Not much separated wrestlers from Central Valley and Mt. Spokane in the early going as the Greater Spokane League began Wednesday night.
What separation there was favored the Bears in the first four matches and they pulled out a 35-28 victory on the Wildcats’ home mat.
CV took a 13-0 in the taut four early matches and followed with two pins for a 25-0 lead that proved impossible for Mt. Spokane to overcome.
“We started at absolutely the wrong weight and they got on a run,” Wildcats coach Travis Hughes said of the 160-pound opener. “We lost two close matches that (if wrestled) anywhere else we might have won.”
Those came at 170 and 195 pounds, as CV’s Cody Spillane and Kurt Beck escaped with 2-0 and 6-5 decisions, respectively.
Then at the two heaviest weights, sophomore Lowell Kovacich and four-year veteran Dan Shoultz garnered the first-period pins that put the Wildcats in a deep hole.
Mt. Spokane won six of the last eight contests but couldn’t catch up.
“We wrestled well, so I can’t complain,” Hughes said of the contest pitting two of the GSL’s better teams. “I suspected we could be this good. I thought we could have beaten them.”
Both teams gave as good as they got in the grinder of a match. Even CV state runner-up Colton Orrino didn’t have an easy time against Kader Schauer, despite the 17-5 outcome. Wildcats Sam Wilkes, John Hoover and Billy Goforth, between 138 and 152 pounds, won the night’s final matches, cutting into a substantial CV lead.
“We knew Travis has one of the best teams,” CV coach John Owen said. “Maybe we won the flip at a good time and got the big lead on them. I suspect we won a couple of toss-up ones.”
New to the GSL and CV after a few years’ absence and just learning his way back in the GSL, Owen credited his assistant coaches for keeping the program going in the right direction.
“I said Mt. Spokane was a good opener for us,” Owen said. “I’m happy to win.”
North Central 40, Lewis and Clark 33: In the final two matches, freshman Izaec Quintanilla at 138 and sophomore Cody Kiourkas at 145 won by technical fall and major decision, respectively, to rally the host Indians to victory.
University 49, Shadle Park 19: The Titans may be rebuilding, but they had a formidable start at home. Sophomore John Fairbanks edged Brandon Bunke, who was a match away from state last year, 8-7. Three other top Highlanders were victorious, but four wins in a row between 285 and 120 sealed things for U-Hi.
Mead 61, Gonzaga Prep 12: The GSL favorite Panthers had little trouble in their home opener, losing just twice, by pin, with scarcely a projected starter in the lineup.
Great Northern League
Deer Park 58, Clarkston 18: The Stags led the visiting Bantams 16-12 before posting seven consecutive pins, starting with freshman Aaron Klauder at 106. DP freshman Jason Aebischer (120) trailed 4-0 in the third period before an escape and late pin. Joe Grable (138) moved up a weight and won by pin. Dylan Miller (170), second at state last year, trailed Brock Beeler, fifth at state last year, 2-1 in the third before winning 4-2.