Auburn Riverside’s Christian Pedro, bottom and right, tangles with Auburn’s Uriel Parra during their 220-pound match on Jan. 23. Pedro won by fall at four minutes, 59 seconds. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Auburn Riverside’s Christian Pedro, bottom and right, tangles with Auburn’s Uriel Parra during their 220-pound match on Jan. 23. Pedro won by fall at four minutes, 59 seconds. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Trojans upend Ravens in showdown, 34-33

Auburn unleashes a rally to overcome rival, snag share of division lead

Auburn captured four of the last five bouts to pull out a dramatic, comeback victory over heralded rival Auburn Riverside in a North Puget Sound League Olympic Division dual wrestling meet at Bob Jones Gymnasium on Jan. 23.

The Trojans pulled even 33-33 after 14 individual bouts and won the match on a tiebreaker – a one-point penalty deduction against the Ravens for misconduct. Auburn Riverside had been penalized a team point earlier in the evening when one of its wrestlers removed his headgear and tossed it off the mat. That point was the difference in the outcome.

The wild finish snapped the Ravens’ 27-league-match winning streak, stretching back to the 2015-16 season when the school was part of the 3A South Puget Sound League. The Ravens were unbeaten, three-time dual meet league champions entering the winter slate.

It was a monumental win for the Trojans and their third-year coach Matt Hoover, a former Iowa wrestler who competed for the Hawkeyes under legendary Dan Gable.

“I am really proud of the fight our guys showed from top to bottom,” Hoover said of the win that forged a three-way tie among Auburn, Auburn Riverside and Enumclaw for the Olympic dual lead, each at 5-1. “Riverside is a great team and is at the top of the league every year. I think everyone can agree that they have been the measuring stick for the past few years, and it is big for our seniors and our program in general to have caught up to them.

“(It) was a great win and it puts a much needed spark back in the Auburn versus Riverside rivalry,” Hoover said. “Even though we are excited to have gotten the win, the trick is replicating it like they have year in and year out.”

In the final bout of the match, Auburn freshman Dominik Smith produced a 13-6 decision against Kailen Fontes at 145 pounds. Smith came out quick and caught Fontes in a tight headlock, nearly pinning him in the first period. The rest of the match featured scrambles and near pins for both wrestlers before Smith came away with the decision to tie the match.

Auburn began the match with Iurri Danulchenko’s second-round pin at 152 pounds.

After the Ravens’ Justin Pritchard grabbed a 10-5 decision over Eddie Carter at 160, Auburn’s Ronnie Labranche-Mairs delivered a quick pin at 170 pounds.

Auburn Riverside reeled off three wins. The Ravens’ Ethan Pedro took a 13-2 major decision over Mason Rowland at 182. Jayden Barnes (195) and Christian Pedro (220) posted pins.

Auburn rallied behind Dalton Whitehall-Gilkes (120) and Gabe Sena (126), seniors who pulled off back-to-back pins.

In one of the more pivotal bouts of the night, the Ravens’ returning state runner-up, Jaden Cassel, moved up to 132 pounds to confront and defeat Jack McCabe, 10-6.

“Although Jack lost, he showed tremendous heart and kept the loss to a regular decision,” Hoover said. “His fight really helped the team because we only gave up three points versus 4 or 6, which Riverside would have gotten if their guy had gotten a major or fall. His loss by regular decision saved the dual for us.”

Alex Contreras pulled Auburn to within three when he survived a 16-10 decision against Grant Mattson at 138.

For the Trojans, Sidney Sanchezllanes earned a 3-1 decision against Raj Cheema.

For the Ravens, 106-pound Cryson Uclaray won by forfeit and Cole Cross prevailed by fall at 113.

“(It) was a great dual. (Former coach and legend) Kip Herren said the atmosphere was ‘like it was in the old days,’ ” Hoover said. “In the time I’ve been here, I haven’t seen or heard anything like it. … This win was definitely a team effort.

“We have a lot of work to do as we head into the postseason, but (the match) was definitely the shot in the arm that we needed as we head into the league tournament.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Auburn’s Gabe Sena, top, ties up Auburn Riverside’s Isaiah Irungv during their 126-pound match on Jan. 23. Sena won by fall at 2 minutes, 29 seconds. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Auburn’s Gabe Sena, top, ties up Auburn Riverside’s Isaiah Irungv during their 126-pound match on Jan. 23. Sena won by fall at 2 minutes, 29 seconds. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

More in Sports

Emerald Downs to increase horse racing purses by 10% in 2022

Second consecutive year of 10% increase at Auburn track

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Harrison Maurus. Courtesy of Team USA.
Auburn’s Harrison Maurus takes fourth place in Olympics

Weightlifter places the highest of any American man in 30 years.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

The Emerald Downs horse racing track will reopen May 19 with a limited number of fans allowed. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs to allow fans this horse racing season

At 25% capacity under state guidelines; fans were banned last year due to COVID-19

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

file photo
Emerald Downs had an average daily handle of $1.79 million during a shortened 2020 season that concluded Oct. 29. The average daily handle last season was $1.1 million. Fans were not allowed at the races, including during this photo from opening day.
Emerald Downs concludes season with daily wagering up 61% over last year

Off-track fans bet average of $1.79 million per day during 38-day session

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.