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Bressler wins Pacific Coast championship
By CASEY OLSON
Decatur senior Kyle Bressler continued his domination on the wrestling mat. Bressler won the prestigious 189-pound individual title at the Pacific Coast Wrestling Championships in Vancouver, Wash. Dec. 30.
Bressler, who won the 189-pound Class 4A state championship last year as a junior, beat Shaun Dee of Southridge High School in the final match 3-1 in overtime. Bressler scored a two-point takedown in the overtime period after the two wrestled to a 1-1 tie after three, two-minute regulation periods.
As a team, the Gators finished up in 11th place overall in the 35-team tournament with 93 points. Heritage High School, from Vancouver, won the team title with 181 points. Heritage won last years Class 4A state championship. The tournament also included schools from California and Oregon. Enumclaw was the highest placing team from the South Puget Sound League in third place and Rogers, from the SPSL South, finished sixth. Decatur and Rogers will meet tonight in Puyallup for sole possession of first place in the SPSL South. Both teams sit at 3-0 in league duals.
Other Decatur placers at the Pacific Coast Wrestling Championships were Dustin English at 130 pounds (seventh place) and Taylor McCluskey at 215 pounds (fifth place).
The 189-pound division was all set to come down to rematch between Bressler and Bothells Scott LaBrash. The two wrestlers have developed one of the better rivalries in the state over the last couple years and were on opposite sides of the bracket during the Dec. 30 tournament. But LaBrash was pinned in the quarterfinals by an Oregon wrestler dropping him into the losers bracket. Bressler beat LaBrash in the state finals last year after losing to him at regionals and in the first round of the 2002 Mat Classic.
Bressler pinned Rusty Phillips from Kentwood in his first round match, pinned Oregon Citys Ben Blood in the second round, beat West Clovis Will Schneider 9-3 in the quarters and won by technical fall over Crook Countys Steven Brock in the semifinals.
McCluskey won his first-round match at 215, but lost in the second round to Bethels Ben Hawk. The Decatur junior then won four matches in a row in the consolation bracket before losing to Hawk again. McCluskey then beat West Linns Logan Raivio 3-2 to earn fifth place.
English won his first two matches of the day, before losing in the quarterfinals. The 130-pounder then pinned Heritages Cory Dodge to place seventh.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org