Photo courtesy of Jamie Childress Mercer Island Islanders grappler Finn Childress controls the action against Redmond’s Carson Lui in the 152-pound weight class.

Mustangs earn victory against Islanders in battle on the mat

The Redmond Mustangs wrestling team’s ability to earn victories courtesy of pins was the difference in a Class 3A KingCo wrestling dual match against Mercer Island.

Redmond earned seven of their eight victories in the dual match courtesy of pinning combinations en route to a 48-22 win against Mercer Island on Dec. 15 at Mercer Island High School. Redmond wrestlers Nick Kaneko (195) and Judah Dorsey (138) remained undefeated during the 2016-17 season with their victories via pins against Mercer Island.

Redmond head coach Bob Kaneko was glad to see his team reign victorious in league action.

“We work hard on that everyday,” Kaneko said of executing pinning combinations. “In dual meets, we tell them that pins are going to win it. We want them to go out there and get pins and then don’t get pinned by them (opponent). We still have a ways to go and we have a lot of improvements to make but these kids work hard and they put everything they got into it. The whole team is doing fantastic.”

Redmond wrestlers capturing wins by pin against the Islanders were Ben Maier (285), Jobe Zuniga (126), Alex Ayala (132), Phillip Palm (170), Jeremy Hernandez (145), Kaneko (195) and Dorsey (138). Redmond wrestler Sean Allen-Shipman (106) won by forfeit.

Mercer Island won six of the 14 matches but didn’t register a pin. Mercer Island 120-pounder Eli Pruchno defeated Redmond’s Nadav Levanani 4-2 in overtime with a single-leg takedown. Islanders’ grapplers Donnie Howard (182), Jordan Tillinger (113), Finn Childress (152) and Jonah Andrews (160) won by decision in their matchups. Mercer Island 220-pound wrestler Russell Asmus won by forfeit.

“It wasn’t exactly the outcome we wanted but Redmond is a really tough team. They are deep and they’re talented. It’s kind of a measuring stick about where we want to eventually be,” Mercer Island head coach Lee Jahncke said.

With the holiday break taking place over the next few weeks, Jahncke is excited about the opportunity for his team to hone their skills on the mat.

“We have a couple of weeks where we can work hard, improve and get ready for the second half of the season,” he said.

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