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State wrestling notebook: Controversial finish costs Mountain Home wrestler third state title

Idaho wrestling state tournament: Controversial finish to 4A 113-pound title match

Did Minico wrestler Eddie Daniel perform an illegal backflip to win the 4A 113-pound title match, or was it in response to Mountain Home's Pierce Mederios taking him down?
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Did Minico wrestler Eddie Daniel perform an illegal backflip to win the 4A 113-pound title match, or was it in response to Mountain Home's Pierce Mederios taking him down?

After more than 15 minutes of debate, Minico junior Eddie Daniel was awarded a 6-4 decision in overtime in the 4A classification’s 113-pound championship match Saturday at Holt Arena.

It was a hard pill to swallow for Mountain Home junior Pierce Mederios, who paced the mat while his coaches argued with officials over the fate of his bid to become a three-time state champion.

At issue was Daniel’s winning move.

Officials ruled Daniel’s backflip was a legal move caused by Mederios’ leg sweep, resulting in a two-point takedown for Daniel.

Had it been decided that Daniel initiated the backflip, it would have been a technical violation, resulting in a one-point win for Mederios.

“It sucks. It’s hard to take, but I know that I gave it everything that I could,” Mederios said. “There’s nothing more that I could have done. It’s just a call that didn’t go my way.”

According to Rule 7, Section 1, Article 5, Letter W, standing backflips are listed as illegal holds/maneuvers.

Mountain Home appealed the ruling on Mederios’ behalf, which led to the 15-minute delay.

“I know that backflip didn’t used to be illegal, but it has been illegal for a few years now,” Mederios said. “There’s nothing I can do about it now. I’m happy with how I performed, and I am moving on.”

COLUMBIA MAKES LATE CHARGE FOR SECOND

Heading into the final two championship matches of the day, Columbia sat in third place in the 5A team standings behind conference rival Meridian.

But wins from Columbia senior Scott McDonald (220) and junior Brandon Kipper (285) wrested the second-place trophy out of the Warriors’ hands.

Post Falls’ second consecutive 5A team title was hardly ever in doubt. The Trojans totaled 255 points, followed by Columbia (173), Meridian (166) and Centennial (158).

“For them to dig deep for two days and to be in that battle with Meridian and Centennial was very admirable. I am very proud of them,” Columbia coach Todd Cady said. “We’ve been lying to them all week saying first-place was very doable, but Post Falls is a phenomenal team.

“I think any other year, taking second, we’d kind of have a bitter taste in our mouth. But for this group and how young they are and how resilient they were all season, second place is quite an accomplishment.”

Six of the 15 title matches at the 5A level went to Valley teams. Here are the other four winners:

▪ Making his third appearance in a championship match, Meridian senior Jacob Garrison broke through for his first win, beating Post Falls sophomore Braydon Huber at 126.

“I knew I put the work in, so it was time to put it away,” Garrison said.

▪ Fifth-seeded Ryan Wilson of Centennial continued his upset run at 113 with a 3-1 decision over Post Falls’ Mathias DeLaRosa. Wilson knocked off No. 1 Kade Lincoln of Skyline in the semifinals.

▪ Centennial junior Jaron Chavez collected his second individual championship with a 12-2 major decision against Nampa’s Tyler Cobb at 160. Chavez finishes the season 42-1.

▪ James Humphrey of Centennial wrapped up his prep career by beating Rocky Mountain’s Harrison McLenna 6-2 for the 195-pound title.

POST FALLS SENIOR WINS FOUR IN A ROW

Alius DeLaRosa went into the Idaho record books with his fourth individual championship. DeLaRosa blanked Centennial junior James Fisher 6-0 at 145 to finish the season 39-1. He was one of four Trojans to claim a title.

FRUITLAND, WEISER SHARE SECOND PLACE

Snake River won its second straight 3A team title with 232 points, holding off Fruitland and Weiser, which each finished with 203.

Fruitland junior Sammy Eckhart won his third individual championship with a pin of Sugar-Salem junior Colby Ingram at 138.

“It feels really good, because my dad was a two-time state champ from Kuna,” Eckhart said.

Grizzly teammates Jonathan Fagen (170) and Braden Phillips (220) also won titles.

Rounding out the Valley winners were Homedale senior Nash Johnson (145) and Weiser senior Kristian Claudio (152).

NEW PLYMOUTH NETS TWO WINNERS

Sophomore Joe Rice and senior Levi Austin each secured their second individual championships, leading New Plymouth to a fifth-place finish.

Rice earned a 10-4 decision over North Gem’s Dawson Barfuss at 106, while Austin edged Challis’ Kade Bruno 5-4 at 113.

Ririe locked up back-to-back team titles with 269 points and two individual champs.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @IDS_VarsityX

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