Sports -- February 02, 2006

Published on Thu, Feb 2, 2006
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by Jack Kintner

Borderite wrestelers ready to polish off a perfect season

Blaine’s mat men finished their devastating march through league opponents last weekend by winning the class 2AA sub-districts at Nooksack. Thus ended a perfect season, to be continued at the district meet to be held Saturday here.

Blaine ended 236 points, 13 up on the perennially tough Mt. Baker Mounties who finished with 223 while Nooksack (124) and Meridian (88) trailed.

Both Baker and Blaine won six weight class championships after putting eight wrestlers into the finals, although for Blaine one of the finals involved Blaine’s Shane Hicks facing another Blaine wrestler, Niko Rehon. Hicks won.

The accomplishment – an undefeated regular season and league championship, plus bright prospects for the coming district and state meets – earned coach Craig Foster a repeat as coach of the year. Nick Jordan, winner of the 160-pond class was named an “outstanding wrestler for the year.” Other weight class winners were Jacob Humphrey (103), Sam Abrams (130), Calvin Moore (140), John Brady(145) and Blayne Brandenburger (189).

This Saturday the district tournament begins with an 8 a.m. weigh in. Doors open for the spectators at 9 a.m. and wrestling at 10 a.m. with championship matches beginning at 5 p.m. In addition to Blaine, schools participating include Archbishop Murphy, Granite Falls, Meridian, Nooksack Valley, Lakewood, Mt. Baker and Sultan.

Regional tournaments follow the next weekend, culminating in the state tournament on February 16 and 17, where all the qualifying teams from all the high schools in the state gather at the Tacoma Dome for Mat Classic XVII.

Boys consolidate

Blaine took over sole possession of third place in the Whatcom County league with a decisive 64-44 win over a determined and energetic gang of Mt. Baker Mounties last Tuesday night at home. It followed an almost identical game for the Borderites last Saturday in Lynden Christian’s teensy little snake pit gym when the lads came up short against the second-ranked Lyncs 65-39.

In the first game the Borderites never got past some emotional moments when close calls seemed to sink their best efforts, things getting to the point that a blown possession call resulted in coach Dan Rucker’s first technical in this writer’s memory.

Fouls on Saturday night: L C 17, Blaine 21. Fouls on Tuesday night: Blaine 15, MB 23.

The Mounties kept it close through three periods, entering the fourth down just four points and at times forcing turnovers and grabbing rebounds off the glass as if they were out there alone, but in the end Blaine’s defense stopped them, leading to a dismal 16 for 46 from the field and a fourth quarter in which they were out gunned 26 to 10.
Meanwhile, Joe Paciorek got 15 of Blaine’s 34 rebounds which along with his 11 points gave him another double-double.

Blaine’s now 4-4 in league, and with a win Friday against the visiting Bill Kelly and the Nooksack Valley Pioneers can pretty well wrap up a district berth.