EHS WRESTLING: Hornets step closer to SPSL 3A title

The South Puget Sound League 3A wrestling standoff between highly-ranked Enumclaw High and talented Auburn Mountainview didn’t materialize Thursday as the Hornets rolled over the Lions 44-22.

Coach Lee Reichert said his Hornets’ fire was due in part to the scare they received the night before when the impressive White River Hornets took a one-point lead midway through the Hornet-Hornet battle. Enumclaw took the contest 33-25, but it was nip and tuck all the way.

“They came in mentally ready to wrestle,” said Reichert after the team’s win over Auburn Mountainview. It was the Hornets’ 28th straight league victory. “They had that close match with White River and the kids didn’t like that feeling. The kids were focused. They were all business tonight. Right from the get-go they got them on their heels.

“It’s another step forward,” Reichert said. “We’re making progress toward that league title. We’re not there yet we have a lot of work to do, but tonight was another step.”

The Hornets take another leap at 7 tonight, Wednesday, when they host Clover Park. The team heads to the Kitsap Peninsula Saturday for the Mat Men Tournament.

In the showdown with the Lions, Kyle Young started Enumclaw off at 140 pounds with a second-round pin and Chance Mitchell tacked on a major decision at 145 to give the Hornets a quick 10-0 lead.

The crowd didn’t have to wait long for the big match of the night – the state’s No. 1-ranked 152-pounder Josh Musick and the No. 2 man Tyler King. Both placed third at state last season, Musick at 140 pounds and King at 135.

Musick put together back-to-back cradles to score a quick six points midway through the match for a 6-0 lead. He picked up escape points when King let him go trying to make up ground with takedowns for the 8-2 final.

“After I hit the first cradle I knew I wasn’t going to give up any more points than necessary,” said Musick, who anticipates seeing King again at subdistrict, regionals and state. “That was fun. I’m a bit winded and I was sloppy on my feet. I’ll have to work on that.”

The Hornets didn’t let up. Kario Wallin stepped up, adding three more points to the team score with a 13-0 decision at 160.

The Lions grabbed the 171 battle for their first three points of the night, but EHS rallied with pins from D.J. Qualls at 189 and Steven Knapp at 215 and a forfeit victory at heavyweight to push the score to 34-9.

Auburn Mountainview answered with falls at 103 and 112 pounds before EHS’s Cole Snider scored a pin of his own for a 40-15 lead. The Lions picked up two more wins before Andrew Fox finished the night with a victory at 135 pounds.

The night started much the same way for the Hornets against White River Jan. 6, but the opponent proved to be more formidable.

Enumclaw jumped to an early lead when Mitchell topped Anthony Moore 8-5 at 145. Musick and Wallin boosted the score to 12-0 with a pin and decision. Musick pinned Caden Pugmire in 2 minutes, 38 seconds, while Wallin scored a 7-1 decision over Austin Bethel.

White River’s Jeff Kisner put his Hornets on the score board with a 3-1 overtime win over Colton Malke at 171 pounds. EHS maintained the advantage, 12-3, but Qualls boosted it to 18-3 with a third-round pin over Jacob Short.

That’s when White River roared back-to-back pins by Chase Myers and David Meagher to pull the Hornets of Buckley to within three, 18-15.

Richard Geddes gave White River a one-point lead with a major decision over Jerad Paul at 103.

Freshman David Kingman put EHS back on top, 22-19, with a major decision over White River freshman Bryce Thompson, but White River wasn’t done. At 119 pounds, WRHS’s Brandon Short snatched an overtime win from Snider to tie the score at 22.

That was EHS’s wake up call. The Hornets won the final four matches, two by major decision, for the 33-25 final. Hunter File and Lucas Somera earned the major decisions. File scored a 12-3 victory over Roger Rollin and Somera earned a 13-5 win over Robert Kautzman. Fox picked up an 8-4 win over Austin Shirey and, in the battle of two 2009 state place winners, Young came out ahead of Alec Williams 9-3.

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