won pins at 215 and 275 to keep the Dream Dual string alive after Liberty Bell had captured four straight matches for its six-point lead. It was Warden’s seventh Dream Duals title overall.

“The seniors are going for their fourth straight state title, too,” said coach Rick Bowers. “We’re not as strong a dual team as we’ve been, but if it’s by one point or 100, it’s still a win.”

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