ZILLAH - It's been a tough row to hoe this season for the Mabton wrestling team, but last night the team got a taste of what it's like to win.
"We won a match with just three guys," Viking Coach John Kilian said of last night's double-dual in Zillah.
Mabton's three grapplers were able to pin each of their three Warrior opponents, giving the Vikings an 18-12 victory, their first win of the season.
Kilian said Cle Elum had just five grapplers on the mat during the match between the two teams. The Warriors would have had six competitors but lost one to an injury when Cle Elum battled Ki-Be earlier in the evening.
The Vikings gave up two matches by forfeit, although the team could have had two of its female competitors on the mat.
Kilian said the match was quick, however because the three Vikings who did compete made quick work of the Warriors.
Vicente Mireles of Mabton secured a pin over Cle Elum's Cody Robinson in 1:14 in the 132-lb. bout, at 160 lbs. Brandon Marquez moved up a weight class and let the clock run for just 26 seconds before subduing Matthew Anderson of the Warriors, and Viking Isaac Velasquez (195 lbs.) pinned Chance Ambrose in 1:39.
Kilian said he is pleased to have a match in the win column, however, he knows Mabton most likely won't have another with just three competitors taking to the mat at future matches.
Being a small team led to Mabton dropping a 58-12 decision to Zillah.
"It was tough because Zillah has a strong program," said Kilian.
Kilian added two girls to the competition against Zillah, and that proved to be a good thing as Jazmin Mendoza secured a pin in the 132-lb. match-up.
She controlled the match, according to the coach.
Mendoza was leading 5-0 when she secured the pin over Marina Vela of the Leopards at the 3:40 mark.
The remaining points for the Vikings came by way of a pin in the 152-lb. bout. Ian Everett of the Leopards succumbed to Marquez in 3:15.
"Brandon (Marquez) was dominating the match 12-1 when he dropped Everett on the mat," said Kilian.
Velasquez lost the 195-lb. bout by a 10-0 major decision to Zillah's Luis Ochoa, Mabton forfeited the 220 and 285-lb. matches, and at 113-lbs. Noemi Gutierrez lost a close 9-6 decision to Miranda Borrego of the Leopards.
"Miranda started with a 7-0 lead and Noemi (Borrego) battled back to score five points on a reversal and a three-point near fall," Kilian recalled.
He said the match wasn't very exciting until Borrego took action in the second round.
A disappointing loss for Mireles, who moved up a weight class to 138-lbs., ended the match with Zillah. He battled No. 1 ranked Jessy Gonzales through a hard-fought match.
"Gonzales has one heck of a cradle with long legs and arms," Kilian shared about the Leopard.
He said Mireles and Gonzales battled through three periods but a two-point near fall secured a 5-2 decision in favor of the Zillah grappler.
Overall, Kilian said the double-dual was a good experience.
The Vikings will tomorrow (Thursday) travel to Benton City for a double-dual match against Connell and Royal.