OROFINO With Carson Morrow claiming first place in the 152-pound weight class, the Clearwater Valley wrestlers nicked Pullman in the team scoring last Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13-14, at the Maniac Invitational.
CV tallied 116 team points, with Morrow notching his 24th win of the season and Rams Christian Fabbi (second at 126), Ty Dominguez (second at 160) and Trae Dominguez (second at 220) boosting the Rams.
Also placing for CV were Taylor Roy (3rd, 170), Peyton Whipple (3rd, 182), Skyler Olsen (4th, 138), Alfredo Gonzalez (5th, 120), Wilder Cross (6th, 106) and Kade Ketola (6th, 195).
A Grangeville-versus-Grangeville final at 145 saw Frankie Zumwalt and Blake Courtney finish first and second in that weight class, but one of the tournament highlights came during the semifinal. Zumwalt finished his semifinal in less than a minute and looked on as Courtney took Gabe Jones of Pullman to double-overtime.
“Blake won a very close tough match by wrestling very strategically,” GHS coach Tyler Bransford said.
Courtney had trailed 3-2 after a near-fall, but leveled the match at 4-4 with a takedown in short time during the third period. “At the end of the third, that’s where the strategy came in. I could see we were better trying to take him down than turn him, and we had time to let him up and take him back down,” Bransford said.
Though Jones escaped in overtime, Courtney won the tiebreaker with a reversal-near fall combination good for a final score of 10-5.
Bransford noted that Brittney Benavidez won the girls division and Noah Kaschmitter “finally beat George Bolling of Orofino for the first time all year.”
“He has wrestled Bolling three or four times and this time Noah was able to get the takedown, work the cradle and get the pin in a hurry,” Bransford said. “We also had really strong showings from Tristen Bledsoe and Ryan Cox. They both finished fifth, but the way they performed bodes well for the district tournament.”
Another of the closest matches last Saturday came during the class 182 final, when Prairie’s Jace Perrin pinned Rylie Warnock of Joseph, Ore., with 11 seconds left in the bout.
Perrin had taken a 5-2 lead during the second period, using an escape and a takedown to break a 2-2 tie. Warnock scored four quick points late in the second and led late in the third before Perrin found a way to pin Warnock late.
Coming — Area wrestlers are set to compete at Potlatch tonight, Jan. 18, and Grangeville is scheduled to visit McCall on Saturday, Jan. 21.