Montesano’s Junior High wrestlers closed out the first half of their competitive season with a Nov. 26 meet at Hoquiam that also included Centralia, Adna, Ocosta and Elma.

Monte’s boys continued their winning ways and finished with 19 victories and 11 losses.

It has been the Montesano team’s pinning ability that has been most striking. Out of 117 victories, 103 matches have ended with a slap of the mat and a Bullpup victory by pin.

Eighth-graders Enrique Mendoza and James Busche lead the team in pins. Both grapplers have 9 victories by fall.

Mendoza, a team co-captain in his second year in the sport, remains undefeated and has pinned all but one of the opponents he has faced. At 165 pounds, his coaches point out that Mendoza uses the leverage provided by his long arms and legs to great advantage when he wrestles.

Unlike Mendoza, James Busche is a wrestling novice, but he has quickly asserted himself his first 10 matches.

On Nov. 21, Busche suffered his first and only loss of the season, dropping a13-6 decision to Damin Bower of Elma.

Eager to redeem himself, Busche was presented with an opportunity much sooner than he anticipated when just five days later, he was once again paired with Bower at Hoquiam. This time, Busche quickly took Bower down, pinning him in the first round.

The wrestling team took a break over the Thanksgiving holiday. They were back in action Tuesday at Toledo. That match ended too late for this edition. Their next match is today (Dec. 5) against Tumwater.

WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK

Eighth-grader Karson Lane and seventh-grader Eli Jones are Wrestlers of the Week.

Jones and Lane scored pins in each of their matches at Hoquiam and they are, according to coach Darrel White, showing tremendous improvement in their wrestling skills.

“We have been encouraging Lane and Jones to stretch themselves a little,” White said. “They have both been utilizing a limited repertoire of moves with great success but, in response to our encouragement, they have really stepped it up technically in their matches in the past couple of weeks. We are very proud of both them.”

In his bouts at Hoquiam, Lane pinned Landon Franks of Hoquiam and Kooper Moon of Adna while Jones dispatched Ocosta’s Syen Van Embden and Centralia’s Michael Rosales-Norris.

Lane’s season record is now 6-3 and Jones is 7-2 with 7 pins.

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