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Skyhawk streak stops Cats, sends both teams on to regionals

Southridge wrestlers win seven straight matches in victory


by: MILES VANCE - OPENING MATCH - Southridge's Caleb Johnen (right) tries to get after Westview's Kiel Resnick during his 8-3 win at 106 pounds. The Skyhawks won all but five of the day's weight classes to post a 47-29 win at Westview High School on Feb. 7.

ROCK CREEK — The Southridge wrestling team knew that it was in a hole last week.

The Skyhawks, visiting Westview in their Metro League finale on Feb. 7, knew that they would forfeit the night’s final two weight classes, and essentially started the match in a 12-0 hole.

Then they went out and leapt out that hole big-time.

Southridge, after splitting the night’s first four weight classes with the Wildcats, put together a devastating seven-match win streak that took the team from a two-point deficit to a 36-point lead and powered its 47-29 victory at Westview High School.

“Tonight was a big deal for us,” said Southridge sophomore Ryan Maza, a winner by fall at 145 pounds. “We had a few guys get injured so we knew we really needed to win. We all just decided to go out and get it.”

“We knew the importance of all the lower matches so we treated every match like a swing match,” said Skyhawk sophomore Nicholas Piwonka, who notched a pin of his own at 152 pounds. “That helped the intensity of our sideline. It was one of the best showings this year of our team on the bench, which I really think gave us fire to finish.”

The win lifted Southridge’s final regional record to 6-4 (12-9 overall in dual meets) and second place in the Metro League behind just Aloha. Westview, meanwhile, fell to 2-8 in regional action (6-18 overall) and fifth in the Metro standings.

“The coach really wanted us to roll these guys over like we’ve done in past years, but we just weren’t that good this year. We were really young,” said Westview junior Justin Parsons, a winner by technical fall at 126 pounds. “We knew it was going to be tough, but I was confident that we could have won.”

Now, both teams will turn their attention to the coming Special District 1 Regional Tournament, set for Friday and Saturday at Westview, with action kicking off at 11 a.m. Friday and culminating with tournament championships at 6 p.m. Saturday. The top four finishers at each weight will qualify for the Class 6A state tournament, set for Feb. 22-23 at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum.

In their match last week, the Skyhawks opened the night with back-to-back wins by Caleb Johnen and Calvin McAnulty at 106 and 113 pounds, Johnen beating Kiel Resnick 8-3 at 106 and McAnulty pinning Alexia Ward in the third round at 113 to give Southridge a 9-0 lead.

Westview answered with a pair of wins of its own at 120 and 126, with Wildcat Joel Timmons pinning Jack Chimenti 44 seconds into the second round of their match at 120, and Parsons following with a 16-1 technical fall win over Brendan Amesbury at 126 that gave the Wildcats their last lead of the night at 11-9.

“I thought I wrestled well,” Parsons said. “I just wanted to give a nice gift to the seniors that are going out.”

After that, however, it was only Southridge that got anything resembling a gift for a very long time. The Skyhawks ripped off seven wins in the next seven weights, scoring 38 unanswered points to grab a 47-11 lead and secure the night’s result.

“We knew that the team needed it and that the pins we got would determine the outcome and that’s what our team needed,” Maza said. “I did it all for my team.”

Southridge’s Kyle Koch kicked off that stretch with a 6-5 decision over Benjamin Moore at 132 pounds, and Skyhawk Emery Shandil then opened a streak of three straight pins when he stopped Caston Elliott in the second round at 138.

Maza and Piwonka followed with back-to-back pins at 145 and 152, with Maza taking Karl Ficken down near the end of round one at 142 and pinning him with three seconds left in the period. Piwonka started fast against Kurt Ward at 152, pushed his lead to 13-3 after two rounds, then pinned Ward one minute into the third.

“The kid was tough,” Piwonka said. “Going into the third round, I don’t usually pick (the top position), but I knew I had to get the fall for the team.”

Austin Marlow made it three straight pins for Southridge when he stopped Riley Faulkner midway through round two of their match at 160 pounds, Ben Young followed with a 19-1 technical fall victory over David Yancey at 170, and Matt McRae capped Southridge’s prodigious streak when he pinned Sam Mukhin in 57 seconds at 182.

Westview sophomore Andy Schubert stopped the bleeding for Westview when he pinned Nathan Buell with 10 seconds left in the first round of their match at 195 pounds, but by then, it was too little and far too late.

“I was pretty pumped coming into it after watching what they did to my teammates, especially for the seniors since this was their night,” Schubert said. “So I went in with a plan — the plan was to get a double and get a cradle on him — and that’s exactly what I did.”

Westview’s Eli Hirning and Noah Spencer then closed out the night with forfeit wins at 220 and 285 pounds for the final 47-29 margin.

To see a complete photo gallery from this match, please go to milesvance.exposuremanager.com.




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