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Maverick girls wrestling locks up league title

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | January 21, 2023 2:29 PM

MOSES LAKE – The Mavericks remained undefeated in dual meets with a 42-30 win over Davis on Thursday night, locking up a Big 9 title in the process.

“The energy was everywhere,” Moses Lake Head Coach David Peralez said. “We had built this one up and circled it on our calendar for a long time. It was their senior night, so that added even more elevation of excitement for both teams.”

The dual got started with Moses Lake’s Katelyn Rodriguez pinning her opponent, the first of seven Mavericks to pin their Pirate opponents. Moses Lake’s Jhaile De Guzman, Ashley Naranjo, Reese Prescott, Bianca Johnson, Lakailey Rodriguez and Kathryn Pugh all recorded pins.

“Not only do we have to win these matches, but we have to dominate them to the point where we need pin points because we knew we couldn’t just squeak by winning the division since we don’t have a full roster,” Peralez said.

Teammates on both sides of the mat cheered on each other during matches to show their support, adding to the competitive atmosphere.

“I challenge the wrestlers every single time, and it seems like they always rise to the occasion,” Peralez said. “It was really a lot of fun. Just so much energy, lots of yelling from both sides in a positive manner and rooting for the wrestlers that represented each school. It was very, very fun and passionately intense.”

With a bigger roster compared to a year ago, Peralez said the biggest thing that the Mavericks have improved on this season is their “mental toughness.”

“That’s something that I really think can hold back wrestlers, either boys or girls – they need to believe in themselves, they need to be able to shake off some of the disappointments of a loss, the previous rounds or a previous practice,” Peralez said. “These girls are really resilient and they’re mentally tougher.”

Moses Lake recently moved up to No. 1 in the Large School division of the Washington Wrestling Report rankings, which Peralez said the team used as motivation to prove that they belong at the top. Davis checks in at No. 4 in the rankings.

“I think the wrestlers really took it upon themselves and they bought in to one week at a time, one match at a time, one day at a time,” Peralez said. “Don’t look too far down the line. This season really feels so magical with the way that we sometimes have the ups and downs of the season, and the wrestlers really held it together. I think that’s what’s going to carry them during this postseason.”

With the end of the regular season approaching soon, Peralez said the team will use next week’s tournament at Quincy as a “dry run” to simulate postseason matches.

“It really shows that they belong,” Peralez said. “They shouldn’t have any fears going into postseason, they shouldn’t have any doubts or concerns. They are where they are because of how hard they work.”

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

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