Wrestlers improve in three-tourney week


Raider wrestling had a busy Christmas Break wrestling at the Othello girls and JV tourney Dec. 22, Selkirk on Dec. 29, and last Saturday at Warden.

The Othello Tourney was a late add and the Raiders who went impressed Head Coach Steve Hood.

“Guys really stepped up and wrestled well at Othello,” he said.

Alexia Hanway continued to place in the money at tourneys as she came away with the third-place medal at 106 pounds. Hanway was the only Raider girl at the Othello girls tourney.

Raiders James Monaghan (at 120), Josh Jim (132), and Andrew McClure (220) all took home second-place medals. Coach Lee Largent commented that the Othello Tournament was nice in that the coaches had more time to talk and give instruction to the athletes.

After the Dec. 28 Powerhouse Tournament at home, the Raiders travelled north to Selkirk for a league mixer. Five of the nine schools in the North B League were present; LR, Selkirk, Republic, Springdale, and Oroville.

It was the first time all season LR has faced Selkirk and Springdale for a match.

“We wrestled well after a four-hour bus ride,” Hood said. “It surprised us coaches how strong they came out and wrestled.”

That included Josh Jim, who bounced back from the previous day’s loss at the Powerhouse Tourney to Quinton Sebree from Republic to defeat him by major decision at Selkirk 15-2.

James Monaghan continued to show positive improvement, with two pins over Javier Castillo of Oroville and Chance Chantry of Selkirk.

Oscar Pakootas (120), Kodie Horn (145), and Orrin Gross (152) continue to dominate their league opponents at their weight classes. Pakootas defeated Chantry in a first-round pin.

Horn controlled his match against Michael Weiss of Selkirk all three rounds en route to a 6-0 win.

Gross recorded a second-round pin over Louie Campos of Oroville and wrestled his second match of the season at 160 against Cody Hoffman of Selkirk. It was a close seesaw match for Gross until he made a quick move that took Hoffman off guard and allowed Gross to pin him. McClure carried the momentum from his first-place finish the day before to win two matches at 220. The first win came against Nate Anderson of Springdale in a third-round pin, the second was a five-point win over Jacob Klinginsmith of Republic 8-3.

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Taking all this good momentum into practice, the Raiders prepped for the Warden Tournament, where only six wrestlers competed. The skeleton crew scored 28 team points for the Raiders, which placed LR ninth for the day.

Zach Erickson placed sixth at 106 after wrestling David Lee Gonsalez of Warden in what Hood said was, “his best match of the year. Zack really wrestled an impressive match.”

Pakootas took second at 120 after defeating Jonathan Blake of Cascade and Shelby Miles of Mt. Baker. For the championship, Pakootas faced the currently ranked number 7 wrestler in 1A at 120, Colin Aitcheson from Tonasket. The match was neck and neck with Pakootas coming back to tie and then to lead the match before Aitcheson finally got the upper hand for a third-round pin.

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Tristan Goss placed fifth at 285 for much needed team points.

The Raiders travelled last night to Kettle Falls and will host the Okanogan Bulldogs in a senior night event Thursday at 7 p.m. at LRHS.

On Friday, they go to Rainier for their toughest tournament of the year with a field of five squads ranked in the top 25 in 1A right now.

That field features wrestling powerhouses Castle Rock (3rd), Chelan (5th), Kiona-Benton (10th), Vashon Island (13th), Cascade Christian (18th) and solid teams from Tenino, Kalama, Bellevue Christian, South Whidbey, and Port Townsend. The Rainier Tournament starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Rainier High School.


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