The dream lives for the Mead Panthers, whose 42-29 wrestling triumph Thursday night at East Valley maintained hope of a Greater Spokane League title.
Not so for the Knights (6-2), who, to mask weaknesses in some weight classes by bumping up wrestlers, instead suffered the defeat.
The moves were made from 140 through 215 pounds.
While most proved a wash, in attempting to avoid pins in two weight classes, EV did so in neither.
The crusher came at 215 pounds where Knights 189-pound standout Dakota Lawson took on Mead’s league unbeaten, Jake Trotter. Trotter weighs 205, which isn’t big for his weight class but was still nearly 20 pounds heavier than his foe.
That helped in a pin victory that came with 4 seconds left in the second round and proved vital to the outcome.
“Definitely,” Trotter said. “I think they thought by bumping him up to me they could get (a win). I wrestled my hardest and ended up pinning Lawson, a Tri-State champion. It was a pretty big accomplishment.”
Coach Phil McLean said that Trotter has powerful hips, which played into his weight advantage.
Another pivotal win for the Panthers came at 145 pounds where Ben Snow pinned in the weight vacated by state placer Chris Tripplet.
Tripplet was one of the five wrestlers who moved up a weight. He, Jake Rodriguez and Nic Price all triumphed, as hoped, between 152 and 171 and likely would have in their normal weights. Lawson would have been favored at 189, where Panther Corey Combs prevailed instead.
As a result, the Knights led just 17-15 before Trotter, and then Carter Comito, pinned in the upper weights for a 27-17 advantage.
“Those were big,” McLean said. “The big boys pulled through tonight.”
EV came back to lead 29-27 with pins by Nic Sweeney and Keith Babington before Mead won the final three, the last in overtime where Gabe Rodriguez was penalized for unnecessary roughness on a takedown that would have won it.
EV coach Craig Hanson didn’t second-guess his decision to move wrestlers.
“All the gambles boiled down to a weird thing when Dakota got caught,” he said. “I thought he could win and didn’t and that’s the end of that.”
With the win, Mead (6-1) remains on the heels of unbeaten University and once-beaten Central Valley.
“As long as CV or EV beats U-Hi, we’re still in the running for a championship,” Trotter said.
In other GSL matches, at Shadle Park, U-Hi’s Titans (8-0) defeated the Highlanders (3-5) 43-28. U-Hi won every match from 145 pounds through 285, rallying from a 22-6 deficit. … CV (8-1) rolled at Rogers (0-8) 59-11, winning six pins and two technical falls. … Host North Central (2-5) had nine pins in a 70-16 victory over Gonzaga Prep (0-8), none going past the second round. … Ferris (5-4) won at Mt. Spokane (4-3), winning 10 of 14 matches, including Abe Minkler’s 8-6 win over Cody Hughes.
Great Northern League: Host Deer Park (6-0) defeated West Valley (0-5) 64-10. The Eagles won just twice. … Clarkston (6-1) stayed close to DP in the standings with a 42-27 decision at Cheney (1-3). … Medical Lake (3-3) won in Pullman (0-5) 54-28. … Riverside (5-1) topped Colville (2-4) 55-24.
Northeast A League: Host Lakeside swept a three-way dual at Nine Mile Falls, 68-15 over Newport, 57-24 over Chewelah and 54-16 over Freeman. Chewelah beat Freeman 44-24.