Wildcat grapplers tie for first in Kingco 3A

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SNOQUALMIE - Mount Si tied for first in Kingco 3A action with Mercer Island by defeating both Issaquah, 33-27, and Interlake, 39-24. Mercer Island defeated Issaquah last Thursday, 40-27.

With both meets happening in the same night, endurance and execution were critical. Mount Si showed they have both.

The Issaquah meet was first, and up for Mount Si was Trevor Moore, who took on the Eagles' Joseph Borin. Moore controlled the match from the start and pinned Borin late in the second round at the 3:43 mark.

Dex Moetulvi won by forfeit for Mount Si at the 275-pound class. Kyle Heath was next up for the Wildcats and faced a determined Lyle Ratcliffe. Heath controlled Ratcliffe early and continued throughout the match, winning a major decision 12-3.

At 112 pounds, Jacob Lund took on the Eagles' Tyler Bolick. Bolick scored first with a takedown and three-point nearfall. He kept up the momentum and pinned the Wildcats' Lund at the 3:13 mark of the second round.

At 119 pounds, Joe Taklo pulled a close decision against the Eagles' Drew Mermill 10-8. Taklo led 8-6 going into the third round. A two-point nearfall by Mermill tied the match, but Taklo pulled out a reversal late for the win.

Mike Montgomery followed suit at 125 pounds, defeating Issaquah's Tyler Reese 11-3, for the major decision. Montgomery held a slim 4-2 lead going into the third round, but his endurance paid off as he scored eight points against Reese.

At 130 pounds, Dan Wright won by forfeit to give Mount Si a 29-6 win. At 135 pounds, Jordan Sypher took on the Eagles' Matt Tanner. Sypher scored one escape in the first round, a reversal in the second round and another reversal in the third, but it wasn't enough as Tanner had three takedowns and a three-point nearfall to win 9-5.

Jay Dochnahl lost his first match of the season in league action to the Eagles' Brandon Hill at 140 pounds in a 7-3 decision. It was close going into the third round with a score of 5-3, but a reversal by Hill in the third round locked up the win. Zach Dochnahl was caught with his back to the mat for the pin at the 1:44 mark of the first round in the 145-pound class to get Issaquah closer in team score, 18-29.

Another first league loss of the season happened at 152 pounds as Mac Donnell lost a 2-8 decision to Issaquah's Ryan O'Neil. Donnell stayed close the entire match but couldn't get the mat points needed for the win.

Kenny Morrison avenged his teammate's loss at 160 pounds by winning a major decision over Issaquah's Zach Chisum, 13-0. Morrison dominated Chisum the entire match.

In a rare loss, Pano Dreves was defeated by Issaquah's Matt Glenn, 5-7, at 171 pounds. Dreves pulled close in the third round but couldn't control Glenn enough for back points to win the match.

Finally, Jack Stinnett lost a close 7-11 decision against the Eagles' Cody Mendenhall at 189 pounds. But, Mount Si pulled out the win and cleared the last major hurdle to a second-place league finish.

Against Interlake, the Wildcats allowed the Saints to pull close early but tacked on points toward the end of the meet to secure the win.

The match started with the Wildcats' Moetulvi winning by pin at the 1:33 mark of the first round. Moore followed suit at 275 pounds by pinning his Interlake opponent at the 46-second mark of the first round. Moore, who has wrestled varsity all four years, took note of his last home match.

"It's kind of sad when you think about it, that it's almost over," he said.

But he is looking to the league and district tournaments.

"I think I can get first in league but it will be close," he added.

Both teams forfeited at 103 pounds to set up Heath against the Saints' Jason Marks at 112 pounds. The move up a weight class had an impact on Heath's ability to turn Marks, causing a rare 2-9 loss.

Taklo lost by pin at 119 pounds late in the third round, but Montgomery rebounded for Mount Si by pinning his Saints' opponent at the 4:44 mark of the third round. Wright lost by pin for Mount Si at 130 pounds in the first round. Sypher, having one of his toughest nights of the season, lost another decision, 5-7, to the Saints' Aaron Sutherland at 135 pounds.

Jay Dochnahl avenged his loss earlier with a 7-5 decision over the Saints' Daniel Weng. Brother Zach lost a 5-11 decision to Cooper Nelson to pull the Saints within three points, 21-18.

Donnell also avenged his earlier loss by pinning Interlake's Lais Sato at the 1:50 mark of the first round. Kenny Morrison followed suit and pinned the Saints' Joel Klassen at the 3:15 mark of the second round. Dreves continued the scoring, also notching a pin at the 1:45 mark of the first round. The win by Dreves pushed Mount Si to a 39-18 lead. Finally, Jeff Lewis took the mat for Mount Si but was pinned by his Saints' opponent at the 3:35 mark of the second round.

"We let them in there for Interlake," said Mount Si coach Jeff Newcomer. "I don't know, it was a let down after beating Issaquah. I had to talk to them and tell them it wasn't over. Interlake was fresh and ready for us."

Newcomer also noticed a few matches on this last night of league wrestling.

"Dex [Moetulvi] has been great, he gives it all he has got and doesn't hold back. If he makes a mistake, he does it quick and aggressive. It is what we need," said Newcomer.

Newcomer has perspective about the next season, as well.

"It's been a good year and we have a lot we can work on for next year," he added.

Mount Si heads to the league tournament on Sat., Feb. 5, at Liberty High School with the first matches starting at 9 a.m.

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