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Grizzlies' bid for league title falls short

MOSES LAKE - The Sunnyside High School wrestling team was looking for a share of the CBBN Columbia Division title last night when the Grizzlies visited Moses Lake. But a three-pin rally by the Chiefs in the middle weights doomed Sunnyside's chances as Moses Lake won 51-14 to earn the title.

"It was a lot closer than the score indicated," Sunnyside Coach George Paulus said. "But we didn't perform very good in a critical situation."

Moses Lake jumped to an early lead after two quick wins to start the meet. Spencer Fackrell scored a 13-0 major decision against Sunnyside's Frankie Ochoa (215 lbs.) to give the Chiefs a quick 4-0 lead. Kabe Fluiett made it 7-0 when he beat Sunnyside's Adam Peters (285 lbs.), 5-1.

The Grizzlies then stormed back to take the lead by reeling off three straight wins.

The onslaught started with the 103-lb. weight class when Sunnyside's Christian Reyes beat Hayden Wise 8-3. The Grizzlies star wrestler, Steven Romero, then scored a 17-2 technical fall against Andrew Valdez (112 lbs.) to keep his season record unblemished at 30-0.

In the 119-lb. match Sunnyside's David Vidales beat Oman Suarez 11-7 to give Sunnyside an 11-7 lead.

Paulus said things were looking good for the Grizzlies at that point but Sunnyside then suffered four straight losses, including three pins, as Moses Lake scored 23 points and effectively took the Grizzlies out of the meet.

Sunnyside's Juan Barajas (125 lbs.) scored a mini-victory in his bout by not getting pinned by David Perales. The sophomore Barajas held Perales at bay but still lost by technical fall, 15-0.

Sunnyside's Nick Martinez (130 lbs.) was then pinned by Rico Moreno in 50 seconds. Cameron Chlarson (135 lbs.) pinned Sunnyside's Shawn Olivarez in 1:32 and Moses Lake's Tyler Vela pinned Baltazar Avalos (140 lbs.) in 5:27.

This loss really hurt the Grizzlies because Avalos was up 5-2 with just 33 seconds left in the match when he was pinned.

Leroy Rodelo gave the Grizzlies their last win of the night in the 145-lb. bout when he beat Moses Lake's Cameron Alvarado 4-1.

Defending 4A State Champion Sam Vellegas then received an injury default when Sunnyside's Caleb Gomez (152 lbs.) was injured. Paulus said Vellegas picked Gomez up and then brought him down to the mat very aggressively, causing the injury. Vellegas was not penalized.

Sunnyside's Josue Pinedo then lost to Logan Phelps (160 lbs.) by a pin in 1:50. Chris Lacelle beat Sunnyside's Lupe Mendoza in a tight one, 13-12, and Moses Lake's Brian Chamberlain pinned Adrian Ramirez (189 lbs.) in the last match of the night.

The loss brings Sunnyside's league record to 4-2 and 10-2 overall.

"There were a lot of close matches," Paulus said. "Those three pins in a row really blew us open. I didn't see that coming."

Sunnyside will now begin getting ready for the sub-regional tournament, which takes place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7, at Mead High School in Spokane.

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