MOSES LAKE — Jonathan Tanguma and EJ Villanueva of Sunnyside — two top 10 wrestlers in the Class 4A 120-pound weight class — traded points throughout the entirety of their match.
It was tied 4-4 after one round and Tanguma trailed 6-4 at the end of two. In instant classic fashion, Tanguma scored an escape to start the third round and took down Villanueva with 58 seconds left to regain the lead.
However, Villanueva had one more move to make and reversed Tanguma with 16 seconds to go and won 8-7.
The majority of the close calls went Sunnyside’s way in a 40-21 dual that remained undecided until only two matches remained.
“We need to show more heart out there,” senior Riley Burgess said. “We need to work harder in practice, more conditioning. We weren’t getting off the bottom at all and that’s all heart right there. Yeah, that’s a big part of it.”
Sunnyside backed up its No. 5 ranking with consecutive wins by technical fall to start the dual and another by major decision to build a 14-0 lead.
Cruz Vasquez stemmed the tide with a second-round pin of Moises Zesati to put Moses Lake on the scoreboard. Sunnyside responded with two overtime wins in a row and a pin at 220 pounds.
Everett Ashley picked up a dramatic win at 195 pounds. Ashley trailed Fabian Chavez 10-9 late in the third round, but scored a reversal with 18 seconds left to keep Moses Lake’s upset chances intact.
Senior heavyweight Sebastian Rodriguez, who is ranked 10th in Class 4A, kept his time on the mat brief with a second-round pin of Nathan Martinez.
Melanie Flores had the daunting task of wrestling top-ranked 106-pounder Elijah Barajas. Flores held her own technically, but succumbed to Barajas’ strength and lost by way of technical fall 16-0. It was a uniquely challenging string of days for Flores who wrestled No. 1 100-pounder Taylor Wilson of Hanford in the finals of the Central Valley Girls Tournament on Saturday before her match with Barajas on Wednesday.
Riley Burgess pinned Sam Guerrero in the third round to pull Moses Lake within 10 points with three matches to go. The wiry Burgess had a brief scare in the second round, surrendering a reversal and two back points to Guerrero, before finding the cradle in the third.
“Think more with my head instead of with the adrenaline,” he said. “Turn the adrenaline into technique and with the strength. Went out there with that suicide cradle, didn’t have the right positioning and almost gave it up even though I was in the lead.”
Sunnyside swept the final three matches to clinch the dual and — barring something catastrophic — a Columbia Basin Big Nine league championship.
138: Jose Campos (SS) d. Camron Regan, 19-4
145: Austin Villanueva (SS) d. Sergio Gomez, 17-2
152: Jeydian Salazar (SS) d. Gavyn Rodriguez, 12-1
160: Cruz Vasquez (ML) p. Moises Zesati, 3:14
170: Izaiah Gonzalez (SS) d. Levi Carlos, 8-6
182: Abraham Arreola (SS) d. Bryan Guzman, 8-6
195: Everett Ashley (195) d. Fabian Chavez, 11-10
220: Sunnyside p. Jose Salazar-Villa, 3:13
285: Sebastian Rodriguez (ML) p. 2:27
106: Elijah Barajas (SS) d. Melanie Flores, 16-0
113: Riley Burgess (ML) p. Sam Guerrero, 5:24
120: EJ Villanueva (SS) d. Jonathan Tanguma, 8-7
126: Fabian Ortega (SS) d. Hunter White 8-3
132: Andrew Macias (SS) d. Maximus Zamora 5-0