SNOHOMISH — Through much of this season Snohomish coach Joey Brown has been forced to watch injury after injury to some of his top wrestlers.
Two were lost for the season with ACL injuries, another dislocated his elbow. And then skin issues have come up the past two weeks.
So Snohomish was prepared when adversity struck once more against the Panthers’ city rivals.
Arguably two of Snohomish’s top wrestlers, 138-pounder Josh Ren and 182-pounder Ben Kloes, were out Friday night. But the Panthers leaned on its upper weights and got some tremendous performances by young wrestlers to earn a 40-36 win over Glacier Peak at Snohomish High School.
“For all the adversity we have went through this season, to end our season like this, it means everything to our kids,” Brown said. “It’s justification for how hard a lot of them have worked, because GP is good.”
The four-point win marked the third consecutive year a Snohomish-Glacier Peak dual has been decided by four or less points. A year ago, the Panthers and Grizzlies were tied after all 14 matches, but Snohomish won 40-39 on tiebreaker criteria. The previous year, GP won by three points.
Matt Miller, Josh Cunningham, Kyle Carlson, Dylan Wheeler and Matt Currier recorded pins for the Panthers. It was Cunningham who got Snohomish’s momentum rolling after the Panthers started in an 11-0 hole after two matches.
A senior who has split time between JV and varsity all season, Cunningham got the nod on senior night and took full advantage.
After locking up with Glacier Peak’s Easton Howe early in Cunningham’s 160-pound bout, the two went crashing to the mat with the Panthers’ senior gaining top position. He wasted no time from there, earning a pin in 1 minute, 38 seconds.
“It’s the perfect way to wrap up the year,” said Cunningham of his win. “It makes all the work worth it. I came out there hard and aggressive, saw the opportunity and just put him on his back.”
Cunningham’s win started a streak of three straight pins.
Carlson (170 pounds) followed with a pin over Glacier Peak’s Jose Gonzales in 3:04, and Wheeler, who filled in admirably for Kloes, pinned Nic Hines in 5:41.
“Josh Cunningham’s match really is what launched the momentum and got us going,” Brown said. “He stepped up big time.”
Another critical match was the heavyweight bout between Snohomish’s Duncan King and GP’s Josiah Palmaffy. King was winless in his career against Palmaffy but owned a 6-5 lead heading into the final minute of the third period when Palmaffy suffered a right leg injury and was forced to retire. The win put the Panthers in front 30-16.
Matt Miller at 120 pounds sealed the win for Snohomish. He made quick work of Glacier Peak’s Marcus Rodriguez, pinning him in 1:26. The win gave the Panthers a 40-20 lead with three matches to go.
Glacier Peak’s night was highlighted by pins from Zac McSpadden (106), Gavin MacDonald (126), Parker Hardy (132) and a technical fall from 145-pounder Tim Mandzyuk.