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Grizzlies use win No. 532 to secure the rock

YAKIMA - Stretching its win-loss record to 532-115-6 since 1961, the Sunnyside Grizzlies completed their 46th straight winning season last night with a 49-21 win over the West Valley Rams.

In the process the Grizzlies picked up the 'Rock', a trophy that will be passed between the two teams to honor their rivalries.

The win gave the Grizzlies a 4-2 3A Columbia Basin League record and an 8-4 overall record. Sunnyside placed second behind Eastmont in the final standings.

The Grizzlies jumped to a quick lead in the 140-lb. match. Sunnyside's Baltazar Avalos pinned Jordan Murphy in 2:48 to give Sunnyside a 6-0 lead.

Danny Alvarez then beat West Valley's Jordan Packard 9-2, adding three points to the Grizzly lead.

In the 152-lb. match, Sunnyside's Zeke Galvan scored a major decision against Nick Clark, beating him 9-0.

West Valley cut into the Grizzlies' lead when Shea Smart (160 lbs.) decisioned Jesus Mendoza in a close match, 3-2.

The win started a run which saw Nat Miller (171 lbs.) pin Sunnyside's Andrew Swinehart in 5:50, and then Brent Baggarley (189 lbs.) pinned Sunnyside's Danny Almeida in 4:15. Almeida was down 2-1 when Baggarley snuck in the pin.

The win gave West Valley a 15-13 lead, until Jose Barajas (215 lbs.) pinned West Valley's Adam Preswell in 4:57.

"Jose went 20-12 on the year," Sunnyside Coach George Paulus said. "For a freshman wrestling at 215 lbs., that's pretty good."

Sunnyside increased its lead even further in the 285-lb. weight class. Angelo Salazar picked up his 20th win by pinning Brad Overand in 1:19. Salazar finished the regular season 20-10.

Brothers Steven Romero (103 lbs.) and Isaac Romero (112 lbs.) each received forfeits. Steven finishes the regular season 27-4 and Isaac finished with an unblemished record so far at 30-0.

In the match of the night according to Paulus, Sunnyside's Ricardo Rivera (119 lbs.) lost to Deven Stelter-Moorman, 12-9.

Rivera is a two-time State placer and Stelter-Moorman is a three-time State placer.

"There was quite a bit of action in that match," Paulus said.

Rivera ends his regular season with a 21-5 record.

J.T. Gonzalez (125 lbs.) upped his record to 28-3 on the season when he pinned West Valley's Ross Kamimoto in 2:44. Gonzalez was up 8-1 at the time.

The next to the last match of the night pitted Sunnyside's Eric Mejia against Nevin Crider. Mejia pinned Crider in 3:34. The other match was the 135-lbs bout. Nick Gautraux beat Sunnyside's Tomas Pena 14-10 in a see-saw battle.

"We won 49-21 and I think we made a statement," Paulus said. "We wanted the rock."

Paulus said he will give his guys one day off and then they will start, "...hitting it heavy."

The Sunnyside JV wrestlers will compete in a qualifying tournament for the sub-regional tourney in Moses Lake Saturday, Jan. 27, and then the Grizzlies will go to Spokane Feb. 2-3 for sub-regionals.

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