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Sunnyside tethers Hanford Falcons, 50-13

RICHLAND - The Sunnyside High School wrestling team won 11-of-14 matches, including the last six in a row, on the way to a 50-13 romp last night over host Hanford.

The Grizzlies improved to 3-0 in league and 5-2 overall with the Thursday night Columbia Basin League win over Hanford.

Baltazar Avalos (140 lbs.) opened the match for Sunnyside with an 8-4 decision over Albert Rodriguez.

The Falcons then temporarily tied the team score at 3-3 when Mike Ruane decisioned Sunnyside's Caleb Gomez 12-3 in the 145-lb. match.

Danny Alvarez (152 lbs.) got the Grizzlies back on track with a 7-2 decision over Asa Clements. That was followed by Sunnyside's Drew Swinehart (160 lbs.) getting the better of Joe Clements with a 7-3 decision.

After Jesus Mendoza of Sunnyside (171 lbs.) pinned Doug Ault, Hanford won its second match of the night when Aaron Fenton decisioned Grizzly Danny Almeida 4-2 in overtime.

Sunnyside Coach George Paulus said Almeida led 2-0 at one point in the match, before Fenton rallied with a pair of escapes to send the match into an extra period. The first minute is sudden-death, and Fenton got the win. "They were both equally matched and the other kid happened to get a right angle and took him down."

Sunnyside's Jose Barajas got the Grizzlies back on the scoreboard with a pin over Nathan Shott in the 215-lb. match.

The Falcons' last hurrah of the night came when R.J. Harris pinned Sunnyside freshman Adam Peters in the 285-lb. match.

Sunnyside won the remainder of the matches, beginning with Christian Reyes (103 lbs.), who had the quickest match of the night with a pin of Hanford's Travis Hubbard in just 25 seconds to run his overall season record to 20-3.

The three Romero brothers then ran their collective season records to a staggering 66-5 for Sunnyside.

Steven Romero (112 lbs.) won by a pin over Eric Malone, Isaac Romero (119 lbs.) earned a 20-3 technical fall over Zach Ellis and Josh Romero (125 lbs.) decisioned Caleb Gifford 12-7.

Sunnyside's Nick Martinez faced Hanford's Mike Rorie for the third time this season at the 130-lb. match, with Martinez getting the upper hand at 8-7.

The two grapplers had split their previous two matches of the season. Martinez got the upper hand early last night, then held on as his rival rallied before falling short as time expired.

The match concluded with Sunnyside's J.T. Gonzalez (135 lbs.) keeping his record at a perfect 23-0 with a pin over David Bryan.

Sunnyside takes a break from league competition this weekend with a road trip to the Hoquiam Invite. The nine-team field will include a squad of Japanese national champions.

Sunnyside is halfway through its six-game league schedule, and its 3-0 mark ties it with Eastmont for first-place among 3A CBL teams.

Eastmont visits Sunnyside Tuesday, Jan. 22, and Paulus has the date circled on his calendar.

"They're ranked number four in the state and we're number five," Paulus said of the match which should decide the regular season team title. "It's going to be an exciting match right here in Sunnyside! I want to see a good crowd."

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