Mt. Spokane was bushwhacked early by University in a Thursday night wrestling match between Greater Spokane League unbeatens.
The Wildcats rallied the troops at the home fort, but their frantic finish fell short, 37-32, and denied coach Travis Hughes his first victory over the Titans.
“Coulda, woulda, shoulda,” said Hughes of U-Hi’s stunning start that put the Mt. Spokane in a 24-6 hole by winning five of the first six matches. “We didn’t start real good. I thought we’d do better and maybe at least give us a morale boost.”
The first four matches, three won by the Titans, totaled a little more than 4 minutes. A regulation bout is 6 minutes
The pivotal one came at 195 pounds as U-Hi sophomore Levi Meinzinger stuck Logan Gibler in 1:26.
“The really big matches were the first two for us,” U-Hi coach Don Owen said. “Connor Douglas (a winner by pin at 182) has been a pretty good performer over the years but didn’t look good (Wednesday) night, which left me a little nervous.”
He said Meinzinger keeps getting better.
“He’s a hidden gem,” Owen said.
Beginning with the 120-pound weight class, Mt. Spokane worked its way back into the match, winning five of six to lead 32-27 with two bouts remaining. One, veteran Kiegan Schauer, pinned at 138 in his first match back since knee surgery in August.
But the Wildcats (3-1) were well aware that two of U-Hi’s best wrestlers, John Fairbanks and Austin Stannard, remained to close things out.
Fairbanks won by major decision and Stannard, a state runner-up last year, took 50 seconds to put the exclamation point on the night, leaving U-Hi 4-0 heading into the holiday break.
Each team had four pins, but the Titans won eight matches to the Wildcats six, the difference in the match.
“His team competed well,” Hughes said. “I thought ours did, too. It was a good match.”
Lewis and Clark 38, Shadle Park 34: The visiting Tigers (2-2) won six consecutive matches, starting with Tyler Taylor’s second-round pin of Darion Foster at 170, to rally past the Highlanders (1-3). Shadle won every match from 138 to 160, starting with Connor Kerr’s pin of Coby Richardson at 5:23.
North Central 64, Rogers 12: Cameron Bowerman (120) pinned Preson Austin in 37 seconds and the host Indians (2-2) opened the night with five consecutive pins in a win over the Pirates (0-4). Rogers’ Marcus Robinson edged Jacob Koczor 5-4 at 220.
Mead 50, Ferris 18: Nick Schwartz upset Aaron Caballero with a second-round pin at 106 and Connor Segroves pinned Lucas Bradfute in 2:40 at 220 as the host Panthers (4-0) topped the Saxons (1-3).
Central Valley 72, Gonzaga Prep 3: The visiting Bears (3-1) piled up six pins and won five matches by forfeit to roll past the Bullpups (0-4).