A year ago, only a point separated East Valley and Central Valley.
EV won 29-28 when the pair wrestled and the teams ultimately ended the Greater Spokane League season with identical 9-1 records.
There was a surprise or two when the teams met again Thursday night at CV. The host Bears (3-0) exposed no obvious holes in a lineup that lifted them to a somewhat surprising 34-23 victory over the Knights (3-1).
“The whole team wrestled hard,” CV coach Rick Giampietri said. “We talked about not giving up extra team points, to keep wrestling and giving us everything they had.”
It was apparent the team heeded the admonishments. From start to finish, beginning with a pin by the Bears’ Nick Beeler at 215 pounds and ending with Andy Wickstrom’s late 8-5 upset victory over EV state placer Nic Price, CV made the Knights work for everything they got.
In between, CV jolted the Knights with a double dose of Ames brothers that helped set the tone of the match, got mileage out of its depth at 112 and 119 and all but locked it up with another big effort by sophomore Jake Hollenbeck. Giampietri lauded them all.
“Beeler just started it off,” he said. “Logan Ames was huge. Tyler Ames just went for it. He got taken down and if he stays down, it’s over, but he wrestled hard. The Davis brothers, Hollenbeck, and a huge one too was freshman Cody Spillane, who didn’t get pinned and saved us points.”
The Bears ultimately won eight of 14 matches. CV had three pins to just one for the Knights, captured nearly every tossup contest and kept matches close where veterans tangled.
Pivotal was a contest between talented 103-pound freshmen in which Logan Ames scored a takedown in overtime to upset Nick Sweeney. He blocked Sweeney’s attempts at arm drags and led 4-2 on a penalty point and uncontested escape until Sweeney’s takedown tied it with 13 seconds remaining.
“That was a pretty big win,” Ames said. “When we wrestled in the (Valley) jamboree, he beat me 7-2.”
Not to be upstaged, his brother Tyler, a junior 125-pounder, got the second of CV’s pins three matches later.
“I had to do it,” he said. “(Logan) has been doing better than I, but not tonight.”
The teams traded pins early. EV’s Dakota Lawson followed Beeler’s to tie the contest.
“We needed that,” he said. “This is going to be a tough dual and we’ve got to take every point.”
As it turned out, CV did a better job of that. The Bears won three straight, and Logan Ames’ win made it 15-6. After EV’s Keith Babington beat Jarod Maynes 8-4 in a contest between state placers, Braden Davis moved up and took a major decision that was followed by Tyler Ames’ pin.
Gabe Rodriguez got points back for EV and Sean Biltoft made it back-to-back major decisions, but Hollenbeck’s first-period pin at 140 made it 31-17 with three matches to go.
EV needed to win them all and pin twice, but it didn’t happen in matches between both teams’ most veteran competitors. Wickstrom’s win, which included two penalty points and a reversal in the final 10 seconds, provided the final indignity.
CV moves on Saturday to a noon-2 p.m. doubleheader at Ferris against the host Saxons and Mead Panthers.
Other GSL matches: Elsewhere, the Ferris Saxons (2-1) won 45-32 at Shadle Park (1-2) in a match that featured nine pins. Ferris scored 30 points in the weights between 160 and 285, including by Max Coulson and Andre Rivera. … University (4-0) won 12 of 14 matches in a 57-12 win at Rogers (0-2). All but one match ended by pin or technical fall and there were three forfeits. U-Hi’s Mitch Bell trailed 2-0 at 125, but got a head and arm throw leading to an 8-2 victory.
Great Northern League: Riverside (1-1) has little trouble with visiting Pullman (0-2), winning 65-6. The Rams were staked to a 30-0 lead with forfeits and the DesRosches brothers, Jacob and Nick, won by technical fall and major decision over the Keithleys, Lance and Travis. … Visiting Colville (1-2) got a lift from state runner-up DJ Hall’s pin at 215 to get past West Valley 45-31. Both teams won six contests on the mat, but the Indians started ahead 12-0 by forfeits. … Clarkston (3-1) beat host Medical Lake (1-1) 50-21 by winning seven straight between 145 and 285. Niko Morales of Medical Lake won 10-8 in three overtimes at 119.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.