Sports

Spartans rule Metro mats

Thursday night’s match against West Seattle was to be the Spartans’ toughest league competition to date.

Not that you could tell that from the score.

Highlighting the league’s weakness as well as the Spartans’ strength, Bainbridge continued its undefeated league record (7-0, 8-3 overall) with a 49-18 victory over the Indians.

“This is all just a warm-up for the post-season,” said assistant coach Britton Johnson. “That’s what really matters to these guys this year.”

The warm-up started with State hopeful Alonso Valenzuela (112) methodically taking both of Richard Beausoleil’s shoulders to the mat in the second period at 1:05.

Freshman Brian Robert (119) followed in a match that had him in the unfortunate role of rag doll.

Although Robert was tossed around a good bit, he fought hard against an opponent with much more experience and refused to give up, fighting out all three periods before giving up a 0-6 decision.

Zach Smith (125), owner of the best Spartan record at 24-3, answered with a pin in a quick 1:50 in his first period.

John-Michael King (130), in his first day back to school after a week of illness, fought so hard for his 8-4 decision he nearly got sick again.

The middle weights, where Bainbridge often sees its toughest competition, almost completed a sweep with Curtis Nelson (145) and Dan Bachen (152) scoring decisions, while Justin Thorpe (160) and Billy Thomas (171) both recorded pins.

Tug of war

The match of the evening was at 215 pounds, with Peter Mandell taking on West Seattle’s Beau Maples.

Mandell and Maples have been in a tug of war, with Mandell giving the final tug last year when he prevailed in the finals of the regional tournament.

But Maples came on strong Thursday and physically dominated Mandell from the beginning. Thirty seconds into the third period, Mandell was pinned for only his fourth loss this season.

“I generally do better riding and staying on my feet,” Mandell said after the match. “He was stronger than me and I just couldn’t get out from the bottom.”

Nick McCallum added a decision at 275 and, in the final match of the night, Spartan senior Stevie Devine pinned West Seattle’s Molly Reardon at 1:21 of the second.

“That was the first time all year she’s been pinned,” said West Seattle coach Josh Kuich. The freshman, who has won three matches this year, has impressed her coaches with her tenacity.

“She’s a tough kid,” Kuich said.

The Spartans last league meet of the season will be on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. against Nathan Hale, followed by the Cross-Sound Shootout – a match that pits North Mason, Olympic and Port Townsend against Bainbridge, Eastside and West Seattle, 2 p.m. next Saturday on the Spartan mats.

So what happens after all these post-season warm-ups for the Spartans end?

“Honestly, I think we’ve got a chance to send every one of our wrestlers to regionals,” said Johnson, “and likely four of them (Valenzuela, Smith, Mandell and McCallum) will make it to State.

“If everyone stays focused and wrestles at their best, we’ll have a great post-season.”

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