Hornets send seven to regionals

Photo by Brent Baker — The Hornets' Alex Kelly battled through a painful back injury to clinch a spot at next week's eastern regional tournament before settling for a sixth-place finish on Saturday.

Photo by Brent Baker — The Hornets’ Alex Kelly battled through a painful back injury to clinch a spot at next week’s eastern regional tournament before settling for a sixth-place finish on Saturday.

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.

Nick Perez (145 pounds) barely broke a sweat in rolling to his fourth straight district title, pinning each of his three opponents in the first period of their matches.

Perez, who missed more than half of the regular season while recovering from a football injury and subsequent illness, earned a top seed and the inside track to the Tacoma Dome, where he has one final chance for a state title. Perez finished third at state as a freshman and second each of the last two years.

Alex Alvarez (160) had a solid outing in taking second, hanging on for a 9-8 victory over Michael Haskins of Selkirk in the semifinals before losing by technical fall to Liberty Bell defending state champion Gunnar Doggett in the championship match.

Another state hopeful, Alex Kelly (132), battled through the flareup of a chronic back injury to qualify for regionals, but defaulted his final two matches to finish sixth.

“It was a disappointing placement for Alex,” said Oroville coach Chuck Ricevuto. “But (defaulting) will allow him to ‘fight another day’ at Regionals.”

Eric Herrera (285) also took second place but only had to wrestle once to do it. He lost a tight 5-4 decision to Emmitt Barkaloo of Mary Walker.

Michael Ripley and Leo Curiel (both 120) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to advance to regionals as well.

Eddie Ocampo (138) finished sixth but proved he was regional worthy by taking Selkirk two-time state veteran Mikey Weiss to overtime in the consolation semifinals.

Angel Camacho (145) fell short of regionals after suffering an upset in the quarterfinals. In his elimination match, Camacho had to face Republic’s two-time state champion Kyle Kirkendall, who had forfeited to a teammate earlier in the tournament to improve his teammate’s regional seeding.

“As a result, (we) lost a good wrestler that we thought we could take to regionals,” Ricevuto said.

The Class B Eastern Super-regional will be held at Kittitas High School on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11. The top five regional finishers earn a trip to the state finals at the Tacoma Dome next week.

Girls wrestle in Spokane

SPOKANE – The Hornets’s Fernanda Perez and Kaylee Harris both wrestled Saturday at the girls sub-region 9 at East Valley (Spokane), with Perez winning a match to place sixth in her weight class.

Perez (118) lost her opening-round match but pinned Victoria Carrizales of Quincy to keep her regional tournament hopes alive before falling in her final two matches.

Kaylee Harris (145) lost to a pair of Brewster wrestlers in her two matches.

The top four finishers in each weight advanced to next week’s regional tournament.