The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen

Wilkins and Briggs cap senior year with medals at Mat Classic


Andrew Christiansen

CONTROL: Goldendale's Mark Briggs controlled the match against Colville's Takota Ashley, but points were hard to come by and he lost the match and the chance at a top six finish by an 8-6 score.

Two of Goldendale's seniors capped their high school careers with medals at Mat Classic, the State Wrestling Tournament last weekend. Bryce Wilkins won his second sixth place medal and Mark Briggs placed eighth. Goldendale's two other competitors, Zane Cully and Cameron Read just missed after losing on close decisions.

All four Timberwolves were in the same boat on Friday evening. All four had won one match and lost one match, leaving them on the edge of elimination in their third match of the day.

Wilkins started the tournament strong with a first round pin over Tre Sargent, of Sultan. In his second match, Wilkins gave up a take down early in round one. Still in round one, with Ryley Smith, of Colville wrapped around his waist, Wilkins got caught trying to escape and was pinned with 48 seconds left in the round. Smith went on to win two more matches for the 170 pound championship.

The Friday night match for Wilkins was against Quenton Smith, of Chewelah. Wilkins outlasted Smith for an 8-6 win, putting him in Saturday's medal round. His first opponent on Saturday was Stevenson's Colton Van Pelt, one of tournament's top four seeded wrestlers. Wilkins took a 3-2 lead after one round. Both wrestlers scored reversals as the only action of round two. The intensity picked up in round three with Wilkins starting on top. Van Pelt reversed for a one-point lead. Wilkins returned the favor and then some, gaining a 7-6 lead and a quick two-points for a near fall. Van Pelt scored on a reversal near the end of the match to make the final score 9-8, advancing Wilkins and sending the Bulldog wrestler to an eventual seventh place medal.

Wilkins had a shot at third place, but had to beat Darrin Miller, the top seeded wrestler from Royal. It was a match between two technicians and Miller had the edge on his feet, scoring three take-downs to go with a couple of escapes for an 8-0 win. Wilkins faced another SCAC wrestler, Jack Moen, of Cle Elum-Roslyn in their final match. Wilkins hurt his hand early in the match. Moen scored on a reversal in round two and neither wrestler could score to the end.

Briggs was making his second appearance at Mat Classic. He went as a sophomore, making a quick exit with two straight losses. He didn't make it to State last year and was a bit of surprise qualifier this year. His first match this year was a gutsy come from behind, overtime win against Jared Parson, of Nooksack Valley. Briggs scored first on a takedown. The wrestlers swapped reversals and Parson came close to ending the match in the first round with Briggs fighting off a pin for several seconds and trailing 7-4 at the end of the first round. Briggs closed the gap with a takedown in round two and Parson tried to ride out a one-point lead in round three, but was penalized late in the round which ended 7-7. Briggs almost ended the match in regulation with a takedown that came at the whistle. Briggs finished things quickly with a takedown that counted in overtime for the win.

The second match was a loss to Garrett Brown, of Lakeside 8-0. Then Briggs won his own mismatch 13-5 over Tyson Sundust, of Omak to make it into the medal round. His Saturday morning match was against Takota Ashley, of Colville. It was a strange match for Briggs, who appeared to be the dominant wrestler, but he wasn't able to capitalize on several scoring opportunities. The first round finished 0-0. Briggs started round two in the down position and scored the first match points on a reversal, but got caught in a reversal by Ashley that almost turned into a pin. But, Ashley was only awarded a two- point near fall. He also injured his right elbow. After about four minutes of injury time, in which Ashley seemed to be in a lot of pain, the match resumed and Briggs had another reversal to tie at 4-4. Round three started with Briggs on top. While trying to turn Ashley to his back, Briggs was called for an illegal hold, which Briggs and Timberwolf Coach Matt Dumolt felt was a bad call. Dumolt said the illegal hold was caused by Ashley's movement and should have just been a stop of action for dangerous situation. Instead of getting the go-ahead points, Briggs was now down by one and opted to release Ashley and go for a takedown with short time left in the match. The strategy almost paid off with Briggs getting the takedown and was close to getting back points, but lost control and Ashley got the reversal for the winning points. The final match was an 11-4 loss and Briggs settled for eighth place, perhaps still thinking of the one that got away.

Cully scored a third round reversal for his only points in a 5-2 loss to Brady Harmon, of Kalama in the 182 pound division. The second match was all Cully. He had five points in round two on near falls over Benji Hamilton, of Klahowya and cruised to an 11-1 win. The evening match was against Colville's Zack Pieper. It was another points battle for Cully and he came out on the short end of a 9-6 decision.

Read was also eliminated on Friday night by an even closer margin. All three of Read's matches were different. He didn't have a chance to work up a sweat in his first match, losing on a pin just 16 seconds into the match against Morgan Yates, of Sultan. All Read could say was, "What happened?" In a sport that often has people pinned several times before the referee finally gets a clear look, Read was pinned in a flash that seemed more to be him falling backwards on a takedown with the pin called as soon as he hit the mat. Neither wrestler had an edge in Read's second match that went scoreless through two rounds. Read started round three in the down position and quickly reversed for the lead. He scored all of the match points in round three for a 7-0 victory. The heart-breaker came that evening against Anthony Llernas, of Ki-Be. No quick pin, no deadlocked butting of heads this was a high scoring affair with Read coming up on the wrong end of a 12-11 score. One point from a medal is a hard thing to take and it was a tough loss for the junior. The good thing for Read is that he has another year to make three straight trips to State. He will be the leader of next year's squad and the only one left with State experience.

The Timberwolves finished 24th of 45 teams at the State 1A tournament. They were ahead of SCAC teams from Cle Elum-Roslyn, Highland, Wahluke, River View and Columbia-Burbank. The Class 1A results were:

1. Deer Park - 156 points

2. Colville - 151.5

3. Vashon Island - 129

4. Montesano - 125

5. Granger - 104

6. Lakeside (9 mile falls) - 88.5

6. Castle Rock - 88.5

8. Sultan - 85

9. Freeman 84.5

10. Forks - 78

Other SCAC

Andrew Christiansen

NARROW VICTORY: Bryce Wilkins checks the clock during his match against Stevenson's Colton Van Pelt. Wilkins won 9-8 to advance during Saturday's medal rounds at the Tacoma Dome.

11. Royal - 78

12. Naches Valley - 62.5

13. Ki-Be - 47

16. Zillah - 39.5

19. Connell - 24

24. Goldendale - 17

31. Cle Elum-Roslyn - 11

32. Highland - 10

34. Wahluke - 8

40. River View/Burbank - 0


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