Heading into the Pacific Northwest Classic wrestling finals, Deer Park held a five-point lead over tourney host University and both schools had four in title bouts.
That made for a potentially significant pairing in the next-to-last match of the event between the Stags’ Trevor Eicher and Titans’ Tyler Rickel.
Eicher’s 26-second pin was Deer Park’s lone individual champ, but the team title returned the Stags to its place in the limelight. They outscored ultimate team runner-up Mt. Spokane 170-162.5 with nine players placing and all 10 entrants scoring points.
“It’s a pretty cool day for the Stags,” DP coach Matt Jorgensen said. “It’s been a long time since we won a good tournament. It’s the first time we’ve exceeded my expectations. It’s exciting.”
Mt. Spokane’s Wildcats may have lost the war, but the late-charging team won the battle.
The Wildcats also had four finalists. All four – freshman Blake Haney (106 pounds), sophomore Jake Howerton (120), Alec Hoover (132) and Morgan Ruegsegger (160) brought home championships.
“Well, it shows we’ve got really good top-end guys,” Wildcats coach Travis Hughes said of the second-place finish. “It shows we’ve got guys getting it done through the front door. I can’t complain about going 4 for 4 in the finals.”
Fellow Greater Spokane League 3A school North Central added three champions, including Clai Quintanilla (126) and Bryan Wais (152), who both have been slowed by injury.
Mt. Spokane and NC combined for titles in the first five weight finales, including Wais in multiple overtime against Shadle Park’s Bryden Uyehara.
East Valley’s Trey Meyer was the tournament’s outstanding wrestler, pinning his way through the 170-pound weight class and running his season record to 24-0 with a first-round fall in the final.
Other champions were NC’s Clayton Gilliam (113), U-Hi’s Cam Sorensen (138), Wenatchee’s Eric Briley, Sandpoint’s Casey Randles (182) and a pair of Freeman Scotties, Sebastian Hyta (195) and Payton Smetana (285).
Over the course of his career, Eicher has dislocated each of his elbows. Last year he came back in time to gut out the postseason to earn his second state title.
After his pin in a mere 26 seconds, Eicher said, “I knew because the scores were so close I had to win, but wasn’t super worried. I wrestled him two weekends ago and pinned him.”
As for the Stags’ victory, he added, “Our team had a great tournament. We got some great freshman coming in and I think our team’s just come together a lot better.”
Rollie Lane Invitational
Post Falls’ Ridge Lovett and Alius Delarosa claimed individual titles and the Trojans took first place out of 52 teams at the Rollie Lane Invitational at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho.
Lovett claimed the 98-pound title by pinning Capital’s Cade Krishnek in 5 minutes, 18 seconds. Delarosa was the 145-pound champion after a 1-0 victory over Central Valley’s Breadon Orrino.
CV took fourth place. The Bears were led by Bryson Beard, who claimed the 126-pound title with a 10-0 major decision over Meridian’s Jacob Garrison.
The other area weight-class champion was Lakeside’s Dalton Young, who beat Post Falls’ Jason Burchell for the 132-pound title. Lakeside finished 15th.
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