TACOMA – The Freeman wrestling team was stunned in the Mat Classic XXVII semifinals Saturday morning when it saw just two of seven advance to the finals.
That opened the door for Colville, 5 for 5 in the round.
But the Scotties, who brought 15 to state, relied on depth in the consolation rounds to secure the State 1A championship – their first state trophy in the sport.
Freeman had 169.5 points, 34 better than runner-up Colville. Deer Park placed fourth with 106.
Quantity trumped quality at the Tacoma Dome. Not bad for a group of Scotties who wrestle just three months of the year.
“I’m just glad it was wrapped up early and we could enjoy it with the team (before the finals),” Freeman coach Chad Ripke said.
It’s the second state title for some of the Scotties, who won in football two years ago.
Freeman had 11 placers, including state champion Markus Goldbach at 182 pounds, who had to go to a third overtime before pinning with a second left.
It was redemption for Goldbach, who lost by technical fall in the finals last year.
“It’s been a grind for four years. It’s a hard sport,” Goldbach said. “Technique-wise I’m not the best wrestler, I know that and I accept that. I have to rely a lot on endurance and the conditioning we do in the room, and I have an incredible drill partner, Sebastian Hyta. He inspires me to become better.
“Colville has some very elite wrestlers and they have guys that wrestle year-round,” Goldbach said. “We have to rely on hard wrestling, gritty wrestling. It’s all the back-door points that add up.”
The finals were dominated by the Northeast A League. TJ Baun (106), Tyler Ward (132) and Ben Knight (170) of Colville, Dalton Young (120) and Garrett Brown (152) of Lakeside and Jason Aebischer (195) and Trevor Eicher (220) of Deer Park captured gold.
Baun got a pin at the buzzer to end the second period.
“I thought ‘this is my chance and I’ve got to capitalize,’ ” Baun said. “I was watching the ref and the time, and I knew it (the pin) was right there. It’s kind of an unexplainable feeling right now.”
Ward had to go to a third overtime before prevailing 8-5. He got an escape with 13 seconds left and a takedown as time expired.
“We train to beat everybody in overtime,” Ward said. “I can’t really explain this – only God can explain it because God has a plan for me and this is it.”
Young, 75-0 through two years, had no difficulty repeating, scoring a 7-0 win in the finals.
He said the second title was as special as the first. “Being able to wrestle is everything,” he said.
In an all-NEA final at 152, Brown slipped past Ian Cox of Colville 3-2.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever felt before,” Brown said of winning the title.
Aebischer completed a hat trick in the last three weeks against Freeman’s Hyta, topping the Scottie 5-2.
“I hit the conditioning this year and it helps get me wins in the third period,” Aebischer said.
Clarkston captured a state title with 128 points, 18 ahead of Sedro-Woolley.
Leading the Bantams were state champions Spencer Clegg (106), who won 2-0, and Dylan Beeler (220), who prevailed 3-2.
Logan Sundheim (126) and Trey Meyer (152) of East Valley had second-place finishes at their weights.
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