MOSES LAKE - The fourth time was a charm for the 3A Sunnyside boys wrestling team, as last night it knocked off 4A Moses Lake in a CBBN match-up.
George Paulus has been with the Sunnyside wrestling program for more than 25 years, and says Tuesday night was the fourth time during his tenure that Grizzly wrestlers have tussled with host Moses Lake, which this year is ranked statewide among 4A wrestling programs.
Sunnyside was on the losing end of the previous three tilts with the Chiefs, but the Grizzlies made history last night with a 30-24 victory.
"This is a big win for Sunnyside," said Paulus.
Last night's tilt was a battle of rallies. "It was just one of those matches that see-sawed back and forth," said Paulus.
First it was the Grizzlies with the upper hand, racing out to a 14-3 lead. Noe Palomino (145 lbs.) opened the evening with a 6-5 win over Moses Lake's Brendan Sanchez. Grizzly Sam Romero (152 lbs.) followed with a 15-7 major decision over Hudson Manseth.
Moses Lake answered with its first win on the night when Joel Torres (160 lbs.) edged Sunnyside's Ramon Hernandez 4-2.
The Grizzlies answered by winning the next two matches as Sunnyside's Max Ramos (170 lbs.) recorded an 18-11 major decision and teammate Daniel Avalos (182 lbs.) followed with a 4-2 victory.
The Chiefs rallied with wins in the next three matches, a 12-0 run that put them up 15-14.
Moses Lake's surge started at 195 lbs., when Jordan LaSalle earned an 11-7 win over Sunnyside's Isaac Palomino.
The Chiefs' Jacob Stout (220 lbs.) then followed with a 9-5 win over sophomore Gerardo Lepez, making his first varsity start in place of Austin Carmen, who was out with illness.
"To his credit he worked hard and didn't get pinned," Paulus said in praising Lepez, who until yesterday wrestled at 195 lbs. for the Grizzly JV team.
Moses Lake's rally then peaked at 285 lbs., when Dylan Morris pinned Sunnyside's Pedro Cardenas in 5:50.
The Chiefs were up, but the match turned on Sunnyside's strength in the lighter weight classes.
Accordingly, the Grizzlies won four of the next five matches to clinch the big win.
It all started at 106 lbs. with Sunnyside's Jesse Torres edging Trey Long 7-6, followed by Homer Romero at 113 lbs. earning a 5-1 win over Moses Lake's Fernando Leyva, a 4A state tourney placer last season.
The Chiefs got a brief reprieve in the 120-lb. match, when Chase Clasen outpointed Sunnyside's Santos Guerrero 11-6.
Sunnyside removed all doubt in the next two matches, though.
Anthony Chavez (126 lbs.) recorded a 25-10 technical fall for the Grizzlies over Anthony Barajas.
That set the stage for Sunnyside's Daniel Guillen (132 lbs.) to clinch the victory, who did so by pinning Moses Lake's Greg Vela in a time of 5:24.
The Chiefs' Brad Fox ended the night at 138 lbs. with a 6-0 decision over Sunnyside's Christian Ruiz.
"We won when it counted," Paulus said of his team's big victory last night. "We had to come from behind, we had lead changes. It was just a great match," he said.
Sunnyside, now 2-0 in CBBN action, is preparing for the SunDome tourney this coming Saturday in Yakima. "This match pointed out some things we definitely need to work on," Paulus said. "We have plenty of work to do and hopefully we're all healthy."