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Postseason prep

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | January 24, 2023 4:04 PM

OTHELLO – After placing fourth at the Rumble in the Valley tournament last weekend, the Othello Huskies are preparing for a final push to end the regular season strong.

“It was a good, tough tournament for the end of the year,” Othello Head Coach Rudy Ochoa II said. “There were good teams, good competition. It gave us what we’re looking for, some tough competition at the end.”

Following duals against Grandview and Ephrata on the schedule for this week, district competitions are set to begin Feb. 4 for Othello. With the postseason soon approaching, resting wrestlers has become a more common occurrence to give guys a break and give others varsity experience.

“We’re resting guys for sure, not necessarily because of match count, but even since last week we’ve been platooning our guys. Giving different guys a break or a chance to get in the lineup. Our Connell and Moses Lake lineup was about half-and-half.”

The decision to rest wrestlers typically depends upon their health and energy level, Ochoa said.

“If kids are looking like they need a break or need to heal up an injury we’d probably sit them out just to get them healthy for postseason,” he said.

The approach to the final week of practice before postseason competition is “different every year” according to Ochoa, with decisions coming early next week on how intense practices will be.

“It’ll really be fine-tuning, just reevaluating the things that need to be worked on immediately going into postseason,” Ochoa said. “Hopefully try and iron out some wrinkles in our technique that we’ve been seeing.”

At the Rumble in the Valley, Othello saw 10 of its 18 wrestlers place inside the top eight of their respective weight classes.

“Mason Russell, he beat a couple of state placers and he beat a state champion in overtime,” Ochoa said. “(In the 195-pound class), we had Terrill (Freeman) and Josue (Solorio) there. Terrill placed, we pulled Josue after he lost a close match to the returning state champion from Toppenish. It was 3-0, and it was 1-0 going into about 10 seconds left.”

While Othello’s varsity wrestlers traveled to Prosser, the remaining wrestlers on the roster went to the Coyote Classic at Kittitas and placed third. Ochoa said this is a testament to the depth of the Huskie roster.

“I hope it’s a confidence booster for them, the last three tournaments they’ve gone to they’re all right there in the top teams,” Ochoa said. “Hopefully that gives them confidence going into the postseason that, really, they’re as good as anybody.”

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com. To read more of his work and see more photos, visit us at www.columbiabasinherald.com.

Rumble in the Valley local results

106

Moses Lake freshman Ian Garza, second place

Othello sophomore Christopher Garcia, eighth place

113

Othello freshman Daniel Gonzalez, seventh place

120

Othello freshman Mason Russell, third place

132

Moses Lake freshman Ian Anderson, third place

Othello junior Adriel Flores, fourth place

Othello junior Alexander Mendes, seventh place

138

Othello senior Forrest Roylance, fourth place

145

Moses Lake junior Dayton Regan, fifth place

160

Moses Lake senior Cody Byers, sixth place

Othello senior Jesus Gonzalez, eighth place

170

Moses Lake senior Brock Clark, sixth place

182

Othello senior Brandon Garza, third place

Moses Lake sophomore Malaki Town, eighth place

195

Othello senior Terrill Freeman, fifth place

220

Moses Lake senior Ashton Sanchez, fourth place

Othello sophomore Anthony Solorio, eighth place

photo

IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Othello sophomore Christopher Garcia, left, placed eighth in the 106 weight class at the Rumble in the Valley tournament last weekend. Moses Lake freshman Ian Garza, right, placed second.

photo

IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Othello’s Adriel Flores, right, wrestles against Moses Lake’s Ian Anderson at a dual meet on Jan. 17. Both wrestlers placed in the 132-pound weight class at the Rumble in the Valley tournament over the weekend, with Anderson placing third and Flores placing fourth.

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