Despite being down by three points going into the third and final round of his 160-pound match with Paso Robles’ Colton Madrigal, Atascadero High wrestler Seth Burchfield had a good feeling he’d win.
His opponent looked exhausted.
“It was kind of like, ‘When will this kid break?’ ” Burchfield said.
Well, it happened with 58 seconds left in the match. He scored three straight points before pinning Madrigal to give Atascadero six crucial points in the Greyhounds’ 38-27 win over Paso Robles on Tuesday night at Ewing Gym in the team dual meet’s season finale.
“He broke in the third period,” Burchfield said. “He just started folding.”
“It was a huge win,” Atascadero coach Chris Ferree added.
Pins weren’t easy to come by in this dual meeting, with Atascadero (5-1 PAC 7) finishing with four.
The most significant one happened in the final match between 132 pounders Jacko Clemmensen of Atascadero and Alan Mnatsukanian of Paso Robles, which needed at least a technical fall to overcome the 32-27 deficit at that point. But Clemmensen destroyed that hope by earning a pin with 24 seconds left.
The other pins came from Matt Ducasse at 195 and Andrew Bittle at 285.
“They have a great wrestling culture,” Ferree said about the Bearcats, “so for us to get a win was a great job for my kids tonight, for our program. It was a good effort all the way around.”
For the Greyhounds, the win was important in more ways than one.
It gave them that bounce-back feeling after falling 40-21 to Righetti last week, in which they suffered four one-point matches. It was Atascadero’s first loss in six years, Ferree said.
It also keeps their PAC 7 championship hopes alive. All they need to do know is finish ahead of Righetti in the points standing at the league tournament Feb. 4, which will be at Atascadero, to get a share of the title.
Atascadero went into Tuesday’s night meeting with Paso Robles (4-2 PAC 7) looking for some redemption. The Greyhounds jumped out to a 20-4 lead after the first six matches, with wins from Abe Halterman (145), Josh Osorio (152), Dylan Reid (170), Hunter Stemper (182), Ducasse and Burchfield.
From that point on, the Greyhounds knew they had to hold on. They survived, thanks to Clemmensen and Bittle’s pins — their only two wins in the final seven matches.
Besides Kevan Garcia’s 13-2 major decision at 138 to open the dual, Paso Robles also got victories from Trevor Torres (103), Robby Standley (113), Zac Holmes (120) and Davey Mills (126). At 220, Deonte Willis settled for a forfeit.
“We were able to get them early and get the extra superiority points in the majors and then our younger kids, our lighter weight kids, came through at the end and kept matches close,” Ferree said.