Sunset takes a big step
The Apollos approach full strength and knock off Westview 40-30
CEDAR MILL - It had been eight long years - make that looonnnggg years - but the Sunset wrestling team finally shook the monkey off its back.
In this case, the monkey was shaped like a Wildcat, a Westview Wildcat to be accurate, and the Apollos came through down the stretch last Wednesday to post their first win over the Cats since 2000, winning 40-30 at Sunset High School on Jan. 16.
The Apollos built their win on a strong stretch run that included victories in four of the last five weight classes and wins in seven of the final nine.
'We knew our heavy weights would get it done,' said senior 171-pounder Derek Verhoest, who scored a second-round pin over Westview's Chad Ramsey. 'That's where our best weights are at. We always … seem to start off weak and we always finish strong.'
'To finally beat Westview, to dominate them, it felt good,' said Sunset senior Justin Jones, who won a 12-6 decision at 145 pounds. 'Being a senior, my last year, it was just time to go out and give it our all.'
The win evened Sunset's Metro League record at 1-1 and moved them into a third-place tie with Westview, also at
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For the Wildcats, who are slowly trying to get their complete varsity lineup together, last week's loss was disappointing but did not detract from their greater goals of performing well at district and sending a lot of wrestlers on to state.
'We're starting to come together,' said Westview sophomore Zach Reser, who posted an 8-1 win at 152 pounds. 'We still have a couple guys out and a couple holes in our lineup we need to fill, but after that we're going to be tough. I think we're going to surprise a lot of people at district.'
'We didn't have our full lineup ready, but we'll be ready by district,' added senior Eric Van Wagoner, a winner by fall at 119 pounds. 'We'll come around with everybody. District is what we're working at to win.'
Westview started fast against the Apollos last week, winning the night's first three weights and four of the first five. Zach Sefton got things started with a 34-second pin of Quinn Haslett at 103 pounds, teammate Cody Sabin followed suit with a second-round pin of Sunset's Taco Sato at 112, and Van Wagoner boosted his team's lead to 18-0 when he took out Gustavo Tayun 35 seconds into the second round of his match at 119.
Tayun opened his match by taking down Van Wagoner 10 seconds into the first round, but the Westview senior rallied from there. He tied the match 3-3 after one round, then notched an escape to open the second, a takedown five seconds later and pinned Tayun with 1:25 left in the period.
'It was pretty good except for the beginning,' Van Wagoner said. 'I was kind of mad that I let him take me down first in the first round, but I just came back.'
Sunset's Maynor Sandoval stopped the bleeding for a moment when he pinned Lucas Vallejos with three seconds left in their match at 125 pounds, but Westview's Sam Terry answered with an 8-1 decision over Miguel Sandoval at 130 to keep Westview's lead at 21-6.
But Sunset took over then and there. Will Berrigan began to turn the tide with a first-round pin of Tim Sipe at 135 pounds, and teammates Kyle Robinson and Jones followed with their victories at 140 and 145 to cut Westview's lead to 21-18. Robinson took out Mike Riordan 13-11 at 140 while Jones beat Josh Verret 12-6 at 145.
The Cats clung to their lead a little bit longer, though. Reser's 8-1 victory over Deavon Strawn at 152 pounds extended his team's lead to 24-18.
'I was happy with my performance. I wanted to turn him and pin him on top,' Reser said. 'The team needed that and I failed to do that, but I thought I did pretty good.
But Sunset's Joel Harrison notched a 10-1 major decision over Heim at 160 and Verhoest followed with a second-round pin of Chad Ramsey at 171 to push Sunset ahead for the first time at 28-24.
Jason McDonald and Quinn Gordon then tacked on wins of their own to secure the team victory - McDonald with a second-round pin of Alex Keezel at 189 pounds and Gordon by forfeit at 215 - before Westview's Demetri Enesi ended the night with a forfeit victory at 285.
'As the night went on, we got more confidence,' Verhoest said. 'We knew we had to beat 'em. It was Senior Night. We hadn't beaten them in eight years. It was a great win.'