Bothell's Davidson takes third at state wrestling; two Vikings place | Slideshow
By TIM WATANABE
Bothell Reporter Reporter
February 21, 2012 · Updated 2:59 PM
Bothell's Brandon Davidson, now in his junior year, is inching closer and closer to his goal of become a state champion like his brother Justin, who turned the trick in 2003 while wrestling for the Cougars.
The younger Davidson placed fifth last year, and went 5-1 this weekend at the Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome to place third in the state at the 152-pound weight class. In the finals, he defeated Bethel's Trevor Anderson in a thrilling match, 4-3.
Anderson, who had won four straight matches to reach the finals against Davidson, was up early 1-0 before Davidson turned the tide, scoring a takedown and taking a 3-1 lead into the third period.
With 30 seconds left, Davidson got taken down to the mat to tie the score at 3-3, which caused the elder Davidson and head coach Scott LaBrash to get up off of their mat-side chairs.
"It was intense, when (Davidson) got taken down with 30 seconds left, my heart just sank," LaBrash recalled. "It was scary."
With the match about to go into overtime, Davidson pulled through in the closing seconds with a one-point escape to win 4-3.
"He controlled the match, he knew he had 30 seconds left," said LaBrash on the match's tense ending. "He got into position to get (the escape), and he got it. Smart wrestling on his part."
Davidson, who said he got "sloppy" in the third period prior to getting taken down, said that he was happy to come away third, although he fell short of his ultimate goal after falling to eventual runner-up Tyler McLean of Mead, 7-0.
"Going into it, I knew (Anderson) was pretty strong," Davidson said. "I'm just happy to win and take third… my goal was to get into the finals, but worst-case, get third which I did. I guess I have to be happy, but I'm a little disappointed with the loss earlier."
Davidson's run included two match wins that ended in a 1-0 final score, which coincided with the junior's plan to "wrestle safe," and not give up easy points by being overly aggressive.
"At his weight group, there were a lot of kids that are fairly even, so we just wanted to wrestle smart, and wrestle safe," LaBrash noted.
Davidson added, "The match I did lose earlier was because I was too aggressive, getting out of position, and giving up easy points."
After a fifth and now a third-place performance on the state's biggest stage for high school wrestling, it appears that the 152-pounder will have a great chance to follow in Justin's footsteps and become one of the rare pairs of brothers that own state wrestling titles.
LaBrash won't have it any other way.
"We have one more year to go after that state title, and I truly think he has a shot at it," he said. "To go from fifth to third, we're climbing. That's the direction you want to go."
VIKINGS GET A TASTE OF VICTORY AT STATE
Though the Inglemoor wrestling team managed just two eighth-place finishes this year at the Mat Classic by juniors Gabe Seward, wresting at 138, at Josh Koukal, at 195, head coach Paul Schulfer said the real story was the big picture.
He took five Vikings to the Dome this year, and each of this athletes won a match, the first time that has happened in the seven years he has been with the program.
"That's amazing… I've never seen that before," said Schulfer on the fact that no Viking went two-and-out. "Our two placers, Josh and Gabe, are both juniors, they're coming back next year. I know they were hoping for a little better than eighth, but they're happy that they placed, and now the bar is set for next year."
The road to a medal was not easy for the Vikings.
Both Seward and Koukal were in the consolation bracket on Friday night and needed to win to stay alive in the tournament, and both came through by a single point – Seward with a 5-4 win over Aron Set-Heit of Todd Beamer, and Koukal with a 3-2 win over Olympia's Tanner Hartsoch.
On Friday, sophomore Mitchell Barker won a consolation match against Kevin Bishop of Mount Rainier, 9-5, and seniors Sam Gastineau and Ben Carson, wrestling for a final time in a Viking uniform, both won a match, with Gastineau pinning Auburn's Stephen Heinze in 5 minutes, 8 seconds, and Carson beating Mason Ju of Mead, 5-3, to advance to the quarterfinals of the 220-pound bracket before losing twice.
"They did well and were happy to get here, the matches they lost were all pretty close – they were definitely hanging in there," said Schulfer on his two state-bound seniors. "They had great seasons."
Inglemoor junior Josh Koukal gets picked up by Central Valley's Kolton Cole in the 195-pound 7th/8th place finals on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome's Mat Classic XXIV. Koukal fell to Cole 8-3 in the match to place eighth. Tim Watanabe, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter