Host Panthers capture second at classic Saturday

Joey Salgado has the advantage on the way to a 13-3 major decision for Bonney Lake Thursday. - Photo by John Leggett
Joey Salgado has the advantage on the way to a 13-3 major decision for Bonney Lake Thursday.
— image credit: Photo by John Leggett

When Bonney Lake High School’s wrestling team sponsored its 18-team tournament Saturday, the designation up for grabs was not first but second place. Orting High’s wrestling Redbirds flew away with the first-place hardware, accruing 272 points.

Coming in second was Bonney Lake with 161 points and finishing 20 points behind them was White River, a last minute entrant, with 141.

When White River and Bonney Lake swapped wrestling holds in a Thursday dual match in the Panthers’ Den, White River narrowly defeated Bonney Lake 36-32.

Filling in the gaps as best they could to preserve their undefeated league record, the 2-0 Panthers got the party started with Addison Tracy (25-0) wrestling up a weight class at 160 pounds against White River’s Michael J. Madden. Tracy managed a 4-1 decision over his determined foe.

White River earned wins by pins at 171 and 189 pounds before Panther 215-pounder Jared Dorsey recorded a mild upset by decisioning Chase Myers 4-1 to make the score 12-6 in favor of White River. Bonney Lake dropped the next two matches by forfeit and pin, but bounced back to claim three weights in a row, when the Hornets forfeited at 112 pounds to Tyler Anderson, 119-pound Panther Sean O’Reilly took down Zach Kelly 23 seconds into the second round and senior Pat Bendon (125) pinned his challenger halfway through the first round.

With the score knotted at 24, White River’s 130-pounder, Jeremy Gurule, recorded a six-point fall over Gordie St. Peter just before the end of the first round, but Bonney Lake’s Nick Bendon (135) kept the score tight, managing a 18-5 major decision.

Hornet 140-pounder Alec Williams won a close 12-10 battle over Josh Peart and then came the pivotal match of the night. Ahead 33-28 going into the 145-pound match, White River’s Anthony Moore wrestled BL’s Jake Lueders and at the very end of the first round Lueders was penalized one point for an illegal hold. Moore made that 1-0 advantage stand up and White River gleaned a critical three-point decision to put victory out of reach for Bonney Lake as with only the 152-pound match remaining, the Hornets were out front 36-28.

“You can’t argue a judgement call,” Clarke said. “I felt that it was a very controversial time to make a rough call like that, but what are you going to do?”

“I just told my crew before the match that I wanted them to go out, wrestle hard and avoid getting pinned...and that was exactly what they did,” Hornet coach Joe Klein said. “I was proud of these wrestlers tonight, I feel like we outwrestled and outhustled the Panthers and deserved to win.”

Bonney Lake will be busy again this week as it has a match at 7 tonight, Wednesday, at Auburn Mountainview and will host a tough Lakes High group of grapplers at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Reach John Leggett at or 360-802-8207.

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