TACOMA — Aggressiveness was the plan of attack for the Evergreen Plainsmen on Friday.
It was a pretty good plan.
Three attack-minded Plainsmen earned semifinal berths during the first day of the Class 4A competition at the Tacoma Dome.
Ramon Ortiz at 120 pounds, Tekwon Wallace at 152, and Anthony Thomas at 170 all will wrestle on Saturday morning with an opportunity to reach the state finals. Also reaching the Class 4A semifinals were Tye Lommasson of Camas (126) and Junior Godinho of Union (132).
The most dramatic path to the final four was forged by Wallace. The Evergreen senior used a takedown in the final seconds to avoid overtime and beat South Kitsap’s Adam Gascoyne in the 152-pound quarterfinals.
“It was a low single (shot),” Wallace said of his move with four seconds on the clock that broke a 4-all tie. “I really did not want to go into overtime.”
Wallace said he let himself down by bowing out in consolation here last season. He said he had to take advantage of Gascoyne’s fatigue as time ran down.
“I like when I see people gassed (tired),” Wallace said. “That just gives me more energy to go for it. I saw that he was gassing, so I went for it.”
The challenge is a bit different for Ortiz, a junior who entered the tournament as the top-ranked Class 4A 120-pounder according to Washington Wrestling Report.
“There is some pressure on me. I’m a target. But I’m not really worried about that,” Ortiz said.
In both of his Friday matches — wins by scores of 6-0 and 14-3 — Ortiz took control in the second half of the match.
“The strategy was just keep the pressure on them, and then in the third round I was able to take control,” Ortiz said.
The challenge Saturday morning will be to get a bit of revenge. Pasco’s Timmy Martinez, a sophomore ranked second in Class 4A, beat Ortiz 3-1 in a previous meeting.
“It’s going to be intense,” Ortiz said. “I’m just going to keep the pressure coming.”
Thomas, the Evergreen senior 170-pounder, was dominant on Friday. He won his first match with a second-round pin, then beat South Kitsap’s Bryce Boome 10-0 in the quarterfinals.
Union saw seven of its wrestlers reach the quarterfinals, but only one Titan is alive for a championship. After a disappointing regional tournament, Junior Godinho worked his way to two tight victories on Friday — a 3-1 win over Mead’s Cameron Hunt followed by a 5-1 win over Nathan Vulliet of Edmonds Woodway.
Camas 126-pounder Lommasson made quick work of Wyatt Larson, pinning the of Cascade-Everett wrestler 47 seconds into his first round match. In the quarterfinals, Lommasson pulled away in the second half of his match for a 9-3 win over Brad Fox from Moses Lake.