EAST WENATCHEE - The Sunnyside Grizzly wrestling team wrapped up at least a share of the CBBN title last night with a 43-19 victory at Eastmont.
Thursday's win wasn't without a bit of drama, though, as Sunnyside at one point led just 25-19 before rallying late.
The Wildcats were actually ahead early on 7-6, sandwiching a pair of wins around a 27-second pin recorded by Sunnyside's Daniel Avalos at 182 lbs.
Sunnyside grabbed the lead for good, though, when Austin Carman (220 lbs.) pinned Eastmont's Dylan Fechner in 1:32. That was followed by Pedro Cardenas (285 lbs.) scoring a 5-2 decision for Sunnyside over Andrew Stoker.
After top-ranked Fabian Wickham of Eastmont (106 lbs.) decisioned Sunnyside's Homer Romero 8-1, the Grizzlies looked to be in control with a major decision at 113 lbs. scored by Jesse Barajas and a pin at 120 lbs. by Santos Guerrero.
The 25-10 lead was quickly whittled away, though, in the next two matches.
In the 126-lb. weight class, Sunnyside's Anthony Chavez had to leave the match due to injury default when he hurt his knee. "That was a 12-point swing," said Grizzly Coach George Paulus. "Anthony was in control before he got hurt."
The Sunnyside lead then dropped to 25-19 when at 132 lbs. Grizzly Daniel Guillen was put on his back and lost 8-5 to Eastmont's Daniel Hernandez. "We lost two in a row and that should not have happened," Paulus said of rare back-to-back losses for Sunnyside.
But that would be it for the Wildcats, as Sunnyside roared back with an 18-0 surge over the final four matches.
It all started at 138 lbs., when Sunnyside's Cristian Ruiz pinned Jeremy Vanasschee in just one minute.
"I told Cristian we needed to pin this guy," Paulus said of his team's response to consecutive losses.
The Grizzlies then removed all doubt in the 145-lb. match when Noe Palomino notched a pin in 2:27 over Eastmont's Jose Moncayo.
Sunnyside wrapped up the contest with Sam Romero (152 lbs.) scoring a 10-4 win over Eastmont's Camden Wheatcraft and Ramon Hernandez (160 lbs.) scraping out a 5-3 win over the Wildcats' Jesus Mendoza. "They were tied and Ramon took him down with 20 seconds to go," Paulus said of the tight match.
Sunnyside improved to 4-0 in CBBN competition and has just one league match left next Thursday at home against Wenatchee. If the Grizzlies win they are CBBN champs outright, while a loss would give them at least a share of the league title.
Up next for the Grizzlies is two and possibly three matches tomorrow, Saturday, at home against East Valley, Richland and maybe Prosser.
Paulus says he's unsure if Chavez will be a scratch tomorrow because of his knee injury. Otherwise, the Grizzlies look ready to go.
"It's a chance for us to wrestle different people, see different faces," he says of tomorrow's non-league contests.