MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Vikings threw in a little bit of homegrown flavor into the stew to win their first NCWA Northwest dual on Thursday night at DeVries Activity Center.
Eduardo Rodriguez from Royal City put the first points on the board with a 8-4 decision at 133 pounds. Former Ephrata Tiger Cade Cox wrestled down at 141 and gave the Vikings (1-2) their first lead with a first-period pin and Big Bend rolled to a 38-22 victory over Washington State University.
The first-year program out of Moses Lake was nothing like the team that got its head handed to them at Eastern Oregon less than a month ago. They wrestled with confidence. They wrestled with purpose and the easily handled the program from Pullman.
“Our team is coming together and they're pushing themselves in the room. I told the guys all week this needs to be our dual. We need to win this if we're going to be competitive in our league and they came out with a great effort,” coach Jose Tanguma said.
The Vikings took a 15-6 lead with forfeit at 149 and Beau Wiebe, a freshman out of Eastsound, turned up the heat with a technical fall in the 157-pound match and Big Bend was never challenged after taking a 20-6 lead. They had back-to-back pins with Roman Porter (174) and Ryan Caldwell (184) for a 32-10 lead.
Martin Dominguez, who won a 1A state championship a year ago as a Warden Cougar, turned Wyatt McCreary for the pin with 33 seconds left in the first period of the 235-pound division to put things away.
“I thought we were all a little desperate to win. We've been working hard and I thought we showed it tonight,” Dominguez said. “This team is a lot tougher mentally than we were at the beginning of the year.
“The biggest difference coming from Warden to wrestling in college is that everybody is tough and you have to work that much harder. I've been working on being quicker with my shots. If I miss, reload and go again a little faster.”
Rodriguez and Cox give the Vikings some strength in the bottom half of the lineup, which is expected to change once Hunter Murphey gets healthy at 125.
“At this level, everybody is pretty much good, so you have to get after it early,” said Rodriguez, who opened up a 6-1 lead against Joe Lewis. “I try to get the first take down and stay on the attack.”
After starting the season with a 48-6 loss to NAIA Eastern Oregon, then closing the gap with a 29-18 loss to Grays Harbor, the Vikings won at their house in a decisive manner against a stout WSU program.
“I think getting slapped in the face makes you a better man and we've responded with a better, tougher work ethic,” Tanguma said. “Tonight shows the progress we've made in a short amount of time and we're going to get stronger once we get some guys healthy.”
Big Bend is back on the road Dec. 13 when it takes on at Highline Community College.
Big Bend 38, Washington State University 22
125 - Michael Villela (WSU) p. Cameron Thompson, 4:50
133 - Eduardo Rodriguez (BB) d. Joe Lewis, 8-4
141 - Cade Cox (BB) p. Cameron Bennett, 1:25
149 - Washington State forfeit
157 - Beau Wiebe (BB) tech. DJ Hunter, 17-2
165- Phillip Ontiveros (BB) md. Mark Johnston 14-1
174 - Roman Porter (BB) p. Phillip Palm, 1:48
184 - Ryan Caldwell (BB) p. Devine Darden, 2:06
197 - Logan Reser (WSU) p. Tyler Chamberlain, 3:13
235 - Martin Dominguez (BB) p. Wyatt McCreary, 0:33
285 - Michael Huscusson (WSU) p. Tucker Booth, 0:21