Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
HILLSBORO — It's never an easy road at the Reser's Tournament of Champions, the unofficial all-classification wrestling state tournament, but Crater wrestler Tyler Thomas certainly had the deck stacked against him more than some at Liberty High School.
Thomas proved equal to the challenge Saturday, however, and wound up pacing the local contingent at the 24-team invitational tournament. The seventh-seeded 120-pounder upset a pair of state champions en route to an individual title that helped Crater finish seventh overall in the team standings.
The Comets also had heavyweight Derrick Turituri finish second, while Chase Mackey finished fourth at 160 and Morgan Walters was sixth at 126.
Hermiston won the team race with 221 points to snap Roseburg's four-year reign, followed by Crook County (148.5), Sweet Home (144), Redmond (126) and Roseburg (124). The Comets posted 121 points.
The unranked Thomas opened Saturday with a 6-0 decision over Hermiston's Wyatt Scribner, a 5A state champion one year ago. He followed that with a 4-2 decision in the finals against three-time defending 2A state champion Jared Kasch of Culver.
Turituri pinned Pendleton's PJ Schubert in 4 minutes, 31 seconds in the semifinals at 285, but Turituri was turned by Sweet Home's Zach Gill in the finals and pinned in 5:01.
Mackey dropped a 10-1 decision to Hermiston's Abraham Rodriguez in the semifinals at 160 and then was edged by a late rally in the third-place final by Canby's Keith Nichols. Walters was pinned by Oregon City's Kyle Sether with one minute left in the second round in their semifinal showdown at 126.
Casey Coulter won the individual title at 113 to pace Grants Pass, which finished 16th overall and saw Kjell Thorsen place fifth at 145.
TEAM SCORES — 1. Hermiston, 221; 2. Crook County, 148.5; 3. Sweet Home, 144; 4. Redmond, 126; 5. Roseburg, 124; 6. David Douglas, 122; 7. Crater, 121; 8. Hillsboro, 109.5; 9. Glencoe, 105; 10. Sprague, 103; 11. Oregon City, 100.5; 12. McNary, 97; 13. Dallas, 93.5; 14. Sandy, 90; 15. Canby, 82.5; 16. Grants Pass, 73; 17. Pendleton, 67; 18. Cascade, 63; 19. Culver, 59; 20. West Albany, 57; 21. Barlow, 42; 22. Lebanon, 37; 23. Willamina, 29; 24. Newberg, 23.5.
TIGARD INVITATIONAL — At Tigard, North Medford's Reid Shipley claimed the 170-pound title and Trent Wilson was the runner-up at 182 to help the Black Tornado place second at the Tigard Invitational.
Shipley went 3-0 with two pins and beat Richard Bylund of Corvallis in the championship bout by way of a 9-1 decision.
Wilson went 2-1 on the day, beating Brian Baker of Tigard in the semis in a major decision before falling 10-5 to Matthew McRae, the state's third-ranked 170-pounder, in the finals.
Five more Black Tornado wrestlers placed third: Henry Cox at 106, Tyler Pearson at 120, Jeremy Sparks at 138, Wyatt Westfall at 152 and Kaden Johnson at 182.
West Linn racked up 363 points to take the team title. North finished with 229.
SUTHERLIN CLASSIC — At Sutherlin, Eagle Point's Orlando DeLaCruz took the 126-pound championship and Alek Callahan edged teammate Eddie Perez in the 132-pound title bout as the Eagles bested powerhouse Glide to claim the team title.
Eagle Point scored 201 points to beat Glide (193), while Ashland, led by 195-pound champion Mason Montgomery, tallied 791/2 points to finish tied with South Umpqua for fourth.
DeLaCruz, ranked No. 7 in Class 5A, pinned Mazama's David Nichols in 1:30 to advance to the final, where he won by forfeit to clinch a 4-0 day.
Callahan, ranked third, earned his second tourney title in as many weeks when he edged Perez in a 3-2 decision.
Also for the Eagles, Hunter Hoeptner earned two pins before losing to Luke O'Connor of Glide, 4-2, in the 160-pound final.