Bainbridge wrestlers defeat West Seattle

BHS junior Corey Touchette pins Kingston’s Alex Dixon in the Spartans’ double dual against Kingston and Forks. Touchette is 4-0 competing at 171 and wrestled in the 160-pound weight class against West Seattle. - Brad Camp
BHS junior Corey Touchette pins Kingston’s Alex Dixon in the Spartans’ double dual against Kingston and Forks. Touchette is 4-0 competing at 171 and wrestled in the 160-pound weight class against West Seattle.
— image credit: Brad Camp

After Bainbridge completed its third dual match of the season Tuesday, coach Dan Pippinger highlighted sophomore Caleb Samson’s loss by major decision instead of the Spartans’ four pins in the 45-34 victory.

“He showed so much pride and fight that I thought that was an example – a model – for the rest of the team to follow,” Pippinger said. “The (West Seattle) kid was really upset about not getting the pin, and about not getting the win for his team to get the full six points.”

Wrestling at 130 pounds, Samson trailed 12-0 going into the third period, but only gave up two points in the last two minutes to avoid a technical fall.

“It may have made a difference (in the team score) if it was a different match,” Pippinger said. “For a kid like that, it’s a stepping stone. Now the next step for him is to make that match close. As a young wrestler, he’s taking the steps to move forward.”

West Seattle’s three forfeits gave the Spartans a 30-4 lead going into the 152-pound weight class.

Evan Jahrman and Corey Touchette built Bainbridge’s lead to 42-4 by both recording falls before Mitchell Coryell held on for a 6-2 decision at 171, putting the Spartans ahead 39-4.

Touchette, who began the season at 171, moved to the 160-pound weight class and pinned James Ewing after three minutes and 49 seconds. Touchette was 4-0 in dual meets wrestling at 171.

“Our objective for Corey is to be a state wrestler,” Pippinger said. “He’s got a lot of athletic ability, and he knows wrestling well enough at this point. For him it’s really about making his habits perfect and transitioning from things he can get by with to doing things the right way every time.”

Karl Hunt worked quickly at 189, falling behind 2-0 before pinning Zach Broton in the first period and giving Bainbridge its biggest lead, 45-4.

Even though West Seattle won the next five matches – three by fall – Bainbridge held on for the 45-34 win.

“This group is getting down really strong fundamentals,” Pippinger said. “(Tuesday) I really started to see some of the kids react the right way, getting to good positions.”

Bainbridge will compete in the 16-team Rainshadow Tournament at Sequim this weekend.

“We put that in our schedule as a preparation for what the state tournament will be like where you wrestle one day, you gotta get up the next morning and weigh in again.”

The Spartans have seven competitions scheduled for the next three weeks, and are gearing up for the Metro League tournament on Feb. 5-6.

“Now we go to the next level,” Pippinger said. “Now they go from being in shape to being able to go through a match without even thinking about whether they’re in shape. We’re transitioning now to a different level.”

The team hasn’t lost sight of its ultimate goal: the state tournament Feb. 19.

“There are so many guys that are progressing that I expect could reach that level if they put that time into it,” Pippinger said. “I think probably the kids that are closest to that are Karl Hunt and Alec Greiwe, who’s been there before.”

The team’s two seniors, Jahrman and Brenden Henesy, shouldn’t be overlooked for state competition, Pippinger said.

“You always take a look at seniors because they have the experience, and that experience matters in close matches, which is what you have when you’re qualifying for the state tournament,” Pippinger said. “You can usually expect that your seniors are going to rise to the occasion.”

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