TACOMA DOME – Close matches are the norm at the state wrestling finals, and the four Tonasket wrestlers competing last Feb. 17-18 at the Tacoma Dome seemed to wrestle more than their share of battles that went to the wire. Jared Stedtfeld, the lone senior of the four, was the only one to come home with a state medal. But all earned at least one state tournament victory and coach Dave Mitchell said his team is already looking forward to next year.
About Brent BakerBrent is a freelance sports reporter for the Gazette-Tribune and owns and operates his own high school sports website OK Valley Sports. (See it online at okvalleysports.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/OK-Valley-Sports/172342412808987?fref=nf). Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent worked as a full time reporter/photographer at the G-T from 2011 - 2014).
Stories by Brent Baker
TACOMA – In the end, a state championship just wasn’t in the cards for Nick Perez. The Oroville senior earned his third straight second-place finish at the Class 1B/2B state wrestling finals in the Tacoma Dome on Saturday as he and Alex Alvarez combined to lift the Hornets to a ninth-place finish in the team standings. Perez (145 pounds) had the misfortune to run into Republic’s Kyle Kirkendall in the state championship match. Kirkendall, who won state titles in 2009 and 2010, had beaten Perez in the Eastern Regional meet last week.
It’s taken me years to figure out why I’ve come to love the sport of wrestling. Not the WWE variety; the “Olympic” style that concluded its high school season at the WIAA’s Mat Classic XXIV in the Tacoma Dome this past weekend. Wrestling has been an acquired taste for me. There’s not much pretty about it: it doesn’t feature the ballet-like athleticism of high-level basketball, the explosive playmaking of football, the languid pace punctuated by feats of impossible speed and precision of baseball.
What’s to love about a sport that features equal parts blood, sweat, pain and the constant threat of heartbreak?
TONASKET – The construction of the second floor at North Valley Hospital should be completed in early May, NVH facilities manager John Boyd reported at the Thursday, Feb. 9 hospital board meeting.
KITTITAS – Nick Perez earned his fourth straight state finals berth and Alex Alvarez will wrestle for the first time at the Tacoma Dome this year to highlight Oroville’s day of wrestling at the Class B Eastern Regional on Saturday, Feb. 11.
COLVILLE – It may well be the most intense weekend on the high school wrestling calendar.
The Tonasket Tigers did their best to keep the tension ratcheted up for their fans who trekked to Colville for the state-qualifying Class 1A Region IV tournament on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Four Tigers wrapped up state finals bids and two more will join them at the Tacoma Dome this weekend as alternates, but the 10 hour tournament to determine who would get those coveted spots was a rollercoaster of emotion for those involved.
EAST WENATCHEE – It didn’t take long to see why White Swan is one of the top-rated girls basketball teams in the state.
The Cougars’ physical full court press took its toll on Oroville early as they scored the game’s first 13 points. The Hornets settled down and played far better against the White Swan defense over the final three quarters of Monday’s 53-30 loss in the opening round of the Class 2B District 5/6 tournament, but the damage had been done.
WENATCHEE – The post-season is a new season, and the Oroville boys basketball team is now 1-0 on the road to the state tournament.
Playing with both verve and nerve, the Hornets overcame a serious bout of foul trouble and stanched a furious Riverside Christian rally in the fourth quarter to upset the Crusaders 66-52 Monday, Feb. 13, in the opening round of the Class 2B District 5/6 tournament.
OROVILLE – There wasn’t much that Oroville girls basketball coach Mike Bourn liked about the Hornets’ 61-22 loss to Brewster on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The Bears threw their relentless full court pressure at the Hornets – for all 32 minutes, even though the game was quickly in hand – and were never challenged in handing Oroville a decisive defeat.
COULEE DAM – Seven of eight Oroville wrestlers survived Saturday’s Class B sub-regional at Lake Roosevelt to advance to next weekend’s regional tournament and a chance to qualify for the state finals.
Kittitas claimed team honors, edging Liberty Bell by 12 points for the top spot. Oroville placed eighth out of 12 teams.