The Bellingham boys' wrestling team pulled out two big wins on Wednesday, Jan. 22, and that's thanks in large part to the effort of Sergio Torres.
Torres recorded wins over Anacortes' Julien Collins and Lynden's Johnny Lara. The win over Lara came by pin in the 138-pound weight class, which Torres wrestled in despite spending much of the year in the 126-pound and 132-pound classes.
"He's definitely a key guy, and he's not missed anything whatsoever," Bellingham coach Tom Hinz said in a phone interview. "He's our man. ... You always need one of those guys who can jump up and get a big win."
Torres, who's coming off a 132-pound title at the Northwest Conference Championships this past weekend, has proved to be one of the Red Raiders' strongest voices.
"He's one of our biggest leaders on our team," Hinz said.
Torres has got some help, of course, and Riley Takemura has had an equally strong season wrestling at 126 pounds.
"He truly is the heart of the room," Hinz said of Takemura. "Riley is just one of those kids you really depend on."
V'DOVEC FINDS RHYTHM FOR BLAINE
Blaine 5-foot-11 post Taylor V'Dovec has seen her scoring numbers rise over her past three games, averaging 18.3 points per game over the stretch.
The senior posted two 20-point efforts - the first against Ferndale on Jan. 14, then again against Sehome on Jan. 20.
Blaine (9-5, Northwest Conference 5-2) has won five of its past six games, and V'Dovec's 14.6 average has combined well with the play of Mandy Hayes (12.3) and Lexi McElwain (10.7).
Though she's been on a recent surge, she's scored in double figures 12 times already.
SHEARER PLAYING KEY ROLE FOR FERNDALE
Austin Honeycutt is leading the Golden Eagles with 16.8 points per game, but it's been Brady Shearer who's taken the mantle as the top scorer for Ferndale the past few games.
Shearer is averaging 15 points per game over his past five games, raising his overall season average to 12.8. Despite his strong play, the Golden Eagles' tough-luck season continues, as three of their past four losses have come by eight points combined.
Ferndale sits eighth in the Northwest Conference standings, with a 4-4 record in conference play, but that includes a one-point loss to the No. 2 team in the league, Sedro-Woolley, while the Golden Eagles are the only NWC team to hand the fourth-ranked team in Class 2A, Anacortes, a loss.
SQUALICUM, SEHOME BOYS' SWIMMING SET FOR BIG MATCHUP
The Northwest Conference boys' swimming championship may very well be decided by the winner of the Squalicum-Sehome dual meet on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Arne Hanna Aquatic Center.
Both the Storm and the Mariners will enter the meet holding undefeated records.
Both Squalicum and Sehome have had close run-ins with a tough Bellingham squad. The Storm earned a two-point victory over the Red Raiders in its first meet of the season, 94-92, and the Mariners edged Bellingham 93-92 on Jan. 9.
The Storm also had to pull out a 94-92 win over Anacortes on Jan. 16, handing the Seahawks their first loss of the season.
Sehome ends its season with Anacortes on Thursday, Jan. 30.
Reach Alex Bigelow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.