Ashley captured the Class 1B/2B title by defeating Colfax’s Caden Noha, 6-5, in the 182-pound finals at the Tacoma Dome on February 22.
In addition to making him the program’s first dual titlist, the victory also made Ashley a four-time state placer. He also won the 152-pound state title last year to go with his fourth-place finish at 145 pounds as a sophomore and his sixth-place finish at 126 pounds as a freshman.
“We’ve coached him since he was in middle school. So, it’s been six years with him and to have him be a two-time state champion and a four-time state placer is huge,” Adna head coach Craig Ferrier said. “It’s unbelievable to see that. For how small our program is to have that level of talent has been really awesome.”
Ashley claimed last year’s 152-pound crown with an 8-1 triumph over Lake Roosevelt’s Tony Nichols.
Title No. 2 would be a bit closer.
In the championship match, Ashley scored the only points in the first period on a takedown 58 seconds into the match to take a 2-0 lead into the second period. Noha cut the deficit in half with a reversal early in the second before Ashley once again doubled up the score with a reversal of his own with 37 seconds remaining in the period.
A late escape by Noha trimmed Ashley’s advantage to 4-3 heading into the third period.
Both wrestlers registered two-point reversals in the final minute with Ashley’s coming first with 42 seconds remaining followed by Noha’s with 20 ticks left on the clock. However, Ashley was able to hold off his opponent in the final moments to give him his second career state championship.
After receiving a bye in the first round, Ashley cruised to his second straight finals by pinning Davenport’s Sam Schneider by in the quarterfinals (3:39) and Lake Roosevelt’s Sergio Galicia in the semifinals (1:16).
“He’s just been dominant this year,” Ferrier said about Ashley. “You don’t realize how strong he is until you wrestle him. When he gets in there on those takedowns and he can still get in and elevate you up it’s just a testament to how hard he’s worked.”
Ashton Dowell became the first Adna wrestler to win a state title in 2018 after winning the 170-pound championship as a junior. Dowell finished second at 170 last year in his bid to become the Pirates’ first two-time state champion.
Ashley was one of five local wrestlers to place at the 1B/2B state championships.
Toledo saw three wrestlers end their season with a trip to the podium as the Indians received a sixth-place from junior Trey Rego in the 145-pound division, while teammates Michael Echtle and Hunter Smith placed third and sixth, respectively, at 220 pounds.
Both Echtle and Smith were able to navigate through the consolation bracket after both lost in the 220-pound quarterfinals.
Echtle, a senior, fell to eventual state champion Josiah Cwik of Liberty (Spangle) in the second round before winning four consecutive matches, including a 5-4 decision over Mabton sophomore Marcos Velasquez in the placing round.
Winlock senior Dusty Thayer took home sixth place in the 126-pound division.
W.F. West had four wrestlers place to help the Bearcats finish fifth overall as a team in the 2A state tournament.
Toppenish easily captured the 2A championship with a gaudy 247.5 points. Orting was second with 179 points. White River (96 points) was third and Selah (85.5) was fourth, while W.F. West tied with Othello for fifth with both programs posting 69 points.
Isaac Reavis was the Bearcats top placer, finishing third at 195 pounds. The senior defeated Lance Menes of Port Angeles by pin (1:01) in the first round and Rocco Clark III of Toppenish by tiebreaker (3-2) in the quarterfinals before losing to North Kitsap’s Nouh Hammou in the semifinals.
Reavis closed out his high school career with back-to-back victories, knocking off Tumwater’s Tyler Woods (4-1) in the consolation round and Ephrata’s Kevin Pelayo (4-3) in the placing round.
W.F. West also received a fifth-place finish from Brady Davis (120 pounds), a sixth from Evan Moon (152) and a fourth from Daniel Matagi (220) in the 2A boys’ tournament, while Xylia Warner placed third at 140 pounds in the girls’ tournament.
Centralia had three wrestlers place at the 2A boys’ tournament. The Tigers got a sixth-place from Eduardo Matias (126), a seventh-place from Calen Hylton (170) and an eighth from Juan Gaspar (113).