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Lakewood finishes 13th at M-P Premier tournament
MARYSVILLE The Lakewood Cougars began the M-P Premier Wresting tournament with 11 energetic teens and 130-lb. senior Steve Edmonds was the lone man standing in the final round.
As a team, the Cougars placed 13th in the 17-team tournament with 25 points.
Eight Cougar grapplers went two and out while Robert Tucksen, Aaron Leonard and Edmonds combined to go 7-3 in the Jim Linden Fieldhouse.
Overall we are wrestling better, coach Tom OHara said after the all-day event.
Jason Mueller (135-lb.) did really well and made big improvements. Billy McKeever (145-lb.) also did well and Steve Bingham (152-lb.) was just one overtime match away from placing.
Senior Robert Tucksen (140-lb.) began the day by losing to Justin Flones of ODea High School 12-0, but returned in the consolation round to defeat Alex Staples of La Conner.
Tucksens day ended at the hands of Kyle Hurd of Snohomish in the third round with a 9-0 defeat.
Junior 160-lb. Aaron Leonard traveled a similar path as Tucksen as he lost in the opening round to Bill Dempsey of ODea 7-0 and then pinned Matt Paulhus of Granite Falls.
Leonards day ended when he was pinned by Josh Nielsen of Moses Lake
Two-time state Mat Classic state placer Edmonds opened the tournament with a 6-0 shutout of Seth Stones of Moses Lake.
He then continued his winning ways by doubling up Spencer Baebler of Peninsula 4-2.
Continuing his hot hand, Edmonds triumphed over Thomas Pfeiffer of Moses Lake with a pin in the semi-final round.
After a 15-minute break and a formal introduction on the center mat with the remainder of the finalists, Edmonds faced off against Brad Perry of Snohomish.
Perhaps facing fatigue after sweating his way through three matches, Edmonds trailed 6-2 after two periods before coming up short 8-2 in the end.
Today was not as good as I would have liked, the soft-spoken teen said afterward
My coaches said I didnt have the usual vigor today. Maybe that would have made a difference.
Reflecting on the fact that he defeated two Moses Lake grapplers on the way to the final round put a smile on his face as considered the M-P Premier victors great wrestlers.
OHara said the team is improving as the season progresses.
Our performance is getting better. Guys that may have lost earlier in the season are closer to victory now. I think we are better than people would have expected us to be.
The friendly coach said not to take anything away from Perry, but he didnt believe Edmonds wrestled his best match in the afternoon finale.