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Few eligible, team still takes 3rd at tourney


Kaleb Horn turns a match and Mabton's Gilbert Martinez on his head in a turn-around win at Davenport. - April Smith photo

Even out-manned four to one, Raider wrestlers placed third out of 13 schools Saturday at the 26th Annual Davenport Invitational with a team total of 76 points.

Reardan took first with 204 points, and Kittitas placed second with 82.

"It was a successful outing for us," said head coach Steve Hood. "We don't have a full lineup and the team that placed first had 20 wrestlers in the tournament, and we had five. We'll have some more kids eligible soon."

The five wrestlers from Lake Roosevelt qualified to participate were Kaleb Horn, Ryan Moon, Tony Nichols, Gabe Moses, and Steven Flowers.

Wrestling in the 120-pound weight division was Kaleb Horn, who, because of last year's success, was seeded number one and received two bye rounds. In the third round of matches, Horn faced up against Mabton's Gilbert Martinez.

"This Mabton kid is a state veteran," Hood noted, "and we knew he is a good competitor. He took Kaleb down in what appeared to be a bad situation, and Kaleb had to tough that out and only gave up two points. So he fought through that and came back and scored six points and won the match. ...That was a big win right there."

Horn then pinned Davenport's Sean Burt in four minutes in the final round to win a first-place medal at 120.

At 145, Nichols drew a first-round bye, then wrestled Oroville's Kris Flowers, whom he pinned in 1:24. Then against Colfax's Chris Jones and down one point, Nichols performed a reverse with 30 seconds left to take the lead and the win. Nichols pinned Wilbur-Creston-Keller's Zach Behr in only 42 seconds to secure first place.

Flowers, at 195, pinned Pateros' Santana Ayala in 53 seconds, pinned Reardon's Tait Lyle in 1:10, and pinned Reardan's Colton Cotter in 1:50 to take first place.

"Even the guys who didn't place wrestled well," Hood said. "Gabe Moses wrestled five rounds, won three of them, lost two. ... And Ryan Moon's wrestling is improving every day."

The Raider wrestlers' next event is the LR Mix and Match, tonight (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. in the Raider gym in Coulee Dam. The event is one of only two home events this season.

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