Borah High wrestling coach Bill West didnt come to the 11th annual Grapple for the Granite thinking he would need to move a 300-pound rock by the end of the night.
Lucky for West, his wrestlers did the moving for him after the Lions pulled off a surprise win Wednesday night at Boise High.
Borah opened the double-dual format city championship featuring the Boise School Districts four public high schools by knocking off Timberline 54-27. The Lions then met Capital 40-35 winners over Boise in the championship dual, winning 52-33. Defending champion Boise settled for third place by beating Timberline 72-14.
To be honest, I didnt think we had a chance, West said. ... Weve struggled all year. I think the last dual match we won was probably Bucks Bags at the beginning of the season.
Starting in 2003, Boise, Borah, Capital and Timberline have met for the city championship. The winner takes home the granite rock and earns the right to host the event the following season.
Borahs victory Wednesday was the third for the Lions in four seasons. They now have the most wins among the Boise schools with five. Capital has four Grapple victories and Boise and Timberline each have one.
Ive got to give credit to these kids. We havent been happy. Weve been struggling, West said. We worked them pretty hard the last couple of weeks and obviously they came in with a little more confidence than I had. ... Its kind of neat. I think they really salvaged the season for themselves and theyre real happy. Theyre proud, which they ought to be.
With the title match tied 30-30 and 10 of the 15 weight classes complete, the dual began to shift in the Lions favor.
Borahs Josh Slater won by pin at 126 pounds, followed by victories for Tyler Lopez (132), Jonny Blanton (138) and Taylor Owens (145).
West credited unexpected victories by senior Dakota Bennett (160) and freshman Jacob Cole (113) for helping the Lions earn the upset.
Bennett one of just two seniors on the Lions roster broke through at the perfect time, picking up his first two varsity wins of the season. Bennett won by pin over Timberlines Joe Langworthy and Capitals Steven Mendez.
We got the rock back, so its a great day, Bennett said. I was a lot more aggressive in these matches, and it just felt awesome to be out there fighting as hard as I could.
Borah also got two victories from Shea Randall (98), Slater (126), Lopez (132), Blanton (138), Owens (145) and Eric Thrift (182).
The coaches made us work, work, work. They told us not to give up. It pays off on the mat, Lopez said. I think this is a great boost of confidence. The way we are wrestling right now, I think we can do really well.
Wrestling teams wrap up the 5A Southern Idaho Conference regular season this week. The district tournament is Feb. 15-16 at Centennial High, and state runs Feb. 22-23 at Holt Arena in Pocatello.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX