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home : sports : huskie sports May 28, 2016

1/31/2013 2:01:00 PM
Girls take fourth at Duals
Sophomore Tatum Sparks works her way toward a pin over Nooksack Valley’s Alberta Garcia Saturday, Jan. 19. Photo by Erik Pague.
Sophomore Tatum Sparks works her way toward a pin over Nooksack Valley’s Alberta Garcia Saturday, Jan. 19. Photo by Erik Pague.
Erik Pague

SPOKANE - The Huskies girls wrestling team took fourth place at Saturday's Dream Duals held in East Valley High School. Othello lost a few key varsity grapplers prior to the tournament, which head coach JJ Martinez said affected the team's chance at winning a few key matches.
After a solid win against the Renegade team, Othello lost in the semifinals against Nooksack Valley and just missed out on a third-place finish with a loss to Sedro-Wooley. Martinez said those two final duals came down to a couple of close matches and things just didn't work out in Othello's favor this time.
"Against Nooksack Valley, we came up one match short of getting in the finals," he said. "Same thing for third and fourth, we came up one match short of winning and taking third. It goes to show how with three varsity girls out of the lineup, how valuable each and every single one of them are toward that varsity squad."
With Tori Zambrano out injured, along with Phelicia Perez and Lexy Garza missing, it was up to some JV wrestlers to step up. Martinez was happy with how they gave their best. But, against some tough competition they came up short.
"Some of them won matches and some of them didn't, but they did all they could to try to keep the team in it," Martinez said. "I was very proud of them to go out there and fill in those holes for us and not give up more points than we were already down by."
Othello's veteran wrestlers continued to do well. Sophomore Tatum Sparks and senior Allesha Reyes both went 3-0 while the other senior Julissa Valenciano wrestled up a weight class at 118-pounds to finish 2-1 on the day.
"The veterans just continue to get better," Martinez said about their solid performances.
With this setback, Martinez knows it's even more crucial now for the team to buy into the team effort that's been a big part of their success thus far this season. While disappointing now, the fourth-place finish should be an eye-opener for his girls as they approach the postseason.
"Now we can learn from what a bad weekend can do to us and move on from it," he said. "We've experienced it now and hopefully, that's the only time we'll have to experience it and look forward to the next couple great weekends we could have leading up to the state tournament."
Tuesday, the girls traveled to Quincy to participate in some mixed matches and get some important competition experience before heading back to East Valley Feb. 2 for district tournaments. Results weren't available as of press time, but Martinez said his team is eager to find more success after last weekend's disappointment.
"We've got to get hungry again," he said. "Our season's over and now we're heading into the second half of the season where it's win or go home."
He feels like his team will step up to the challenge and meet their season goal of bringing home state titles. There isn't any other choice but to win.
"It's either now or never," he said.

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