Wildcats down Issaquah

The Mount Si wrestling team knew their toughest opponent this season would be Issaquah. A match on the road against the Eagles would determine the likely champion of Kingco 3A. In the end, a spark by 160-pounder Mac Donnell would be the key to the Wildcats 32-31 win last week.

The night started at 152 pounds where Kenny Morrison defeated the Eagles' Casey Duke by pin 3:44 into the match. That was followed by Mac Donnell who won a 12-8 decision over the Eagles' Ryan O'Neil. O'Neil had defeated Donnell in three previous meetings so to pull out the win was an incredible achievement.

"Mac Donnell had the best match of the night beating O'Neil," Newcomer said. "That got our team rolling."

At 171 pounds, the Eagles' Matt Glenn won by major decision over the Wildcats' Derrek Hanneman 16-4. Teammate Seth Merrit avenged the loss with a major decision of his own. He defeated the Eagles' Joseph Borin 9-1. At 215 pounds, the Wildcats' Dex Moetului pinned the Eagles' Ben Johnson late in the first round. That match was followed by the Wildcats' Jeff Chapman who won a major decision over the Eagles' Dan Bressler 13-2 at 275 pounds.

Next, in the lightest of weight classes, the Eagles' Matt Burns won by decision over Ryan Makela 14-8. Kyle Heath avenged Makela's loss by pinning the Eagles' Kyle Bichich midway through the third round. At 119 pounds, Lyle Ratcliffe won by forfeit for the Eagles. That was followed by a rare pin of the Wildcats' Joe Taklo. Taklo was pinned by the Eagles' Tyler Bodick with only eight seconds left in the match. At 130 pounds, the Eagles' Drew Mermel won an 11-9 decision over the Wildcats' Jacob Lund and at 135 pounds, Tyler Reece pinned the Wildcats' Stuart Hallock late in the first round. At 140 pounds, the Wildcats' Jordan Sypher won a 13-3 decision over his Eagle opponent 13-3. This put the Wildcats ahead but still within winning distance for the Eagles. The final match of the night would determine a win or tie. It came down to Jay Dochnahl taking on the Eagles' Matt Tanner. A pin would give the Eagles the win, a major decision would make it a tie. Dochnahl held on for all three rounds, losing a decision 9-5 giving the Wildcats the one point win.

"The kids really wrestled well coming off the winter break," Newcomer said. "For the first time I gave the team the break off due to injuries. I was worried about their endurance but they worked hard running on their own and it paid off."

The team now looks to win Kingco with clutch performances when they counted.

"We got pins when we needed them and kept the losses to a minimum, as well," Newcomer said. "I was not only impressed with Issaquah's wrestling skills but also their sportsmanship. They have a great group of guys."

Mount Si takes on Bellevue at home Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Then they take on Sammamish in a make-up contest on Thursday.

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