LaCENTER - Matt Bonney, Derek Duffy, Jerry Matzen, and Jake Pederson all qualified for the Regional Wrestling Tournament last Saturday in LaCenter. The "big four" for Ilwaco finished first, second, third, and fourth respectively and will compete Feb. 15 in Elma for the right to take on Washington state's best at Mat Classic XV.

Bonney continued his dominance of the 189 pound classification by pinning his way to Trico League supremacy. He dropped Zach Dunlop of Stevenson and Jason Streiff of Castle Rock in the first round and cooked Brad Bacon with a fall at the three mark to earn the number one seed. Bonney's record now stands at 21-3.

Derek Duffy held off Levi Miller of White Salmon 10-8, squeezed by LaCenter's A.J. Creek 3-2 in an extremely close match throughout, then lost to Josh Martinez of LaCenter 10-8 in overtime. According to Coach Tom Hornbuckle, Martinez tied the score with a takedown near or out of the wrestling circle after the buzzer was going off, but didn't get the call that would have given Duffy the championship at 130.

Jerry Matzen claimed third place at 119 by defeating Jacob Thom of Stevenson 8-3, falling to Ridgefield's Tyler Draper 5-20, pinning Jake Fittro of Castle Rock, and then staging a furious onslaught the final 40 seconds of his match for third place. Matzen and Castle Rock's Skyler Ribelin were tied at 6-6, when the Ilwaco wrestle unleashed five unanswered points to win going away at 11-6.

Jake Pederson earned fourth place in the 275 pound classification. He won by fall over Castle Rock's Ceasar Granados, was pinned by Matt Miles of Ridgefield, pinned Wes Coates of CR, and was pinned by Jason Cox. "Jake was outweighed by 60 pounds in his matches and just could not overcome the size difference," Hornbuckle explained.

Duffy has an overall record of 19-6, Matzen stands at 16-6, and Pederson is now 19-7 for the season.

Isaac Mendez at 153 won his sixth match of the campaign by pinning Branden Norenberg of Woodland before losing by fall to Sterling Morat of Stevenson and Korryth Yund of Castle Rock. Mendez finishes with a 6-13 win-loss mark.

Bobby Crislip ended his season with a 7-13 record by losing a decision and being pinned at Sub-Regionals. Ray Coulston (5-19), Sean Brady (2-19), and David Alvarez (1-14) all ended their seasons by losing in consecutive falls.

Ridgefield won the tournament with 285.5 points over Castle Rock with 255.5. Ilwaco finished seventh with 77 points. Hornbuckle was pleased that Bonney, Duffy, Matzen, and Pederson all moved on and was hopeful that the wrestlers who didn't make it out of Sub-Regionals would gain from their experience and do well next season.

"Bonney has the best chance to do well at Regionals and Duffy wrestled the best matches of the season so he looks to be in great shape. Matzen and Pederson have their work cut out for themselves, but the guys have worked very hard this year so anything can happen," Hornbuckle concluded.

To move on to Mat Classic XV in Tacoma on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22, the Fishermen grapplers must finish in fourth place or better in Elma against the top wrestlers from the Evergreen Conference and the Trico-League.

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