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Cats take WesCo title
"As the seconds ticked down during Oak Harbor junior Chris Whiteman's match, Wildcat fans and wrestlers rose to their feet and a sense of pride filled the Oak Harbor stands as the Cats wrapped up their second conference championship in as many years, beating Cascade 33-26.Cascade came into the Thursday night meet with visions of an upset as their 8-1 record, coupled with a win over the undefeated Cats, would have swung the championship the other direction. We knew it would come down to just a few points and the kids just did a super job, said head coach Brian Farmer. It did indeed come down to a few points in the second-to-last match of the night, as Whiteman battled Cascade's Nate Roe with the Wildcats clinging to a 30-23 lead.A win by Whiteman would clinch the title. A loss would put the Bruins within striking distance.The gym was never quiet as Whiteman and Roe faced off. Roe scored first with an escape in the second round, but the point was all the senior got as Whiteman went for the decision and pulled off the victory, 5-1.I am not much of a guy in the first round and I will admit that, but I knew that if I could get him on the mat and hold him there that I could do it, said Whiteman. One of the biggest surprises of the night was when Oak Harbor freshman Kevin Lang, who usually wrestles at 112 pounds, wrestled at 103 to start things for the Cats. The move paid off for Oak Harbor as Lang grabbed his opponent's leg, threw him to the mat and pinned him at the 1:47 mark of the first round.Because of January we got the two-pound weight allowance and he was at 104.2, said assistant coach Rick Karjalainen. He cut to it just for this match, he won't ever wrestle at it again, but he got a us a quick pin and got us on the road. The Cats needed the points as the Bruins buried them early, earning victories over junior Jon Garcia at 112 pounds, freshman Tony Nicolas (125) in his first varsity action, and a pin on Kyle Isaacson (119). The Cats saw themselves fall behind, 12-6. Oak Harbor battled back, as junior Micha Pruss (130), senior Danny Wichers (135) and junior Brent Thompson (145) all earned decisions.The only thing the Cats lacked the entire night was hair, as all of the Oak Harbor wrestlers shaved their heads for the team, including Pruss.Team unity, said Pruss. It just brought us together that much more. We are pretty tight this year.Senior Brian Lang (152) also earn a victory on points, but with brute strength. During the first round Lang, visibly frustrated with his opponent's unwillingness to cooperate, picked him up, cradled his head in one arm and his leg in the other, then slammed his opponent to the mat, almost getting the pin. Lang had to settle for a decision, a fact that he was not happy with. The decisions for the Cats offset the pin of freshman Randy Eggen (140) in his first varsity action of the year. A major decision loss of sophomore Tim Harasti (160), also in his first varsity action, put the Cats back on their heels, 23-18.Senior Brent Lang (189) cradled his opponent into a ball, putting his shoulders to the mat for the slap at the 47 second mark of the second round, and David Kazman (189) fallowed suit with just 1:27 left during the third round, as the Cats took their first substantial lead, 30-23.This was the toughest team we could put out on the floor, said Karjalainen. The night ended with junior Sean Hogan (275) losing by decision, but to the team and the loud fans it did not matter, as pandemonium took over the gymnasium.Oak Harbor 33, Cascade 26103-K. Lang (OH) pinned Foster, :13. 112-Harvey (C) dec. Garcia, 3-1 OT. 119-Kubec (C) pinned Isaacson, 1:17. 125-Krier (C) dec. Nicolas, 7-1. 130-Pruss (OH) dec. Garcia, 3-2. 135-Wichers (OH) dec. R. Douglas, 7-2. 140-C. Douglas pinned Eggen, 1:19. 145-Thompson (OH) dec. Erickson, 5-1. 152-Bri. Lang (OH) dec. Huston, 7-3. 160-McDonnell (C) won by tech. fall over Harasti, 20-4. 171-Bre. Lang (OH) pinned Buchan, 1:13. 189-Kazman (OH) pinned Schoelles, 4:33. 215-Whiteman (OH) dec. Roe, 5-1. 275-Calderon (C) dec. Hogan, 9-2. Records-Cascade 8-2 in league and overall. Oak Harbor 10-0, 11-1. Cascade 64, Oak Harbor 48Kayla Huss scored 18 points and had nine assists, LuAnne Anderson scored 15 points and nine rebounds and Michelle Sullivan scored 14 points and had four steals to lead Cascade in the Wesco 4A game. Marcy Manibusan scored a game-high 24 points for Oak Harbor. At Cascade H.S. Oak Harbor 7 15 13 13 - 48 Cascade 23 16 16 9 - 64 Oak Harbor: Bull 2, Hartman 3, Manibusan 24, King 3, Bratt 1, Philips 5, Armstrong 7, Spears 3. Cascade: Huss 18, Lienhard 4, Baines 3, Beakins 2, Harpell 2, Sullivan 14, Anderson 15, Smoke 6. 3-point goals: Manibusan 7, Philips 1, Huss 2, Baines 1, Sullivan 1. JV score: Oak Harbor def. Cascade. Records: Oak Harbor 2-8 in league, 4-12 overall. Cascade 9-1, 15-1. "