PORTLAND — Phoenix junior Izzy Rubio authored a strong showing to get to the Class 4A wrestling state finals, but he ran into an all-too-familiar buzzsaw Saturday night while trying to give the Pirates a champion for the eighth straight year.
In a rematch of the Skyline Conference district finals, Rubio again struggled to find an answer to Henley freshman Gary Jantzer under the spotlight of Memorial Coliseum. Jantzer pressed the tempo and didn't give Rubio much room to breathe in the 160-pound final, ultimately securing a fall in 4 minutes, 54 seconds.
Jantzer scored a 16-1 technical fall over Rubio in the district final two weeks ago, but they didn't wrestle each other in last week's regional championships, which Rubio won.
"He's a nationally ranked kid and very tough," Phoenix head coach John Farmer said of Jantzer. "We just need to improve on a couple things in case we wrestle him next year. I think we can wrestle with him, we just need to vary our offense a little bit more."
Jantzer broke open a scoreless match in the waning seconds of the first period, scoring a takedown and near fall to go into the second period up 4-0.
"(Rubio) took a shot and he got caught and put on his back with five seconds left in the first (period)," said Farmer. "Once you're down like that you have to start doing some things that you wouldn't normally do and the other kid can take advantage of that, which he did. Jantzer wrestled really tough."
Jantzer's 4-0 lead turned to 7-0 midway through the second before Rubio managed an escape. It was 10-1 when Jantzer caught Rubio in a bad position and honed in for the pin.
Farmer said Rubio had plenty to be proud of despite the loss.
"Overall, Izzy had a great tournament," said the coach. "He beat some really tough people getting there to the finals. He's second in the state, and last year he was a non-state placer and wasn't even seeded in the district. He's had a fantastic year and he knows what he needs to do to get the title next year. I know he's not going to be satisfied taking second."
Earlier in the day, Rubio needed a late surge during his semifinal match to secure a 6-3 win over No. 3 seed Jonas Ayala-Sanchez of Tillamook. Rubio led 3-2 early in the third period but received a penalty point and then scored a takedown to close out the match.
Senior Austyn Snow was the Pirates' only other state placer, finishing fifth at 126 after scoring a 9-8 triumph over Ontario's Eric Nunez, who earlier knocked him out of the championship round.
Snow had a 9-1 lead with 30 seconds to go in the second period during the third-place semifinal but was thrown in a head-and-arm and pinned by top-seeded Duke Hebdon of Molalla.
"That showed a lot of character on Austyn's part," said Farmer of the rematch with Nunez. "He just lost a big match and he was upset about it but he still came out and beat a kid that had beaten him earlier in the tournament."
The Pirates finished 13th. State champions during their streak were Nick Amuchastegui (2006), Noah Berman (2007-08), Josh Warden (2009), Luke Amuchastegui (2010), Eleazar De Luca (2010-12).
Hidden Valley's Brad Hyatt advanced to the 195 semifinals as a No. 3 seed but was denied a shot at a title when No. 2 seed Gunner Crawford of Crook County won 7-4. Hyatt finished fourth, losing 4-3 to Klamath Union's Mitch Mirande in the third-place final.
North Valley's Luke Valle ousted Phoenix's Richard Orndorff in his first match Saturday with a technical fall, then placed fifth with an 8-5 decision over No. 4 seed Blake McNall of Gladstone.
At the 3A level, Illinois Valley had five state placers and was ninth. Leading the charge for the Cougars was Logan Miller (145), who placed third with a pin in 2:57 against No. 4 seed Edwin Villalobos of Willamina.
Placing fourth for the Cougars were Brandon Parker (132), who lost 9-6 to No. 3 seed Michael Loomis of Glide; TJ Hughey (160), who lost 8-5 to No. 3 seed Trevor Hunt of Willamina; and John Britt (170), who lost 6-5 to Mikel Farley of Glide. Eric Miller was fifth at 120.
Rogue River's Andrew Smith capped his high school career by placing third at 182. Smith earned a 4-3 decision over No. 3 seed Daniel Puerta of Riverside in the third-place final. The Chieftains placed 21st.
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Crook County 290, Henley 196, Sweet Home 161, Cascade 126, Tillamook 104, Scappoose 78.5, Klamath Union 76, Estacada 59, McLoughlin 53, North Marion 48.
OTHER LOCAL SCORES — 13, Phoenix 42; 24, Hidden Valley 18; 26, North Valley 14.5.
106 — Collin Purinton, Banks, dec. Trayton Libolt, Crook County, 6-5; 113 — Tyler Scott, Henley, pinned Quinton Hook, Henley, 1:15; 120 — Ronnie Bresser, Henley, tech. fall Donny Wenlund, Estacada, 4:57; 126 — Connor Noonan, Henley, dec. Grayson Munn, Crook County, 2-0; 132 — Colton Schilling, Sweet Home, dec. Zech Bresser, Henley, 6-0.
138 — Justin Acuff, Sheridan, dec. Dallin Widmer, Nyssa, 5-0; 145 — Lucas Randall, North Marion, pinned Cole Hannan, Brookings-Harbor, 1:50; 152 — Tyler Cowger, Sweet Home, dec. Spencer Crawford, Cascade, 5-1; 160 — Gary Jantzer, Henley, pinned Ismael Rubio, Phoenix, 5:23.
170 — Tyler Howe, Cascade, dec. Brayden Moller, McLoughlin, 3-2; 182 — Boomer Fleming, Ridgeview, pinned Noah Stepp, Central, 1:42; 195 — Wade Paulus, Sweet Home, pinned Gunner Crawford, Crook County, :45; 220 — Cody Crawford, Cascade, dec. Gunnar Roberts, Crook County, 1:00; 285 — Jason Williams, Crook County, pinned Ryan Connor, Siuslaw, 1:31.
195 — Mitch Mirande, Klamath Union, dec. Brad Hyatt, Hidden Valley, 4-3.
113 — Luke Valle, North Valley, dec. Blake McNall, Gladstone, 8-5; 126 — Austyn Snow, Phoenix, dec. Eric Nunez, Ontario, 11-6.
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Glide 205, Willamina 180, Riverside 121.5, Nyssa 117, Vale 114, Burns 109.5, Rainier 94, Coquille 90, Illinois Valley 85.5, Dayton 78.
OTHER LOCAL SCORES — 21, Rogue River 12.
106 — Gustavo Madrigal, Riverside, pinned Rogue Bergerson, Warrenton, 4:49; 113 — Hans Rockwell, Riverside, pinned Michael Reyes, Willamina, 5:53; 120 — Skyler Voight, Willamina, maj. dec. Ian Quimby, Glide, 12-4; 126 — Coty Brown, Willamina, pinned Julio Mendez, Nyssa,; 132 — Justin Acuff, Sheridan, dec. Dallin Widmer, Nyssa 6-5.
138 — Micah Cisneros, Dayton, dec. Walker Damewood, Glide, 4-2; 145 — Garret Short, Glide, dec. Sean Shipley, Rainier, 4-3; 152 — Brennan Bailey, Burns, pinned Austin Flood, Coquille, :53; 160 — Seth Nonnenmacher, Burns, dec. Luke O'Connor, Glide, 5-1.
170 — Sye Yates, Coquille, maj. dec. Matson Gehley, Burns, 20-8; 182 — Michael Romine, Coquille, pinned Ricky Diaz, Gervais, 1:36; 195 — Tony Frank, Lakeview, dec. Cody Manzi, Santiam Christian, 6-4; 220 — Sebastian Sanchez, Nyssa, dec. Justin Parazoo, Scio, 11-4; 285 — Josh Parazoo, Scio, maj. dec. Kye Yraguen, Vale, 9-1.
132 — Michael Loomis, Glide, dec. Brandon Parker, Illinois Valley, 9-6; 145 — Logan Miller, Illinois Valley, pinned Edwin Villalobos, 12, Willamina, 2:57; 160 — Trevor Hunt, Willamina, dec. TJ Hughey, Illinois Valley, 8-5; 170 — Mikel Farley, Glide, dec. John Britt, Illinois Valley, 6-5; 182 — Andrew Smith, Rogue River, dec. Daniel Puerta, Riverside, 4-3.
120 — Eric Miller, Illinois Valley, pinned Mack Crandall, Lakeview, 3:35.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, email@example.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry