TACOMA — Edmonds-Woodway sent five wrestlers to Saturday’s semifinal round and led a parade of local 3A teams near the top of the team standings after Friday’s action at Mat Classic XXXII in the Tacoma Dome.
The Warriors tied their best-ever showing with seven guaranteed placers, and were second in the team standings after Day 1 with 55 points, eight behind of two-time defending state champion Mount Spokane.
Stanwood, with three semifinalists and one placer competing on Saturday, is sixth with 42.5 points and Shorecrest (ninth, 33), Shorewood (T-11th, 27), Everett (T-13th, 26), Marysville Pilchuck (T-16th, 24) and Snohomish (19th, 23).
Edmonds-Woodway is the best-positioned of the local teams to dethrone Mount Spokane and eclipse its program-best fourth-place team finish.
“Coming in, we felt like our best day would be six in the semis and (three other) placers, and we would have liked to have a couple more guys in it, but we feel like we have a lot of ammo to fire at Mount Spokane,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Brian Alfi said.
Mount Spokane will counter with four semifinalists and three wrestlers in the consolations on Saturday.
The Warriors’ Reece LeCompte beat Stanwood’s Keaton Mayernik 3-2 in a pulsating 120-pound quarterfinal and the head-to-head win over the Spartans could prove to be massive in the title chase.
LeCompte, a junior, learned from his loss to Mayernik via third-period pin at the MP Premier on Jan. 18, and was prepared for the Stanwood freshman’s attacks Friday.
“I learned a lot about his game plan from that match, that he like to come after the upper body and shoot an outside single (leg),” LeCompte said. “I just had to protect against it.”
LeCompte joined Ethan Nguyen (106), Baylor Denkinger (113), Alex Rapelje (138) and Howie Hare (145) in Saturday’s semifinals.
Stanwood will be represented in the semifinals by freshman 106-pounder Tyler Rhue, still unbeaten at 41-0, junior 138-pounder Isaac Ortega, who needed overtime to win his first-round match Friday, and senior 170-pounder and state career pins leader Riley Van Scoy, who is seeking his first state championship.
Rhue will face Nguyen in the semifinals, another pivotal head-to-head matchup. Rhue beat Nguyen 7-5 at the MP Premier.
Two of Lake Stevens’ three semifinal qualifiers showed patience and composure to reverse late deficits in pulling out quarterfinal victories in Friday’s morning session.
Tyler Fouts, a sophomore, trailed Pasco’s Eric Correa 4-0 after two periods in their bout at 120 pounds, but turned Correa twice from the top position in the final period, once for a two-point near-fall and again at the buzzer for a three-point near-fall to seal the 5-4 win.
Fouts said defeats in similar situations during the regular season helped him deal with the adversity Friday.
“Earlier this season, I would crumble when I got down, and at Tri-State it put me out of the tournament,” he said. “I’ve just been working with the coaches all week on keeping my focus.”
Vikings coach Brent Barnes said Fouts’ performance showed a wrestler coming into his own.
“Turning the kid twice in the third round, that’s a big deal. Tyler’s becoming a complete wrestler,” Barnes said. “He’s pretty good on his feet, he’s pretty good from both top and bottom.”
Fouts will have a big challenge in Saturday morning’s semifinal round, in which he’ll face Sunnyside sophomore Edward Villanueva, a returning state champion.
Senior 220-pounder Jacob Vincent trailed Camas’ Colby Stoller 2-0 entering the third period of their quarterfinal, but earned a quick escape to start the round and narrowed the gap to 2-1. After earning a takedown to take the lead with a minute remaining, Vincent capitalized on a scramble situation in the last 10 seconds to seal an 8-2 win.
Vincent will take on Tahoma’s Levi Kovacs in the semifinals, and it will be the third time the two have met this season, with Kovacs winning the previous two encounters.
“This is the match I’ve been wanting for so long,” Vincent said. “It’s probably going to be really close, and it’s going to come down to who has the bigger gas tank and who’s hungrier.”
Sophomore Wyatt Springer earned a pair of victories via pin at 152 pounds to set up a semifinal matchup with Chiawana’s Darion Johnson, another returning state champ.
Lake Stevens is tied with Mead for fifth in the team standings with 49 points and trails first-place Chiawana, which has 76.
Sultan and Granite Falls each sent three wrestlers to Saturday’s semifinal round.
Three of Sultan’s four entrants in the 1A field reached the semis, as Aidan Fleming (132), Kameron Weaver (195) and Cody Deason (220) all won quarterfinal bouts in Friday’s morning session.
Fleming’s 11-8 win over Colville’s Reuben Seemann, the reigning champ at 138 pounds was a big hurdle to clear for the returning state finalist, who is aiming to cap his career with a championship.
Granite Falls’ trio of Riley Hoople (113), Hayden Long (152) and Ben Vanderwel (285) each registered convincing wins in both of their two matches Friday. Hoople’s 15-4 major decision over Tony Ibsen of Castle Rock in the quarterfinals was the only one of the lot that didn’t come via pin.
Granite Falls is in 10th place with 40 team points, well behind Granger, which leads after Friday’s action with 74 points. Sultan is tied with Columbia White Salmon in 13th place with 27.
Six of the seven wrestlers in Darrington’s boys wrestling program qualified for the state tournament, and five will go home with a medal after Friday morning’s results.
Senior 160-pounder Lucas Reuwsaat and senior 195-pounder Johnny Franke each won handily in their opening bouts.
Reuwsaat picked up a pair of pins, and Franke pinned his quarterfinal opponent in 31 seconds after receiving a first-round bye in the 12-person bracket.
Aksel Espeland (106), Nik Requa (120) and Darrin Sedenius (120) will all wrestle Saturday.
Darrington ranks seventh with 34 team points, but won’t be able to catch Tonasket, which racked up 104.5 points Friday morning.
A pair of state-title contenders, Lake Stevens senior Kiley Hubby and Marysville Pilchuck freshman Alivia White, survived stern quarterfinal tests in Friday’s evening session.
Hubby, wrestling at 170 pounds, battled Sunnyside’s Lourdes Torres, a two-time state finalist, to a 2-2 draw in the third period before taking a 3-2 lead when Torres was called for a second stalling violation. Hubby, seeking her second state title and third finals appearance, sealed the 5-2 win with a late takedown.
White, a 190-pounder, was pushed to the limit by Connell’s Emmalee Andrewjeski, and trailed 6-5 with 54 seconds remaining before earning a two-point reversal and converting the move into a pin with 38 seconds remaining in the bout.
Three of the four semifinalists at 235 pounds are local wrestlers, as defending champ Chanel Siva of Stanwood, her teammate Anna Schander and Edmonds-Woodway’s Vatoria Keyes will battle it out for a title Saturday.
Schander and Keyes will square off in a semifinal, while Siva will take on Frances Kava of Spanaway Lake.