WARDEN — It'd been a decade since Warden and Ephrata went straight up against each other, which made Wednesday's dual a nice little blast from the past right before the Christmas break.
Warden's Holden Haworth's come-from-behind win in the final seconds of the 152-pound match triggered a torrid run and the Cougars closed to within five points, 38-33, to end the night.
It's always been good wrestling when the two hookup and Wednesday night was no different. It was a nice little scrap, featuring 10 guys ranked in Washington Wrestling Report.
“We haven't had a dual with Ephrata in the six years I've been here. I bet it's been 10 years,” said Warden coach Brent Cox, who has six guys listed in the 1A rankings. “We really appreciate them coming over. When I put the schedule together, we only had the Connell match and our tournament at home.
“So I really appreciate them coming over and giving us a chance to wrestle at home one more time this season.”
The Tigers rolled in as the No. 5 ranked team in the 2A with No. 2 Sammy Flores (113), No. 2 Clayton Johns (120), No. 5 Mac Laird (195) and No. 6 Kevin Pelayo (220). The Cougars countered with some firepower of their own. They were missing the 1A's top 145 pounder Rodrigo Ozuna, who is out of the country. But they did have No. 5 Holden Haworth (152), No. 6 Roly Martinez (113), No. 9 Mikey Madrigales (170), No. 10 Elijah Gonsalez (182) and No. 11 Tony Martinez (120).
The match at 152 proved to be the most electric of the night. With the Cougars forfeiting in three weights (220, 138, 145), the Tigers took a 38-18 lead with three matches remaining. But 152 was one that went to the wire. Ephrata's Valerio Placido worked a nice, efficient match, taking a two-point led into the third period. Haworth came up with the reversal as time wore down to tie the match at 7-7, then fired the takedown with 10 seconds remaining to win, 9-7, in dramatic fashion.
“It's fun to wrestle against the bigger schools to find out what you really have,” Haworth said. “I knew I needed the reversal to tie it. Once I did that, I tilted him and it worked out.”
Warden's Ivan Dominguez pinned Corbin Sager at 1:01 in the 160-pound match and Cougar 170-pounder Mikey Madrigales finished with a pin and the night ended with a five-point difference.
“Warden's always a tough team and that's why we came here,” Ephrata Coach PJ Anderson said. “For the kids, it was about seeing about what we've been drilling and working on in the room and seeing where we can improve.”
Sammy Flores won by pin at 113. Johns won by technical fall in the 126-pound match. Mac Laird got the pin at 195.
“Their scoreboard only went to 11, so I didn't really know what the score was,” said Johns. “I just kept turning him loose and working on my takedown. I normally like to pin guys, but this was good. I just take what's there.”
Warden comes out of the break with the Royal Christmas Tournament Dec. 28 and Ephrata is at Ellensburg tonight and will also be at the Royal tournament.
Ephrata 38, Warden 33
182 - Carter Mills, E, dec. Elijah Gonsalez, 4-2
195 - Mac Laird, E, p. Salvado Zaragoza, 1:20
220 - double forfeit
285 - Eli Guevara, E, p. Tommy Pruneda, 1:53
106 - Carson Cox, W, wins by forfeit
113 - Sammy Flores, E, p. Cale Cox, 5:13
120 - Conneach West, W, wins by forfeit
126 - Clayton John, E, tf. Dahani Trupp
132 - Kelvin Sager, E, d. Brenton Cole
138 - Javin Mendoza, E, wins by forfeit
145 - Jai Calderone, E, wins by forfeit
152 - Holden Haworth, W, d Valerio Placido, 9-7
160 - Ivan Dominguez, W, p Corbin Sager, 3:59
170 - Mikey Madrigales, W, p Alan Maceda, 3:54