Wilmington rallies to beat Blue Lions


By Mark Huber - mhuber@wnewsj.com



Washington Blue Lion senior Chris Nichols, left, grapples with Wilmington’s Brett Brooks in a heavyweight match Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at Wilmington High School.

Washington Blue Lion senior Chris Nichols, left, grapples with Wilmington’s Brett Brooks in a heavyweight match Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at Wilmington High School.


Mark Huber | Wilmington News Journal

Washington Blue Lion sophomore Zaigne Fettig is about to pin Wilmington’s Peyton Keniston at 145 pounds during a non-conference dual match Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at Wilmington High School.


Mark Huber | Wilmington News Journal

WILMINGTON — Rallying from an 18-point deficit through four matches, Wilmington defeated Washington with late-match heroics from P.J. McKnight in a non-conference match Tuesday, Dec. 8.

McKnight went toe-to-toe with Washington’s Brady Rohrer at 220 pounds. The match was close throughout with Rohrer holding the early lead. McKnight fell behind 9-7 early in the fourth then tied the match with a penalty point and escape. He closed out the win with a pin with 14 seconds remaining in the match.

Brett Brooks then put the exclamation point on the victory with a first period pin in 1:56 at 285 pounds.

“We had to have those last two and both of our guys performed well,” Wilmington head coach Kelly Tolliver said. “We’re young and it’s going to take us a while to get those green guys where we want them to be.”

On the other side of the gym, Washington head coach Louis Reid was happy to be on the mat.

“Our young kids needed the mat time,” Reid said. “We’re missing three to four starters. We bumped a lot of guys around trying to make it a competitive dual.”

Reid left the Wilmington gym with plenty to work on in the Blue Lion wrestling room in practice.

“I’m disappointed in that we gave up too many pins, didn’t do a good job of fighting off our back,” he said. “We’ve got to give a better team effort.”

There were good things for the Blue Lions.

“We were aggressive; we tried to go out there and set the tone in each match,” Reid said.

Reid said Zaigne Fettig at 145, Brayden Kettels at 182 and Trevor Crocker at 195 gave solid efforts in wins. Despite losing, Reid noted Brady Rohrer gave up nearly 20 pounds and still had a competitive match that went down to the end.

Wilmington went on a run after falling behind 18-0. Thane McCoy at 132, Devon Snyder at 138, Kaison Dodge at 152 by forfeit and Alex Hudson at 160 all posted wins to tie the match at 24-24.

Thad Stuckey put WHS on top 30-24 with a pin at 170 but Brayden Kettels of Washington tied the match again at 30-30. Trevor Crocker put the Blue Lions on top 33-30 but that’s the last match the visitors won before McKnight and Brooks wrapped up the evening with the Hurricane on top.

The Blue Lions are scheduled to wrestle at Hillsboro Thursday at 6 p.m.

Wilmington 42 Washington 33

106: Collin McVeigh (WA) wins by forfeit over Wilmington

113: Jenna Kuhn (WA) wins by forfeit over Wilmington

120: Double forfeit

126: Clayton Howland (WA) wins by forfeit over Wilmington

132: Thane McCoy (WI) pinned Austin Cottrell 0:26

138: Devon Snyder (WI) pinned Ian Roush 4:52

145: Zaigne Fettig (WA) pinned Peyton Keniston 1:25

152: Kaison Dodge (WI) wins by forfeit over Washington

160: Alex Hudson (WI) pinned Cody Brown 2:25

170: Thad Stuckey (WI) pinned Jarad Kuhn 2:24

182: Braydon Kettles (WA) pinned Gage Davis 3:12

195: Trevor Crocker (WA) decisions Brayden Smith 8-7

220: P.J. McKnight (WI) pinned Brady Rohrer 5:46

285: Brett Brooks (WI) pinned Chris Nichols 1:56

Washington Blue Lion senior Chris Nichols, left, grapples with Wilmington’s Brett Brooks in a heavyweight match Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at Wilmington High School.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/12/web1_WCH_ChrisNichols1208.jpgWashington Blue Lion senior Chris Nichols, left, grapples with Wilmington’s Brett Brooks in a heavyweight match Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at Wilmington High School. Mark Huber | Wilmington News Journal

Washington Blue Lion sophomore Zaigne Fettig is about to pin Wilmington’s Peyton Keniston at 145 pounds during a non-conference dual match Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at Wilmington High School.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/12/web1_WCH_ZaigneFettig1208.jpgWashington Blue Lion sophomore Zaigne Fettig is about to pin Wilmington’s Peyton Keniston at 145 pounds during a non-conference dual match Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at Wilmington High School. Mark Huber | Wilmington News Journal

By Mark Huber

mhuber@wnewsj.com