It wasn’t Yelm’s first Class 4A Narrows sub-regional wrestling tournament title, but it will be the last.
And it came down to the final period of the final match Saturday at Foss High School.
Yelm’s Holden Miller scored all six of his points in the final round of the 285-pound match to best Bellarmine Prep’s Luke Yi.
“Just a lot of control was the key,” Miller said. “He’s very strong, and I lack a little bit of size when it comes to wrestling heavyweight. It was a struggle to get around him and control him because he was so strong.”
Miller fended off a final jab at his ankles to win a 6-2 decision, but he was surprised to find out his team also won because of it.
“We did? I wasn’t sure if I had to get the pin for us to win,” Miller said. “There was a lot of talk about it between coaches. That’s awesome.”
The decision was just enough, as Yelm edged South Kitsap by half of a point, 372-371.5, to swipe its fourth consecutive and final team title. Yelm will join a currently nameless Class 3A league beginning with the 2016-17 school year.
“It’s a nice way to finish the Narrows League, isn’t it, at 4A,” Yelm coach Gaylord Strand said. “Four-year streak and then go down to 3A.”
South Kitsap crowned the most individual champions (four), but Yelm sent 10 wrestlers to the final round. Three of them — James Page (120), Thomas Munoz (126) and Miller — won titles.
Fifteen of Yelm’s wrestlers advance to next weekend’s regional tournament at Bellarmine Prep.
Pine still on top
Olympia’s Logan Pine is used to losing to Yelm’s Jacob Nolan.
“He destroys me — (video games) and pool,” Pine said. “Wrestling’s the only thing I’ve got on him. If we play ‘Call of Duty’ or ‘Madden,’ oh man.”
Nolan bested Pine at all of the off-the-mat games last weekend.
But Pine got the better of him in the Class 4A 145-pound final Saturday. Pine jetted out to an early lead, took down Nolan and rolled him to the side of the mat to pin him in 2 minutes, 38 seconds.
“I worked my shots, and then my throws opened up, and then there it was,” Pine said.
Patrick Flannery took home an individual title for Olympia at 182 pounds. He beat Yelm’s Tyler Losch, 7-4.
Olympia advanced 11 wrestlers to the 4A regional, taking third as a team with 237 points.
Timberline’s Adam Benson (160 pounds) and Bryce Vaughn (220) also took home individual titles, and the Blazers will send three to regionals. Benson pinned Olympia’s Wyatt Pannkuk in 5:03, and Vaughn beat Yelm’s Noah Littlefield, 11-8.
“I really wanted to win, so I thought I’d push the pace until I either won by points or a pin,” Benson said.
MANKE OUTLASTS INJURY, WURTZ
Alec Manke had an ice bag strapped to his stomach following the Class 3A 145-pound final.
“I might as well gut out my last league match and go get a league title,” the Shelton senior said.
Manke outlasted Foss’ Joey Wurtz, to win, 4-3.
Locked in a scoreless tie in the second period, Wurtz got a tight grip on Manke’s torso, straining the ribs on his right side.
“The muscles in between them and behind them spazzed out a little from being squeezed so hard,” Manke said.
His response? Go score three points on an escape and a takedown.
“My ribs hurt a little bit, and I got an escape, so I was like, ‘All right, I’m clear,’ ” Manke said. “Then he kind of shot in and I got my arms under his arms, so I was able to put my hips in for a throw, and I got him on his back.”
Wurtz tied it in the third period on a reversal, but Manke got away a final time to sneak out the victory.
He endured a final slam to the ground from Wurtz as time expired — but no points were awarded as the throw took the wrestlers out of bounds.
“I had to keep working,” Manke said. “He was really fast and he was a really good wrestler, so I had to defend it.”
Manke was one of three title-winners for Shelton. Gable Lacy (182) and Colton Paller (195) also won.
Lacy bested Lincoln’s Dameon Wilson, 7-2. Paller — who lost to a Wilson wrestler in last year’s tournament final — pinned Wilson’s Cole Hansen in 3:32.
Paller carried a 7-2 lead before he flipped Hansen and locked in his hands to immobilize the Wilson senior.
“I didn’t want to have a repeat of last year,” Paller said.
Shelton took second in the 3A team competition with 265 points — a distant second behind Lincoln, which had 399. The Highclimbers advance 11 wrestlers to next weekend’s regional at North Thurston. Capital advanced two to the regional, and North Thurston advanced one.