WENATCHEE — It wasn’t the final result the Panthers had hoped for in their first home dual of the season on Tuesday, with the outcome a 39-25 loss to Moses Lake.
The Chiefs took an early 27-0 lead following two forfeits and a pair of pins and an 8-1 victory over Wenatchee’s DeAngelo Negrete. The Panthers started to pick up momentum in the 132-pound match between Toby Hambelton and Moses Lake’s Dayton Reagan.
Even though Hambelton got pinned in the final moments of the third period, he fought throughout the match and nearly pulled off a three-point comeback after securing a takedown late in the third. It was the first tight match of the evening.
Bryant Witherington built off Hambelton’s performance and completed a third-period comeback of his own, erasing a three-point deficit with a takedown and near-fall. Witherington closed out his opponent with a seven-point run over the final minute, securing Wenatchee’s first points of the night.
Wenatchee’s Leo Enciso got pinned in the next match at 145, but Trenton Miller got the Panthers back on track with a fantastic bout against the Chiefs’ Derek Grubb. The entire match was filled with drama. After a back-and-forth first period, Miller was nearly pinned in the second. But he rolled out of it, scored a two-point reversal and near-fall to tie the score at 8-8 heading into the third. Miller chose the bottom and got the one-point escape to start the third but he got taken down late in the period and was pinned in the final minute.
The Panthers won the next five matches to close out the night with Joe Schuyleman (160) and his brother Tyler (170) each securing a win, the latter a forfeit.
Dayne Russ erased a two-point deficit in the 182-pound match with a late three-point near-fall to keep the streak going and then Jesus Segovia (195) secured the Panthers’ lone pin of the dual after dominating Moses Lake’s Joey Freidig in the third period of his match.
The highlight of the night came in the final match. Wenatchee’s Evan Berdan was about to earn a forfeit win after the Chiefs scratched his opponent following the face-off. So Wenatchee threw Berdan (220) in against Moses Lake’s Saul Villa in the heavyweight division. Berdan, who was giving up some considerable size, put on a masterclass performance, taking the big guy down three times and earning a 7-1 win to close out the night.
Wenatchee will have a few days to recuperate before the Cadet Classic this weekend at Eisenhower. First match is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.