The wrestling version of the Battle of the Bridge went the way of the White River Hornets, who defeated neighboring Enumclaw High 43-28.
The two talented teams squared off the evening of Jan. 24 in the White River gymnasium. In the end, White River grapplers took nine of the 14 matches (one by forfeit).
The match, which started at 120 pounds, stayed close early. White River received a major decision from Nate Belcourt in the opener and was boosted by a forfeit win at 126. But Enumclaw bounced back in a big way when Zane Eilers and Aidan Carroll pinned their opponents at 132 and 138 pounds, respectively.
That’s when the Class 2A White River squad took control over their 4A rivals. The Buckley crew rattled off 31 teams points to decide the match, earning victories in six straight pairings. Along the way, Gabe Hawthorne and Weston Lyver pinned their foes at 145 and 152, while Johnny McBride and Max Wheeler did the same at 182 and 195. Between those, Nate Moore won by a 9-2 decision and Jack Ervien picked up a 13-5 major decision.
With the outcome decided in White River’s favor, Enumclaw rallied to win three of the night’s four matches: Lorenzo Luchi had a pin at 220 pounds, Ryder Popke did the same at 285 and Brandon Cormier registered a 17-9 major decision at 113.
White River’s final points of the evening came in the 106 match, where Benjamin Milligan took a 7-5 decision.
The Plateau showdown ended the regular season for both squads.
Next up for White River, the defending Class 2A state champion, is a Feb. 2 subregional tournament at Fife High School, followed by regionals on Feb. 9 at Blaine High.
Enumclaw wrestlers will head to Auburn High for the Feb. 1-2 subdistrict tourney, followed by a Feb. 9 regional at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way.
All will be looking for a berth at Mat Classic, the state championships, slated for Feb. 15-16 at the Tacoma Dome.