Hermiston has had success at the lower weights this season, but inexperience in the middle and upper weights has hindered the Bulldogs.
That storyline plagued the Bulldogs once again Thursday night as they dropped a 42-33 Mid-Columbia Conference match to host Hanford, and a 47-22 match to Kamiakin.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Hermiston coach Kyle Larson said. “In the Hanford dual, we lost six matches and got pinned in every one of them. It’s tough to win duals that way. Across the board, we have to go back to the room and put in the time.”
The Bulldogs led 27-6 through 138 pounds, getting pins from Zayne Helfer (106), Adrian Delgado (113), Gage Shipley (126) and Broc Remmer (138).
From there, the Falcons won six of the next eight matches.
Hayden Henry’s third-round pin of Blake Betz at 182 pound pulled the Falcons into a 30-30 tie with the Bulldogs.
Hanford’s Michael Bishop pinned Stanley Scott in 17 seconds at 195 to give Hanford the lead for good.
“You have to put up a fight,” Larson said. “You can’t let a guy just roll you and pin you.”
Hermiston’s Dustyn Coughlin earned a 3-0 decision over Casey Moddrell at 285, but the match already was out of reach.
Kamiakin and Hermiston traded matches early on, with Delgado opening the match with a pin of Blake Lanman at 113.
Back-to-back wins by the Braves at 120 and 126 gave them an 8-6 lead, but Jordan Franklin got it back for the Bulldogs with a 5-1 decision over Ryan Plumb at 132.
Kamiakin won the next three matches by fall, led by Austin Almaguer with a pin of Remmer at 138.
Trevor Wagner stopped the onslaught with a pin of Dylan Slover at 160, but a forfeit at 170 and pins by Gibby Marquez (182) and Jacob Olson (195) put the match away.
Coughlin went 2-0 on the night, beating Kamiakin’s Jaxin McCallum 13-3.
“We found our stride about 120,” Braves coach Jordan Anderson said. “They are a tough team and they are well coached. We are hitting our stride. Our arrow is pointing up right now.”
Hermiston will host the Farm City Tournament on Saturday. Action begins at 10 a.m.