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Island wrestlers pin down three opponents
MIHS sixth at Bonney Lake tourney
The Mercer Island High School wrestling team started off its season with three wins over league opponents Liberty, Mount Si and Ballard before finishing in sixth place at the Panther Invitational over the weekend.
In the first week of matches, Mercer Island hosted a dual meet, which saw the wrestling beat Liberty, 59-16, and take down the Wildcats of Mount Si, 47-28. The Islanders also beat Ballard, 73-6, on Dec. 10 during a home meet.
“We really worked on the guys being mentally prepared,” head coach Creighton Laughary said following the win over the Beavers. “We also wanted them to get the most first takedowns; assistant coach [Adrian] Diaz really stressed that in practice. He’s our takedown guy.”
Laughary said the team will continue to work on its finishing moves when wrestlers are on the mat, going for the points at the end.
The coach gave a shout-out to Dylan Sullivan for earning the team’s last win of the night, which Laughary said, if it wasn’t Sullivan’s first varsity win, then it was his first KingCo win.
“He wrestled all three rounds, and it was good wrestling,” said the coach. Isaac Lilly, a freshman on the team, also caught Laughary’s attention for being able to step up, even though he didn’t get the win.
“I kind of threw him out there, and it just proves my point I’ve been telling them: be ready any night because you never know when you might get called up,” said Laughary. “He deserves a pat on the back for that.”
Overall, Laughary said it was great to see the wrestlers supporting each other on and off the mat, something that they will continue to focus and work on throughout the season.
Over the weekend, the Islanders took part in the annual Panther Invitational at Bonney Lake High School. Out of 17 teams competing in the tournament, Mercer Island finished sixth overall. Colton Knebel took first in the 189 weight class and was voted the outstanding wrestler of the tournament by the coaches. Knebel won his title after working for a fall against Thomas Reinhart of Kent-Meridian High School. His teammate, Kyle Shanafelt, finished second in the 125 class; TJ Blackburn was second at 215 pounds, and James Kashima was third overall for the 130 weight class.
The Islanders will travel to Bothell on Thursday, Dec. 17, before taking a break for the school’s winter break. The team’s next match following the holidays will be at Roosevelt on Jan. 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Mercer Island 59, Liberty 16
103 - Connor Gullstad won by forfeit
112 - Uriel Cohen pinned
119 - William Medlock won by forfeit
125 - Kyle Shanafelt won by forfeit
130 - James Kashima pinned
135 - Salvatore Giampapa won by major decision 15-4
140 - Blake Johnson won by decision 7-3
145 - Samuel Alpert lost by major decision 12-3
152 - Andrew Rawson won by major decision 16-6
160 - Elliott Wittenber pinned
171 - Cole Johnson pinned
189 - Colton Knebel won by forfeit
215 - TJ Blackburn won by forfeit
285 - Ben O'Connell pinned
Mercer Island 47, Mount Si 28
103 - Gullstad won by forfeit
112 - Cohen won by forfeit
119 - Medlock pinned
125 - Shannafelt won
130 - Kashima won by technical fall 18-3
135 - Giampapa pinned
140 - Blake Johnson lost by decision 9-7
145 - Alpert won
152 - Rawson lost by decision 5-3
160 - Elliott Wittenberg lost by major decision 10-1
171 - Cole Johnson won
189 - Knebel won
215 - Blackburn won
285 - O'Connell pinned
Mercer Island 73, Ballard 6
103 - Lilly lost by fall
119 - Sullivan won 12-10
130 - Kashima won by fall
140 - Parker Johnson won by fall
160 - Peter Lee won by fall
189 - Knebel won by fall
215 - Blackburn won by fall