WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee wrestling team fell into a hole Thursday against Moses Lake, continued to lose matches and — despite closing the night with a few pins — still suffered a lopsided defeat at the hands of the Chiefs.
In essence, Thursday’s dual meet went almost exactly as expected — the Panthers lost 47-21.
Wenatchee (1-2 Big Nine) entered the meet shorthanded. Michel St. Clair (182 pounds), one of the squad’s most veteran and established grapplers, was inactive because of an injury. Isaiah VanWeerdhuizen (195), another experienced and talented member of the team, was also sitting out due to an illness.
Cy Sirmon (195) and Wally O’Donnell (195) filled the vacancies and did well, considering the predicament, but each wrestler lost his match.
Wenatchee also wrestled Max Gould (160), a junior who hadn’t competed in a varsity meet in his career prior to Thursday.
The end result wasn’t pretty, but the fill-ins did what was asked of them, and the Panthers hope to use the meet as a means of gauging their progress this season.
“As a team, I really feel that everyone wrestled well,” coach Ed Valdez said.
Some of the losses could be used as a method of motivation.
Noel Suarez (120) lost by major decision to Chase Clasen, who placed fifth at state last season. Suarez was competitive, but unable to score any points in the defeat.
“I like where he (Suarez) is a lot,” Valdez said. “I think that was a positive thing. Noel is going to not be happy with his match, and that’s a good thing. He sees a little light there.”
Wenatchee was trounced, but it picked up points where it was supposed to. Kris Garrett (138) won by pin in the first round, as did Kyle Lesmeister (220). Ryan Osterlund (285) won by pin in the second and Alberto Montes DeOca (126) won by decision.
Lesmeister, who finished fourth at state last year, showed some signs of improving in his attacks, but isn’t quite where he needs to be, Valdez said.
“He’s a good athlete, but he’s not your traditional hand-eye coordination,” Valdez said, adding that the senior is extremely coachable. “He’s more physical.”
Eastmont 55, Eisenhower 18
Eastmont took down host Ike in a Big Nine league meet, winning five matches by pin.
Jose Mancayo pinned his opponent at 145 pounds in 32 seconds, while Jesus Mendoza at 160 pounds won by pin in 37 seconds and Camden Wheatcroft at 152 pounds won by pin in 46 seconds.
Eastmont wrestling coach Ken Hoyt said that it was nice for the Wildcats to get a league win in their first meet in two weeks.
“I thought we were a little rusty. We were still aggressive and a little awkward at times,” Hoyt said.
Quincy 41, Wahluke 18
Quincy took a 15-4 lead after the first quarter and rolled to a non-league victory over host Wahluke.
Oroville 40, Bridgeport 19
Oroville’s full-court press defense stifled Bridgeport.
Lily Hilderbrand of Oroville (7-5, 2-0) scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.