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Sunnyside hammers Braves

KENNEWICK - The Kamiakin Braves didn't defend their home floor worth a darn last night, allowing the Sunnyside High School wrestling team to make off with an easy 58-9 decision.

Thursday's victory improves the Grizzlies' 3A CBBN record to 5-0 on the season.

Of the 14 matches staged, Kamiakin was only able to come out on top in three of them. And ironically, in all three, Sunnyside nearly pulled off major upsets.

The first Kamiakin victory, after the Braves found themselves on the short end of a 19-0 stick via four consecutive Sunnyside wins, came at 132 lbs. An eighth-place finisher at the State tourney last year, Harley Kolp was forced into overtime by Sunnyside's Cristian Ruiz. Kolp managed to eke out a 4-2 decision in the extra period, but not without sweating a bullet or two.

"Cristian gave him a good match," said SHS Coach George Paulus.

The Braves' Colton DeLeon notched Kamiakin's second win on the night, in the 145-lb. bout. Like his teammate Kolp, DeLeon needed an overtime session to get by Sunnyside's Omar Cantu by a 13-11 score.

"That one was a see-saw match. It could have gone either way," said Paulus.

Kamiakin's Sixto Pena, a third-place finisher at the State tourney last season, grabbed the final win of the night for the Braves. Wrestling at 170 lbs., Pena never could get completely clear of Sam Romero and had to settle for a measly 7-2 decision against the Grizzly.

"All in all, considering he was going up against a kid who was third at State a year ago, it wasn't a bad showing for Sam (Romero)," Paulus said.

Of the 11 victories Sunnyside came away with last night, perhaps the most impressive was Homer Romero's 13-3 major decision over Tyler Almaguer in the 106-lb. match. Almaguer is currently ranked in the Top 10 in his weight class for all 3A wrestlers in the state.

"Homer definitely made a name for himself last night," Paulus said.

Three of the Grizzlies' wins last night came via pins. Scoring the falls were Isaac Guerrero at 138 lbs., David Vidales at 160 lbs. and Austin Carman at 220 lbs.

Also victorious for Sunnyside were Santos Guerrero at 120 lbs., a 12-6 winner over Cesar Castillo; and Michael Cornwell at 285 lbs., a 9-5 winner over Jordan Hamlan.

Picking up forfeits for Sunnyside, each worth six team points, were Jesse Barajas at 113 lbs., Nathan Gonzalez at 126 lbs., Isaiah Guerrero at 152 lbs., Daniel Avalos at 182 lbs. and Miguel Guzman at 195 lbs.

The Grizzlies are scheduled to compete tomorrow (Saturday) at the Westburg Invitational in Ellensburg.

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