By David Krueger Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — At last year’s state wrestling tournament, Tahoma finished 99 points ahead of Lake Stevens in winning a state title.
Saturday afternoon, Lake Stevens got a little revenge, finishing seven points ahead of Tahoma.
The Vikings won the first two bouts — and the deciding last two — to defeat the defending 4A state champion Bears 31-24 at Lake Stevens High School.
“We know Tahoma,” Lake Stevens head coach Brent Barnes said. “Every year we (wrestle against them early in the regular season) and see them at a number of tournaments. And of course, the state championship.”
Lake Stevens, and fellow Wesco team Snohomish, each wrestled against Rogers and Tahoma as part of a double-dual meet. The Vikings swept their competitions, defeating Rogers 70-6. Snohomish split its contests, defeating Rogers 66-6 and falling 38-16 to Tahoma.
The Lake Stevens-Tahoma match featured six lead changes, including four straight that started with Vikings wrestler Ruben Crew’s 9-0 decision in the 113-pound weight class.
Senior Keenan Thomas (145-pounds) finalized Lake Stevens’ win with a 5-2 decision over Brandon Scheiber. The Vikings got a 28-24 lead the 138-pound match that preceded when Jesse Peterson pinned Justin Weiding in 3 minutes, 14 seconds.
But, until the final buzzer of Thomas’ match, the outcome was still very much in the air.
“It’s a great win,” Barnes said. “It shows every match and point counts. How crucial it is everybody does their part.”
Barnes praised several freshmen, including the Crew brothers, AJ and Ruben, and Jake Douglas that contributed to the Vikings’ effort. Douglas may have had the toughest task of the three, taking on senior, and No. 1 ranked, Tim Whitehead in the 126-pound weight class.
Douglas jumped out to a four-point lead, but Whitehead came back and tied the score by the start of the third period. With less than a minute remaining in regulation, Douglas got a one-point escape, and then a two-point reversal in the final seconds to clinch a 7-4 decision that shot the Vikings players and fans out of their seats.
“We thought he could compete against him,” Barnes said of Douglas. “He’s a smart kid. … He really showed up and beat the No. 1 kid in the state.”
Bryan Eason (152) and Blake Sanders (160) started the meet off with victories to give Lake Stevens a 6-0 lead. But then Tahoma rolled off four straight wins to jump ahead.
Vikings senior Brandon Johnson, who finished second at state last year in the 285-pound weight class and is currently ranked No. 1, got the Vikings back on track with a 6-0 decision before the Crew brothers won back-to-back in the lightweight bouts.
All that set the stage for Thomas, who is a second-generation Lake Stevens wrestler. His father, Nathan, was on the Vikings in 1987, Barnes’ first year as coach.
“I don’t know if I was nervous,” Barnes said of the end of the meet. “It sure does make it exciting when it comes down to the last match.”
The first meet of the day for Lake Stevens was never really in doubt. Thomas opened up with a pin in 20 seconds, the first of two Vikings’ pins that took less than a minute. Lake Stevens won all but one bout in its contest against Rogers.
Snohomish also wrestled both teams, losing to Tahoma and defeating Rogers. The Panthers won the first three bouts against Tahoma with wins by Joseph Proffit (145), Jacob Proffit (152) and Tanner Perry (160) – who needed 38 seconds of overtime to settle his bout.
But Snohomish managed just two more wins the rest of the way, with Mario Rojas taking a 3-1 decision in the 285-pound weight class and Greg Eagle winning 3-2 at 138 pounds.
The Panthers second meet went smoothly, with Snohomish winning every bout except one against Rogers. Eight different Panthers pinned their opponents, with none taking longer than 3:38.
