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Skyhawks streak past Sunset to victory

Southridge wins the final five matches of the night to beat Sunset


BEAVERTON — The Sunset wrestling team hit the ground running in its Metro League match at Southridge last week.

The Apollos shook off an early forfeit, won the next three weight classes and grabbed a 10-point lead in no time against the Skyhawks.

But there was no panic in Southridge. The Skyhawks steadied themselves, got back to dead-even at 19-19 and again at 25-25, then left the Apollos in the dust after that, winning the night’s final five matches to post a 46-25 win over the Apollos.

The victory lifted Southridge’s District 1 record to 1-1, while the Apollos fell to 0-2.

by: MILES VANCE - COUNTING DOWN - Southridge's Joseph Rutheford puts the squeeze on Sunset's Mark Swigart during Rutheford's victory at 285 pounds last week at Southridge High School.

“We knew it was going to be close,” said Southridge senior 182-pounder Matt McRae, who notched a first-round pin in his match. “We knew it was going to come down to the heavier weights and we knew we were going to have to finish them out. We had to finish.”

“Coming into it I was sick, so I just had to get myself on my feet and help my team,” added Skyhawk senior 170-pounder Ben Young, who notched a pin to start that five-match stretch at the end of the night. “We just had to get ourselves moving forward.”

The Apollos were disappointed with the loss, but were glad to at least knock the Skyhawks back on their heels temporarily, and left knowing that they might have come even closer if not for allowing 18 points on forfeits.

“I thought our team came out and wrestled pretty tough,” said Sunset junior Nathan Burnett, whose pin at 160 pounds gave his team its last lead at 25-19. “We forfeited a few weights, and it’s always hard to come back from that, but overall, I think the team’s getting better and we can compete at the regional level.”by: MILES VANCE - MUSCLE UP - Sunset's Nathan Burnett works on Skyhawk Joseph McRae in their match at 160 pounds.

Southridge’s Caleb Johnen opened the night with a forfeit victory at 106, but Sunset came back with three straight wins to grab a 16-6 lead. First, Grant Bingham pinned Calvin McAnulty in the second round at 112. Then, Hayden Stockwell notched a 10-2 major decision over Jack Chimenti at 120, and finally, Luke Batten pinned Brendan Amesbury in the first round at 126 for that 10-point edge.

And while Southridge won three of the next five weights — starting with Kyle Koch’s forfeit win at 132 pounds — the Apollos continued to hold their own. After Koch’s win, Southridge’s Emery Shandil beat Quin Bingham 6-2 at 138, but Sunset’s Spencer Stokes answered with an 11-4 decision over Ryan Maza that kept the Apollos ahead 19-15.

Southridge’s Nicholas Piwonka followed with a 9-0 major decision over Angel Barranco at 152, before Burnett stepped up for a second-round pin of Joseph McRae at 160 to give his team its last lead at 25-19.

“I always like to try and come out and get a first-round pin, but he wrestled tough,” Burnett said of Barranco. “He came out to wrestle, but in the end, I got the same result.”

That was the end of the positive results for Sunset, though. Young, a senior wrestling for the first time since his freshman season due to a back injury, broke through for a pin 39 seconds into the third round of his match against Jason Allgower at 170. That got Southridge’s late streak going and tied the score at 25-25 in the process.

“I’ve been a little slow to get back to some things, but I’ve got a good game in my head,” Young said. “When you come into a match, you never think you’re going to lose.”

McRae kept things rolling and indeed accelerated them by pinning Kincaid Crile in just 52 seconds at 182 pounds, and teammate Nathan Buell followed with a 7-3 decision over Ellis Parr. Travis Johnson then took another forfeit for the Skyhawks at 220, and freshman 285-pounder Joseph Rutheford closed out the night when he caught Sunset’s Mark Swigart in the first minute and pinned him in just 59 seconds.

“We’re super excited as a team. As a team, our motto is ‘Moving Forward,’ and we’re 6-1 right now,” McRae said.

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