Othello pulls away from Ephrata, earns road win

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  • Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin Herald Cade Cox of Ephrata grapples with Levi Garza of Othello (front) in the 132-pound match Thursday at Ephrata High School.

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    Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin Herald Othello’s Chris Melo (front) tries to free himself from the grasp of Ephrata’s Sammy Flores in the 106-pound match. Melo won 11-4.

  • Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin Herald Cade Cox of Ephrata grapples with Levi Garza of Othello (front) in the 132-pound match Thursday at Ephrata High School.

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    Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin Herald Othello’s Chris Melo (front) tries to free himself from the grasp of Ephrata’s Sammy Flores in the 106-pound match. Melo won 11-4.

EPHRATA — The Othello theme song sounds like a broken record, but to tell you the truth the soundtrack is making some pretty good noise.

The Huskies got three straight pins from Reese Jones (170), T.J. Martinez (182) and Isaiah Perez (220). Chemi Cantu held off Efrain Bedolla in a 1-0 epic battle of heavyweights and Chris Melo wrestled like a state tournament veteran in his 11-4 victory over Sammy Flores in the 106-pound bout to end the night.

The Huskies won the Central Washington Athletic Conference dual 58-13 over the young Tigers.

“Ephrata's always tough. They do a good job with their program over here, so to come in and win a conference dual on the road is important,” Othello coach Rudy Ochoa II said. “I told the guys to go out there and keep working on the things we need to be working on. I know it sounds like a broken record, but we still have things we need to clean up.

“We're doing some good things and we're headed down the right track.”

The night was a showcase of two of the best 106-pounders in the region. Flores went into the bout, which was the final match of the night, with six consecutive pins and two tournament championships to his credit. But Melo was a placer at the 37th annual Tri-State Tournament earlier this year and a Washington 2A state veteran and it looked like it.

Melo opened up a 11-3 lead and won the final match of the evening nearing major points with a 11-4 decision.

“He's just like me, he's a tough kid and he wants to win,” Melo said. “I just wanted to keep taking him down and build the lead. He's not the kind of guy you want to turn loose a bunch of times.

“As a team, we feel good coming in here and winning. We want to keep it going.”

Ephrata senior Cade Cox put together a 10-2 decision over Levi Garza in the 132-pound match to close the early gap to 12-10. But the Huskies just had more weapons, opening up a 28-10 and eventually a 34-10 lead even before the three-pin barrage at the top of the lineup.

“We can't label ourselves with this match. We got out-wrestled by kids that are bigger and stronger,” Ephrata coach P.J. Anderson said. “Sammy go caught on a couple of things that he doesn't normally get caught on. (Melo) is a little bit stronger and a little better wrestler than some of the kids that he's been wrestling. He got caught in some of those spots, but we'll be able to clean that up moving forward.

“We'll be over this by tonight and move on. We have a list of things we need to clean up and tomorrow we'll come in and get started.”

The Huskies are chasing Toppenish like the rest of the CWAC, but they have a plan and they have put themselves in a better position with a difficult non-conference schedule. They wrestled at Tri-State, hosted Toppenish and went toe-to-toe with Moses Lake. Now they are one match into the CWAC schedule.

“We're one of the top teams in the league, but we look at it like every team has a chance to catch us. It's wrestling and that's what I love about it,” Martinez said. “We have the attitude that we need to keep on working because we want to make that big push at state and every little bit helps.”

Box score

106: Chris Melo (O) d. Sammy Flores 11-4

113: Endy Pelayo (E) forfeit

120: Jaxon Rocha (O) p. Clay Johns

126: Jeremy Mendez (O) p. Brian Olivera

132: Cade Cox (E) d. Levi Garza 10-2

138: Gage Pruneda (O) forfeit

145: Sterling Roylance (O) d. Bryndon Prescott 16-2

152: Asai Villarreall (O) p. Corbin Sager

160: Bernie Garza (O) p. Alan Maceda

170: Cole Spencer (E) p. Collin Freeman

182: Reese Jones (O) p. Drew Anderson

195: TJ Martinez (O) p. Mac Laird

220: Isaiah Perez (O p. Elias Guevara

285: Chemi Cantu (O) d. Efrain Bedolla 1-0

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