The Soldotna High School wrestling team edged visiting Nikiski High School 39-30 in dual competition Tuesday on senior night, benefitting from a pair of forfeits as well as a gritty performance from its highest-ranked athlete.
Soldotna's Auston Tennis, ranked No. 2 in the state at 145 pounds and coming off an individual title at the Glen Vandergaw Classic at Dimond High School, outlasted Kaden Spurgeon 5-2 in the final, and decisive, match of the evening
With the Stars leading 36-30, Tennis earned three points in the third period to break what had been a 2-2 tie to beat Spurgeon, who is ranked No. 2 in the state at 145 in the small schools classification and had defeated Tennis in previous matches.
"It was intense," SoHi coach Scooter Hackett said. "Auston's been working really hard and it's beginning to pay off."
It's been a busy week for Tennis, who was named Wrestler of the Week by AKMat after defeating the state's top-ranked athlete at 145, Matt Downing, at the Vandergaw Classic.
"Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off and win a state championship," Hackett said.
Tuesday, the Stars received pins from Taylor Hanley (130) and Dakota Elsey (189), while Dusty Poole (140) and Logan Patrick (160) earned victories by decision.
Cody Warfield earned six points for SoHi at 171 when his opponent couldn't continue after a first-period injury.
The Bulldogs were led by Dakota Neely (103), Sawyer Skiba (135), Tyler Peek (152) and Allen Oskolkoff (215). All of them picked up pins.
Soldotna 39, Nikiski 30
152 -- Tyler Peek, Nik, p. Hunter Hamrick, 1:21; 160 -- Logan Patrick, Sol, dec. Floyd Armstrong, 7-3; 171 -- Cody Warfield, Sol, won by injury, Karl Buchholz; 189 -- Dakota Elsey, Sol, p. Jesse Eide, :41; 215 -- Allen Oskolkoff, Nik, p. Kyler Ledet, 5:33; HWT -- AJ Briggs, Sol, won by forfeit; 103 -- Dakota Neely, Nik, p. Taran Edmondson, 3:48; 112 -- Shawn Burdick, Nik, won by forfeit; 119 -- Tim Price, Sol, won by forfeit; 125 -- double forfeit; 130 -- Taylor Hanley, Sol, p. Mike Stangel, :35; 135 -- Sawyer Skiba, Nik, p. Tyler Powell, 5:35; 140 -- Dusty Poole, Sol, dec. Nathan Stangel, 6-4 (OT); 145 -- Auston Tennis, Sol, dec. Kaden Spurgeon, 5-2.
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