By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity wrestlers finished second behind host Kittitas among an 18-team field at the annual Coyote Classic tournament last Saturday.
The Mountain Lions have gone back and fourth against Kittitas at the Classic over the past few years. In 2012 the Mountain Lions finished one point behind the Coyotes, 156-155. Last year Liberty Bell won it all, 139 to 134.5, and went on to win the state championship as well.
This year Kittitas finished 17 points ahead of the Mountain Lions, 136-119, to win their home tourney while Liberty Bell leveraged two firsts, two seconds, a third, and two fourth-place finishes to take second overall, 11 points ahead of third-place Colfax.
Trent Skelton and Emmett Fink won their weight divisions.
Skelton pinned Duwayne Magruder of Kittitas in less than a minute and defeated Cascade’s Nathan Thompson, 7-0, to take the 120-pound championship.
Emmett Fink pinned Alex Jackson of Ellensburg, scored a 12-1 decision over Nick Forbes of Kittitas, and won by default over Omak’s Alex Aguilar for the 145-pound title.
Jacob McMillan defeated Kendall Cunningham of Wilbur-Creston-Keller by pin and Cruz Plasencia of Davenport, 11-2, to reach the 138-pound finals. A pin by Cascade’s Ethan Visser left McMillan with second place.
Milo Holston beat both Ellensburg’s Logan Miller and Pomeroy’s Taylor Lewis by pins to advance against Jacob James of Cascade in the 160-pound finals. Holston gave up a close 5-4 decision to place second.
Meritt Fink defeated Ellensburg’s DJ Wetzel by a pin before losing a 2-1 decision to eventual 145-pound champion Bryant Bubel of Cascade. Fink ended up in a tie for third place with Wetzel.
Danny Humiston beat Rama Rudolph of Tri-Cities Prep, 9-2. A loss to Jose Kike Marin of Kittitas dropped Humiston into the consolation bracket, where he pinned Omak’s Tyson Sundust to take fourth at 126 pounds.
At 285 pounds, Stoney Hulon lost by a pin to JJ Nahpi of Kittitas but bounced back in consolation to defeat Omak’s Walker Osborne in a quick 22-second fall. A pin by Ritzville’s Layne Hawks in the match to determine third and fourth place stopped Hulon’s comeback.
Ivan Johnson lost to eventual 152-pound third place winner Brock Steele of Cascade but recovered to defeat Ellensburg’s Austin Kukes by a pin in the consolation bracket. In his next match Johnson was eliminated by Nick Forbes of Kittitas.
Tyson Coleman lost an 11-7 decision to Robert Jones of Ellensburg to drop into consolation. There, Coleman was eliminated in a 12-5 decision by eventual third-place winner Wyatt Ginter of Pateros.
Jack Pennock wrestled and won two exhibition matches at 145 pounds.
The Mountain Lions will host Oroville at 6 p.m. Friday (Jan. 31) and travel to Hornet territory the following day to compete in a league mixer at Oroville.
Coyote Classic 2014
1 Kittitas 136
2 Liberty Bell 119
5 Ellensburg 89
6 Omak 74
7 Liberty-Spangle 60
8 Wilbur-Creston-Keller 59
9 Davenport 50
10 Pomeroy 46
11 Cle Elum 43
12 Pateros 42
13 Wahluke 35
14 Garfield-Palouse 28
15 Napavine 28
16 Almira-Coulee-Hartline 20
17 Tri-Cities Prep18