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Bengals take down Bantams at sixth annual Golden Plunger wrestling meet

Jan. 25—The wrestling community from the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley came out in full force to Clarkston High School on Wednesday to witness the sixth annual "Golden Plunger" wrestling dual between the Bengals and Bantams.

Former Lewiston and Clarkston grapplers were scattered throughout Kramer Gym to watch the cross-town rivals square off, but they were present on the sidelines as well.

The Bantams' headman, Corey Thivierge, won a state title at CHS in 1996, and his assistant, Dan Maurer, helped lead Lewiston to a state title in 2012 as a head coach.

"Everybody is coming back," Thivierge said. "My uncle even came back, and he graduated in 1989. I think this gym is the best place to have this dual. Hopefully next year we'll have it during the Golden Throne basketball game. We'll see."

The magnitude of Wednesday's festivities wasn't lost on the wrestlers, as Lewiston came away with a 53-24 victory over Clarkston.

"We wanted it this year," Lewiston wrestling coach Colton Maddy said. "We split matches with them last year, and we wanted to go out tonight and just smash all night, and I think we did a good job of that."

The only thing missing after the event was the Golden Plunger — the rivalry's traveling trophy.

According to Maddy, it "disappeared," so hopefully the Golden Throne doesn't get backed up anytime soon.

Here are some of the marquee moments from Wednesday's dual:

Setting a new record

When Lewiston's Brice Cuthbert registered his first takedown against Grant Stevens at 175 pounds, the Bengal faithful said "one" in unison, which is a bit odd considering a takedown is two points.

Once Cuthbert allowed Stevens to get to his feet, he took him down again, and the Lewiston fans came alive once more, saying "two." At this point, it was clear they were tracking Cuthbert's takedowns.

Entering the dual, Cuthbert was No. 2 in the Bengal record books for takedowns in a season, and needed 10 more for the top spot.

He was on a mission, telling Maddy he wanted to break the record against Clarkston, and he did, recording his 10th takedown of the match and 144th of the season with 25 seconds left in the second period.

Cuthbert got the pin with 48 seconds remaining in regulation. He was ahead 25-11 when he recorded the fall.

"He went out and got it done," Maddy said. "I congratulated him afterward and said, 'Now let's see how far you can break it.' There's still a lot of wrestling left this season, and I'm just so proud of him. He put in a lot of work this offseason, and he represents the team well."

Ws for the Wezas

Half of the Bantams' wins came from the Weza family.

MaKenzie Weza had a come-from-behind victory against Lewiston's Jimmy Sams at 106.

Sams had control for the majority of the match and was catering to a 12-5 lead to start the third period.

The Bengal recorded a takedown to start the final frame to increase his advantage to 14-5.

As the clock began to bleed out, the pair of grapplers were battling on the edge of the mat, and as a "Hail Mary," Weza reached back and overpowered Sams, which got him to his back, resulting in a victory for the second-year wrestler.

"She has no give-up in her," Thivierge said. "We kept telling her he's going to get tired, and ultimately that's what happened and what cost him the match."

MaKenzie's older brother, Gabe, notched a second-period pin over Lewiston's Chris Porter at 126.

Gabe likes to "get funky," according to Thivierge, and that was apparent during the early stages of the second period.

In the second frame, Weza looked like he was trying to cinch in the WWE submission move "The Walls of Jericho," but he eventually was able to get a reversal to go ahead 4-2. He'd pin Porter later in the period.

"Gabe wants to get funky," Thivierge said. "Before this thing started, we had a deal with the team: If anyone gets a pin in a spladle, I'll buy them a milkshake. So Gabe wanted a splade bad, so that's what happened; he just kept trying to get it, and when he finally settled down and wrestled his match, you saw the outcome."

Hvass vs. Bailey II

The Clearwater Classic title bout rematch between Lewiston's Hoyt Hvass and Dawson Bailey at 132 was the main event of the evening.

Both grapplers failed to record a point in the first period. But to begin the second, Hvass got an escape to go ahead 1-0.

With six seconds remaining in the second period, Hvass notched a takedown to go ahead 3-0.

In a surprising decision, Bailey took the down position to start the third period.

Statistically, down three, that's not a bad decision, but Hvass is one of the best wrestlers in the state from the top position.

Hvass tacked on three more points from near fall and never let Bailey get close to his feet. He won the match 6-0.

"Hoyt's a buzzsaw on top," Maddy said. "Honestly, I was a little surprised they threw him on bottom. ... I almost expected them to chase two takedowns, but it was like a lot of times when they wrestle, a lot of tough physical hand fighting, and the longer the match goes on, the longer Hoyt wears on people."

Lewiston 53, Clarkston 24

106 — Mackenzie Weza, Clarkston, p. Jimmy Sams, third. 113 — Joely Slyter, Lewiston, tech fall, Joelyn Hartt, 17-1. 120 — Coen Roberts, Lewiston, p. Colby Valdez, third. 126 — Gabe Weza, Clarkston, p. Chris Porter, second. 132 — Hoyt Hvass, Lewiston, dec. Dawson Bailey, 6-0. 138 — Gunnar Whitlock, Lewiston p. Geo Alba, first. 144 — Bodee Thivierge, Clarkston, p. Mason Faling, third. 150 — Austin Crea, Lewiston, p. Tommy Samuels, first. 157 — Wiley Wagner, Lewiston, dec. William Mosman, 11-5. 165 — Cole Lockart, Lewiston, p. Silas Newhouse, first. 175 — Brice Cuthbert, Lewiston, p. Grant Stevens, third. 190 — Landynn Lynch, Lewiston by forfeit. 215 — Markus Ellenwood, Clarkston, p. Jacob Louis, first. 285 — King David Rhodes, Lewiston, p. Justyn Watters, Clarkston, first.

Pixley may be contacted at tpixley@lmtribune.com, (208) 848-2268 or on Twitter @TreebTalks.