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Wrestlers take it to the Turks

"Photo: Brandon Hern puts the pain to a Granite Falls opponent on the way to a pin. Hern could not pull out a similar victory against a big Sultan wrestler Thursday.Matt Johnson / staff photoBOX SCOREFalcon wrestlingS. Whidbey 36, Sultan 34Results: 125 - Chris Long def. Dennis 6-4; 135 - Fortier def. Kelly Foote, fall; 140 - Oesch def. Andy Wills 10-1; 145 - Bartlett def. Gusdaska, fall; 152 - Chris Ford def. Roesler 8-7; 160 - Hatfield def. Abe Baker 10-5; 171 - Chris Martin def. John Touhy, fall; 189 - Meyer def. Brandon Hern 7-2; 215 - Trevor Fleming def. Harding, injury default; Heavyweight - Roote def. Chris Hezel, fallWith its varsity lineup finally in the shape the team wanted early this season, South Whidbey's wrestlers dotted their i's and crossed their t's Thursday when they won a road matchup against Sultan.With league meet-bound wrestlers in nearly every weight class, the Falcons grappled their way to a 36-34 win on the Turks' home floor. Along with the win, the team brought enough drama to the mat to fill at least one good dime-store novel.Key in the win was Jeremy Bartlett's return to wrestling. Out of competition most of the year due to academic concerns, Bartlett filled the long-empty 145-pound varsity slot more than amply. He pinned Sultan's David Gusdaska just 1:15 into the first round, giving his team points where they had none all year.It was nice to get him into the lineup, said Falcon coach Mike Crebbin.At 152 pounds, senior Chris Ford proved that he is the guy on the team who not only takes pressure, but uses it as a tool to win wrestling matches. For the second time this month, Ford found himself in a one-point match with just minutes to go in his match Thursday. Coming out of a 5-5 second-period tie with Sultan's Jerr Roesler, Ford scored a two-point escape with less than a minute to go in the match to win 8-7. The triumph was reminiscent of a 9-8 decision Ford scored against Granite Falls on Jan. 13.He seemed to get just enough points to say ahead, coach Crebbin said of his middleweight wrestler.Brandon Hern and Chris Hezel were the iron men on the night, as both squared off against wrestlers outweighing them by 20 pounds. Hern moved up a weight class to 189 for his match against Sultan's Todd Meyer. After losing five points on a move gone bad in the first period, Hern fought Meyer off for the remainder of the match to lose a 7-2 decision. His coach said the match was a true feat, considering the size difference between the wrestlers.It was a good match for Brandon, Crebbin said.Hezel's heavyweight match moved along more quickly, to the Falcon wrestler's dismay. After moving Turk Alan Roote onto his back, Hezel got caught in an unexpected reverse and fatal pin. Describing the match as one in which the combatants rumbled, stumbled and bumbled, Coach Crebbin said he was pleased to see Hezel put the right moves together, even though he used them on a much larger opponent.Other winners for the Falcons were Chris Martin, who pinned John Touhy at 171 pounds; Chris Long, who earned a 6-4 decision at 125 pounds; and Trevor Flemming at 215. Up 14-4 late in the first period, Fleming saw his match come to an unexpected end when he fell on his opponent outside the ring and accidentally dealt him a possible concussion and neck injury. Fleming earned an injury default due to his wide lead.The meet was a good tune-up for the upcoming league preliminaries on Jan. 29. Crebbin said Sultan is a solid team with wrestlers capable of going a long way in district competition.The the league prelims will be held at South Whidbey High School, starting at 10 a.m."

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