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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

CV Bears leave no doubt who’s best in GSL

University’s Owen Cornwell and Central Valley's Gage Connole tangle up in the 145-pound weight class during the Battle of the Bone wrestling match Wednesday. Connole won the match 12-3. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

After seeing the Central Valley team up close, University coach Don Owen is convinced what could be in store for the Bears.

Owen predicts a State 4A championship for the Titans’ rival.

The Bears’ quality-filled lineup was overpowering for University as Central Valley overcame a nice start by the home team for a 33-18 victory and its first Battle of the Bone decision in four years and first Greater Spokane League title since 2007-08.

“They’re solid,” Owen said. “I’d say they’re the team to beat in the state of Washington. I’ve seen Moses Lake and they’re ranked No. 1 and I’ve seen Lake Stevens, and I think CV has a better team than both of those teams. You never know because they have to go through our region that can cut up anybody, but they’re talented.”

The match began at 182 pounds where the Titans (8-1) won three straight matches for a 9-0 lead.

Freshman heavyweight Wyatt Wickham got CV going when he edged Tyler Rickel, up a weight, 3-1.

The Bears (9-0) went on to win eight of the final 10 matches.

A big key for CV was most of its wins included bonus points while U-Hi’s six victories all came by three-point decisions.

CV’s first major win came when Christian Hill topped Terrell Sanders 10-2 at 120.

A match later, defending state champ Bryson Beard needed just 50 seconds for a pin at 132.

U-Hi’s Cam Sorenson halted the momentum briefly at 138, edging Bridger Beard 1-0 in a match with much action but one point to show for it.

Gage Connole started CV on a strong finish at 145 with a 12-3 major decision over Owen Cornwell.

CV junior Braedon Orrino, feeling in the best shape in his career, used seven takedowns to handle Braden Gamble 15-5 at 152.

“It was a fun match,” Orrino said. “I just did my own thing and went out there and did what I had to do for my team. We knew that once we got into the middle weights we’d be able to catch up no matter how much we were down by.”

Another CV freshman, Zach Stratton, ended the Bone with a pin in 1:04 at 170.

CV first-year coach Shaun Williams preaches not giving up bonus points, and his team responded.

“That’s what he pretty much trains us for,” Orrino said. “Even if you’re down eight points, try to get a takedown or escape and just give up three (team) points instead of four.”

It had been more than a decade since Williams was part of a Bone match – going back to when he was an assistant for John Owen.

“I was so far removed that I had forgotten about the atmosphere for the match and how big it really is,” Williams said. “This is good for the sport and it’s good for kids. What pleased me most is everybody did their job.”

After singing CV’s praises, Don Owen said he was proud of his team.

“We were lucky to win some of those matches,” Owen said. “We fought hard to win some of those matches. We were just a little outgunned.”

Elsewhere in the GSL, visiting North Central (5-4) and Shadle Park (4-5) put on an entertaining battle with the Indians escaping 35-34. The key victories for NC came behind pins by Zach Cramer in 38 seconds at 106 and Clayton Gilliam in 37 seconds at 113. … Rogers (4-5) topped visiting Gonzaga Prep 47-24. Jesse Bonasera led the Pirates with a pin in 41 seconds at 160.

Great Northern League

In final league matches, Cheney (2-2) handled visiting Pullman (0-4) 58-19. Cameron Wiseman got one of the Blackhawks’ five pins at 145 and Taylor Nguyen had a 13-0 major decision at 132. … Defending state champion Clarkston (3-1) topped West Valley (1-3) 55-23 in Millwood. Spencer Clegg recorded one of six pins for the Bantams at 126. … League champ East Valley (4-0) concluded league last week.