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SHS grapplers clinch 3A league title

PASCO - The Sunnyside Grizzly wrestling team wrapped up another winning season and at least a share of the CBBN 3A league title with a 34-18 victory at Pasco last night.

Thursday night's match was by far Sunnyside's closest of the season, with the host Bulldogs trailing the Grizzlies by just four points.

"It was a good, competitive match," said Sunnyside Coach George Paulus. "It was a nailbiter for awhile."

Both teams were 5-0 in league competition heading into the match.

Sunnyside started the night in fine fashion, winning the first three mathes.

It started with Jesse Barajas (103 lbs.) outpointing Pasco's Dalton McDonald, 7-0. The Grizzlies' Santos Guerrero (112 lbs.) followed with an 8-3 victory over Jose Castro.

In the 119-lb. match, Sunnyside's Nathan Gonzalez built a 7-0 lead before having to battle in the third round for a 10-6 victory. "That was a surprisingly close match," Paulus said.

Pasco earned its first victory in the 125-lb. match, when Robert Mendoza outpointed Sunnyside's Daniel Guillen 4-2. Paulus said the match was decided in the second round, when Mendoza scored a three-point near fall.

Isaac Guerrero (130 lbs.) got Sunnyside back on the winning track with a 7-3 decision over Phoenix Virgen.

Pasco answered in the 135-lb. match when Gilbert Mendoza held on for a 10-5 win over Sunnyside's Rigo Valdez.

The see-saw battle continued, as Sunnyside's Emmanuel Tejeda (140 lbs.) decisioned Jackson Fromm 6-1.

Pasco's Cody Rush came right back in the 145-lb. match to score a 19-2 technical fall over David Vidales.

That made the score 15-11 for Sunnyside, but the Grizzlies followed with back-to-back victories.

First was Josh Romero (152 lbs.), outpointing Pasco's Lonnie Hurley 17-7. Then Jaime Garcia (160 lbs.) earned an 8-3 victory over the Bulldogs' Anthony McKittrick.

Pasco had one last charge though, as Jeffrey Christian outpointed Sunnyside's Lupe Mendoza 9-3 in the 171-lb. match, and Hector Jimenez prevailed over the Grizzlies' Adrian Ramirez 11-1 in the 189-lb. match.

That again made it a four-point difference in the team scoring, with the Grizzlies clinging to a 22-18 lead.

Sunnyside closed out the match convincingly, though, as Franki Ochoa (215 lbs.) received a forfeit and Grizzly teammate Adam Peters (285 lbs.) scored the night's only pin in defeating Albert Torres in 5:55.

Sunnyside returns to action tomorrow, Saturday, in an non-league double dual match at East Valley against the Red Devils and Prosser. The Grizzly JV squad will compete at the Mabton Winter Classic tomorrow.

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