Stephens takes fifth; boys lose first league match
Zahlee Stephens had a quick start to Saturday’s Lady Huskies Invite in Othello. Actually Stephens and teammate Gaby Flores both opened the girls wrestling tournament with lopsided wins.
Stephens, a 120-pound senior, pinned Warden’s Monica Canales at the three-minute, 52-second mark. The win advanced her to the quarterfinals, where she was pinned by Natalie Smith of Mount Baker in the second round. Smith placed seventh at the state last season and is ranked fourth in the state this season.
“I didn’t know who she was, so I felt pretty confident I would beat her,” Stepehens said.
After the unexpected loss, she picked up the pieces and strung together two wins to reach the consolation semifinals. It started with a second-period fall against Aberdeen’s Maria Farias, followed by a 2-0 win over Maria Mondragon of Kiona-Benton.
“I did not want to let that effect my tournament,” Stephens said. “I had to get the best I could.”
She fell just shy of third after losing to Daisy Chavez of Sunnyside 7-1. Stephens wound up with a fifth place finish.
“I wrestled a lot better in this tournament than any other tournament,” she said.
She attributes her improvement to the coaching staff, especially sparring partner Victoria Carrizales. At the beginning of the season, Carrizales easily out-wrestled Stephens. She said she is stronger and can hold her own against the assistant coach.
“Now we are pretty even,” Stephens said. “
Flores opened the 125-pound bracket with an 11-0 major decision over Wilson’s Riley Bickholtz. She advanced to face state veteran Erin Redford of White River and lost by injury default. She dropped into the consolation bracket and forfeited to Sunnyside’s Stephanie Fernandez by injury default. She will be out of action for a week.
Boys lose first CWAC match
The Toppenish Wildcats handed Quincy their first league loss of the season after a 39-26 final score.
“They were aggressive and worked to score,” said coach Greg Martinez about the Wildcats. “(They) wrestled with extreme confidence.”
The Jacks will be back in action in Othello on Thursday.
Toppenish 39, Quincy 26
113-Julian Torrago by forfeit. 120-Victor Salgado d. Christian Alfaro 6-0. 126-Josue Rodriguez (T) p. Raul Barajas, 2nd. 132-Javier Hart (T) p. Jesus Guzman, 1st; 138-Daniel Juarez (T) p. Devin Salcedo, 1st. 145-Andty Saavadra (T) d. Ricardo Estrada, 9-5. 152-Andy Vargas d. Devonte Maltos, 11-7. 160-Felipe Arriaga (T) d. Iche Ramirez, 7-5. 170-Brent Evans (T) p. Steven Gomez, 2nd. 182-Dominic Gonzalez (T) p. Andy Reynolds, 2nd. 195-Cade Wallace md. Luis Rojas, 11-2. Salvador Osorio (T) d. Ian Allen, 2-0. 285-Rey Rubio md. Johnathan Cuevas, 8-0. 106-Daniel Cruz by forfeit.
Quincy 73, East Valley 3
285-Rubio by forfeit. 106-Stephen Aguilar (EV) d. Cruz, 2-0. 113-Salgado p. Stephen Nugent, 3:37. 120: Mario Mercado d. Micah Miller, 9-1. 126-Devon Salcedo d. Alejandro Martinez, 10-6. 132-Guzman by forfeit. 138:-Lindquist by forfeit. 145-Estrada p. Raul Acevedo, 4:56. 152-Bushman p. Adrian Lopez, 3:41. 160-Vargas by forfeit. 170-Gomez tf. Rodrigo Ruiz, 15-0. 182-Ramirez by forfeit. 195-Wallace by forfeit. 220-Rodriguez p. Jason Rodriguez, 2:58.
-Kurtis J. Wood/Post-Register