Wildcats down Patriots and Cedarcrest

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SNOQUALMIE - A capacity crowd was brimming with anticipation last week for what appeared to be a typically tight cross-Valley rival wrestling meet, but it turned into a lopsided victory for the Mount Si Wildcats over the Cedarcrest Red Wolves, 49-30.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead as Kyle Heath and Joe Taklo won by forfeit at 103 and 112 pounds respectively.

Cedarcrest countered though as Conner Baker pinned the Wildcats' Mike Montgomery with 36 seconds left in the first round at 119 pounds. David Howard pinned a bewildered Jordan Sypher at 125 pounds with 1:07 left in the first round for Cedarcrest to even the meet at 12 points each.

Mount Si followed suit with a win by veteran Matt Haas at 130 pounds. Haas controlled his match from the beginning scoring a takedown in both the first and second rounds. In the third round he opened it up with a reversal and two-point nearfall to defeat the Red Wolves' Dan Claussen.

At 135-pounds, Ryan Magnussen, in his last home match, defeated Stephan Gunderson 11-2. The match was close until the third round when Magnussen opened it up with a reversal and two near-falls.

Brother Josh continued the strong Magnussen family presence pinning the Red Wolves' Kyle DeBoer with 10 seconds left in his match at 140 pounds.

Ben Steel, also in his last home match, pinned the Red Wolves' Mitchel Breinholt with 17 seconds remaining in the first round at 145 pounds.

Pano Dreves appeared frustrated at times with the Red Wolves' Rick Westerman at 152 pounds. The match was 2-1 in favor of the Wildcats' grappler until the third round when Dreves notched a takedown and three-point nearfall for the 8-1 win.

Mac Donnell faced a seasoned wrestler in Michell Luce at 160 pounds. The Red Wolves' wrestler beat Donnell by pin with 24 seconds left in the third round after controlling most of the match.

Jimmy Gee faced a similar fate for Mount Si at 171 pounds, as he was pinned by the Red Wolves' Sean Ansell with 15 seconds left in the second round.

The Red Wolves pulled to within 10 points of Mount Si, 34-24, but that's as close as they would get.

In one of the more frantic matches of the night, the Wildcats 'Seth Merritt faced a venerable foe in the Red Wolves' Chris Cole. Merritt scored first with a takedown midway through the first round. But as the clock ticked down in the round, Cole scored an escape, then took Merritt to the mat. In the second round Merritt, starting from the down position and scored a reversal. Cole, likewise, also scored a reversal.

In the third round with Cole starting from the down position, Merritt scored a two-point nearfall. Cole came back with a reversal of his own to pull one ahead. With seconds remaining, Merritt escaped and scored a takedown to take the lead and the win. Both wrestlers looked exhausted at the end, slowly getting up from the mat.

Mount Si won by forfeit at 215 pounds and both teams forfeited at 275 pounds.

Mount Si then took on Liberty later in the week in a showdown of two teams, each with one loss. The outcome determined who took second in the league with Mercer Island taking first.

Mount Si held on to a 38-28 win over the Patriots in what coach Newcomer called "a huge" win for the team. The Wildcats had a narrow 34-28 lead heading into the final match of the night at 119 pounds. Mount Si's Mike Montgomery pulled out major a decision against Liberty's Hayes Diemert 17-6 to seal the win. Diemert needed to win by pin in order for Liberty to pull even with the Wildcats.

The win was a confidence booster for Mount Si heading into next week's 3A Kingco tournament to be held at Liberty High School.

"After the Cedarcrest match, everybody started to believe in themselves," Newcomer said. "We knew we had a shot if everybody did what they needed to do."

Freshman Jordan Sypher, who was sick earlier in the week, got the Wildcats started by pulling out a late pin at the 5:36 mark against Liberty's Bryce Wolfe.

"I've been getting sick all week long so I went out there feeling pretty raspy," said Sypher. "He was getting me pretty good, almost getting me, then I almost had him once. It was going back and forth. He had me on my back but I was able to bridge out of it. It was kind of exciting to be the first guy and set the tone. No mercy and be aggressive is what has to go on in your head."

Josh Magnussen (140), Seth Merritt (171) and Kyle Heath (103) also won by pin for Mount Si. Matt Haas (130) and Ryan Magnussen (135) won by major decision.

Newcomer also praised Ben Steel (145) and Pano Dreves (152) who fought for narrow decisions before falling to Brad Williams 8-7 and Justin Studer, 6-4 in overtime, respectively.

"I was really excited and proud of the way our guys wrestled," said Steel. "We had some time between when varsity started and JV ended. We were joking around, staying loose and it was really good that we were staying loose out there. That's the way we wrestle. We focus when we have to but we like to have some fun. Beating Liberty was one of my personal goals for the season."

Moore also won by defeating Liberty's Schmid at 215 pounds, 4-0.

"I think we could have beat Mercer Island if we had the right night," said Moore. "I was glad we beat Liberty, they are such big rivals and always head to head with us in wrestling. It's great to beat them, with Sypher going out there and getting the win, that set the tone and it took off from there."

Mount Si prepares for the league tournament, which starts Friday at 3 p.m. at Liberty High School and continues into Saturday.

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