Lake Stevens Double Duals
At Lake Stevens High School
Lake Stevens 31, Tahoma 24
152–Bryan Eason (LS) dec. Wade Whitton, 6-0; 160–Blake Sanders (LS) dec. Tucker Mjelde, 5-4; 170–Chris McElroy (T) dec. Logan Johnson, 9-7; 182–Garret Autrey (T) dec. Cody Vigoren, 12-6; 195–Austin Perry (T) pinned Mason Beaver, 1:45; 220–Matt Hopkins (T) tech. fall over Shaquille Reed, 16-0; 285–Brandon Johnson (LS) dec. Ed Torres, 6-0; 106–AJ Crew (LS) pinned Chase Mulcahy, 2:56; 113–Ruben Crew (LS) dec. Brannon Waler, 9-0; 120–Todd Link (T) dec. Alex Rodorigo, 5-2; 126–Jake Douglas (LS) dec. Tim Whitehead, 7-4; 132–Cruz Velasquez (T) maj. dec. Zach Cunningham, 19-6; 138–Jesse Peterson (LS) pinned Justin Weiding, 3:14; 145–Keenan Thomas (LS) dec. Brandon Scheiber, 5-2.
Snohomish 66, Rodgers 6
152–Jacob Proffit (S) pinned Ceth Edwards, 1:02; 160–Tanner Perry (S) pinned Blake Henderson, 3:31; 170–Kodiak Landis (S) pinned Kory Webster, :59; 182–Justin Kearney (S) won by forfeit; 195–Tristan Baus (S) pinned Matt Henderson, :52; 220–Gavin Kovacs (R) pinned Alex Fairhurst, 5:05; 285–Mario Rojas (S) dec. Matt Matson, 7-3; 106–Wyatt Butler (S) won by forfeit; 113–Brad Hodkinson (S) won by forfeit; 120–Conner Snow (S) pinned Tre Dixon, 3:38; 126–Noah Bomar (S) dec. Daniel Wernofsky, 8-6; 132–Keaton Mills (S) pinned Gregory Wernofsky, 2:37; 138–Greg Eagle (S) pinned Kieth Long, 1:11; 145–Joseph Proffit (S) pinned Anthoney Fox, :30.
Lake Stevens 70, Rogers 6
145–Keenan Thomas (LS) pinned Anthoney Fox, :20; 152–Bryan Eason (LS) pinned Ceth Edwards, 1:07; 160–Blake Sanders (LS) dec. Blake Henderson, 6-0; 170–Logan Johnson (LS) pinned Kory Webster, :56; 182–Cody Vigoren (LS) won by forfeit; 195–Mason Beaver (LS) pinned Matt Henderson, 1:22; 220–Gavin Kovacs (R) pinned Anthony Thees, 5:42; 285–Brandon Johnson (LS) pinned Matt Matson, 1:59; 106–AJ Crew (LS) won by forfeit; 113–Ruben Crew (LS) won by forfeit; 120–Alex Rodorigo (LS) tech. fall over Tre Dixon, 15-0; 126–Jake Douglas (LS) dec. Daniel Wernofsky, 5-2; 132–Zach Cunningham (LS) tech. fall over Gregory Wernofsky, 16-1; 138–Jesse Peterson (LS) pinned Keith Long, 1:24.
Tahoma 38, Snohomish 16
145–Joseph Proffit (S) pinned Brandon Scheiber, 5:46; 152–Jacob Proffit (S) dec. Wade Whitton, 9-0; 160–Tanner Perry (S) dec. Tucker Mjelde, 5-3; 170–Chris McElroy (T) pinned Kodiak Landis, 3:37; 182–Garret Autrey (T) dec. Justin Kearney, 13-1; 195–Austin Perry (T) dec. Tristan Baus, 7-2; 220–Matt Hopkins tech. fall over Alex Fairhurst, 20-4; 285–Mario Rojas (S) dec. Ed Torres, 3-1; 106–Chase Mulcahy (T) won by forfeit; 113–Brannon Waler (T) dec. Brad Hodkinson, 16-5; 120–Todd Link (T) dec. Conner Snow, 15-1; 126–Sam Schueller (T) pinned Noah Bomar, 3:32; 132–Cruz Velasquez (T) dec. Keaton Mills, 16-4; 138–Greg Eagle (S) dec. Justin Weiding, 3-2.