PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles has one of the best 145-pound wrestlers in the state.
In the Roughriders’ Olympic League dual meet against archrival Sequim, he was the best 152-pounder on the mat.
Adam Raemer topped Sequim 152-pounder Dakotah Hinton 10-1 in the premier match of the night — one put together by a late move from Rider coach Erik Gonzalez — to lead a charge of eight straight Port Angeles wins and a 46-36 triumph over the Wolves.
“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got the right matchups,” Gonzalez said. “Sometimes that’s one of the things that people who don’t know wrestling real well don’t understand is that it is a chess match.
“I wanted to make sure we had the best possible matchups we could get, and it worked out for us.”
A forfeit and three straight Sequim pins by Zach Sisco (125), Cody Field (135) and Mustang Riggins (140) put the Wolves ahead 24-0 early on.
That’s when Gonzalez’s switch, putting the 145-pounder Raemer up a class and pitting Port Angeles’ Mustang Collins against Harrison Mitchell at 145, quickly turned the tide.
Collins responded with a 47-second pin of Mitchell, Raemer grinded out a tough 10-1 win over Hinton at 152 and all of the sudden the Riders were on a roll.
“It was about what we expected. We’re pretty young, and we didn’t have real good matchups,” Sequim coach Len Borchers said. “Erik moved his lineup around real well.
“I knew Erik well enough that I thought he might do that . . . and it worked. It was a good move.”
Trevor Lee (160), Brandon Vaught (171), Jacob Dostie (189), Nathan Cristion (215) and Cory Roblan (285) each scored pins in succession after Raemer’s win.
“Our kids did exactly what we needed them to do,” Gonzalez said. “It felt good. We needed it in the end.”
The Wolves’ Kenny Griffith (112) and Derek Fruin (119) had pins to close out the duel, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Port Angeles, which got revenge for last year’s league duel loss in Sequim.
“It feels good beating Sequim, of course,” Raemer said. “You could tell, the whole gym got into it and everyone got into it and we got on a roll there.
“There’s definitely momentum [when your team strings together wins]. It’s way easier to win when the guy before you won, and it just keeps going, and going and going.
“As soon as the guy before wins, you just think you have to win.”
Raemer found a tough challenge in Hinton.
The Sequim sophomore has the team’s best record at 15-6 this season. In Raemer, he went up against Class 3A’s second-ranked 145-pounder.
Raemer quickly scored a pair of takedowns and a near fall in the first round.
, then got a reversal and a takedown in the final two rounds to hold off Hinton.
“He was a little tougher than I expected,” Raemer said. “It was a good tough match, but I was able to come out with a win in the end.”
Added Gonzalez, “Dakotah is their best kid right now, and I knew that going in.
“So I definitely wanted to get that matchup, not only in terms of winning this duel but also in terms of getting Adam the best competition I could get for him.”
He and the rest of the Riders should get plenty of that at Sequim’s annual Rainshadow Tournament this weekend.
While Port Angeles can spend today gearing up for the tournament, Sequim must travel to Port Townsend for another league duel.
“It’s going to be a long week,” Borchers said, “especially right after [winter] vacation.
“At some of our practices we had 12 or 13 kids [during the break]. Then we were back to 30 on Monday, so a lot of kids are pretty out of it right now.”
Port Angeles 46, Sequim 36
103 — Basden (PA) forfeit
112 — Griffith (SE) pin Mulhair (PA), 3:16
119 — Fruin (SE) pin Hergert (PA), 0:42
125 — Sisco (SE) pin Schmidt (PA), 1:12
130 — Babb (SE) forfeit
135 — Field (SE) pin Tweter (PA), 1:13
140 — Riggins (SE) pin Sullivan (PA), 2:52
145 — Collins (PA) pin Mitchell (SE), 0:47
152 — Raemer (PA) def. Hinton (SE), 10-1
160 — Lee (PA) pin Yasumura (SE), 1:15
171 — Vaught (PA) pin Pizzuto (SE), 1:24
189 — Dostie (PA) pin Morgan (SE), 1:18
215 — Cristion (PA) pin Charley (SE), 1:11289 — Roblan (PA) pin Bearden (SE), 5:01