Depth, versatility help Issaquah wrestlers edge Eastlake

December 10, 2013

By Neil Pierson

It’s not unusual for a high-school wrestling team to start the season without its first-choice lineup, and that’s the situation the Issaquah Eagles and Eastlake Wolves were dealing with last week.

In the season’s first KingCo Conference wrestling dual, the Eagles collected pins in six of the first nine matches, then held on for a 48-36 victory at Issaquah High on Dec. 5.

The night’s most important result might have been Issaquah senior Seth Hartman’s victory over Chris Lockwood at 145 pounds. Lockwood, a senior, jumped out to a 5-0 lead and nearly had his opponent pinned. But when Lockwood overextended himself, Hartman got a reversal and completed the pin in 1 minute, 53 seconds.

“That was a 12-point swing, or it would’ve been tied,” Eagles coach Kirk Hyatt said. “We’ve got a young team, and we had a couple pivotal matches that flipped, or it would’ve been a lot tighter than it was.”

Eastlake coach Dexter Beckstead said his squad is very young – three seniors, with freshmen and sophomores filling most positions – and inexperience may have been the decisive factor against Issaquah.

“We made some mistakes, and there were a couple matches I thought we should’ve won that didn’t, and that was the difference,” Beckstead said.

Starting at 113 pounds, the Eagles built a big lead, and they did it rather quickly. Three of their six pins occurred in the first period.

At 113, Issaquah’s Torre Eaton defeated Martin Miller in 1:11. Jordan Hamilton (132) needed only 61 seconds to finish off Eastlake’s Kush Jobanputra, and Louden Ivey (138) increased the Eagles’ lead to 24-6 with a pin of John Monahan in 1:32.

Ivey, who reached the Class 4A state tournament last winter, is looking to earn his first medal as a senior. He felt patience was the key to starting his season on a winning note.

“There were a couple shots, and no one scored anything, and then when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed my opponent and I went and pinned him,” Ivey said.

Ivey recently completed an application to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, and his leadership away from the mats might be the most valuable thing for Hyatt.

“I’m very fortunate that most of the guys that show up have good grades, and the guys that don’t, these guys tutor and get them going,” Hyatt said.

Issaquah’s Colby Starren was a late addition at 160 pounds, and he battered James Jensen for the better part of three rounds, leading 14-2 before winning by pin at 4:38.

Parker Hamilton, a senior 170-pounder, also won for the Eagles, rolling up a 9-1 lead before finishing Noah Morse early in the third period.

Issaquah’s William Tickman (106) and Spencer Lofink (120) won their matches by forfeit.

Hamilton’s victory stretched the Eagles’ lead to 42-12, but the Wolves closed the match on a hot streak.

At 182 pounds, Eastlake junior Ryan Wasserman controlled his bout with Chance Gunte. He led 5-0 after one period – narrowly missing a pin in the closing seconds – and picked up the full six points for his team with a pin at 3:05.

Eastlake’s Lucas Batey (195) pinned Alex Zhang in 1:01, and junior Jonnie Estrada – wrestling well above his usual weight class – won the 220-pound bout against Terrance Zaragoza in 24 seconds.

Estrada, who reached the regional tournament as a 182-pound sophomore, needs to lose about 11 pounds to get back to his ideal weight. He may compete at 195 for much of the season, but showed surprising versatility on a night when the Wolves needed him. Multiple wrestlers were out sick, on academic suspension or needed for other school commitments, Beckstead said.

Estrada hopes to reach state for the first time, and he’s working on “move diversity” to accomplish the task.

“I’ve been using the same moves for a while, and people start learning, so I need to do different moves,” he said.

Eastlake’s other points came from Eli Gomez (126), who pinned Charles Hoehl in 3:20, and from Rudy Ross (285), who won by forfeit.

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