In a dual wrestling meet featuring five state place-winners and boasting league-title implications, the feature match in last night's Auburn-Tahoma showdown showcased a pair of...
MAPLE VALLEY In a dual wrestling meet featuring five state place-winners and boasting league-title implications, the feature match in last night’s Auburn-Tahoma showdown showcased a pair of sophomores.
Then again, they weren’t just any sophomores.
Tahoma’s Andrew Johnson, took control midway through the match to score a 14-9 win at 145 pounds over previously unbeaten Shane Onufer, Auburn’s fourth-place state finisher last season.
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The teams battled to a 31-31 draw while winning seven matches each, and Tahoma was awarded the victory on tiebreaking criteria.
“Both these teams are good at every position, both are well-conditioned and both came out believing they were gonna win,” Auburn coach Brian Peterson said. “When you have two guys squaring off who both believe they can win, you get the kind of match you saw here.”
Onufer had not allowed a point this season while amassing a 5-0 record and claiming a title in the Auburn Invitational. Johnson is the younger brother of two-time state finalist Michael Johnson and began the season touted as a state contender.
“I tried not to let all the pressure of him being fourth at state get to me,” said Andrew Johnson. “I was just trying to stick with good technique and go hard for six minutes.”
The effort exceeded the technique as Onufer repeatedly struck to grab one of Johnson’s legs, only to be rebuffed by Johnson’s counter-move for takedowns.
“I might have been a little apprehensive,” Onufer said. “I just need to get back in the room and work harder. I think it’ll help me in the long run.”
Auburn and Tahoma each entered the season with designs on Enumclaw’s six-year hold on the SPSL North regular-season title, but could hardly separate themselves.
Auburn jumped ahead behind wins from returning state place-winners Tyler Bowles (125), Kurt Swartz (140) and Tyler Roshau (152).
Michael Johnson’s first-round pin at 171 keyed a big Tahoma run at the higher weights and lift the Bears into the lead. But, with the Trojans trailing 31-27, Auburn 119-pounder Brett Young rolled to a 16-2 major decision that tied the score and sent meet officials to the rulebook.
Several minutes after the meet ended, Tahoma was awarded the victory thanks to a 3-2 edge in pins.
Chase Smith (103 pounds) won by pin and Chad Burt (171) scored a major decision as Enumclaw (3-0) extended its seven-year streak of victories over SPSL North opponents to 51 with a 34-18 triumph over Auburn Riverside.