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Leopards take big bite out of Mabton Vikings

ZILLAH - The Mabton High School wrestling team ran into a buzz saw last night (Thursday) known as the Zillah Leopards.

The Leopards manhandled last year's second best team in the SCAC West, 51-16.

Zillah used three pins, a technical fall and a major decision to build a lead Mabton couldn't overcome. Three forfeits by Mabton also deeply hurt the Vikings.

Neither team had a wrestler for the 103-lb. match but Zillah made quick work in the 112-lb. and 119-lb. matches.

Skylor Davis (112 lbs.) scored a technical fall on Mabton's Juan Solis and Jacob Rosas scored a major decision over Mabton's Carlos Mendez (119 lbs.) to jump to a 9-0 lead.

"After the first two matches they had outscored us 27-0 in points," Mabton Coach John Kilian said. "That's not good."

Eric Meza (125 lbs.) scored Mabton's first points when he beat Alex Gonzalez 16-8. Meza improved his record to 13-4.

Luis Rosas squeaked by Mabton's Andy Rivera (130 lbs.) 12-11 to increase Zillah's lead to 12-4.

Arturo Nunez (135 lbs.) brought Mabton as close as they would come to the Leopards all night in the next match. He pinned Zillah's Damien Sanchez in 1:40 to make the score 12-10. The Vikings would get no closer.

Mabton had to forfeit its 140-lb. and 145-lb. matches and then Kyle Tynan was able to pin Mabton's Noe Gutierrez (152 lbs.) in 1:45.

In the 160-lb match, Mabton's Angelo Salinas lost a close one to Terry Scaife 6-2.

Kane Koerner then pinned Mabton's Kody Bacon (171 lbs.) in 3:18 and Zillah's John Myers pinned Jesus Cardenas in 3:39. Mabton had to forfeit its 189-lb. match to Zillah.

The Vikings picked up another six points when Zillah forfeited to Eli Perez (285 lbs.).

"Every close match went their (Zillah's) way," Kilian said. "We had a long talk on the bus on the way back home. We have got to find a way to turn this thing around. Districts are just a couple of weeks away. This was a big wake up call."

The Vikings (1-2, 3-4) will travel to Royal City Saturday, Jan. 12, to participate in the Royal Rumble. Mabton will continue league play next Thursday, Jan. 17, when the Vikings will host White Swan.

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