EVANSTON, Ill. — Brock Gutches' improbable run through the 51st annual Midlands Championships was halted in the semifinals, but Southern Oregon's junior 174-pounder still claimed the top placing of anyone at the tournament in Raider history.
Gutches, from Central Point, finished fourth after second-seeded Hayden Zillmer of North Dakota State topped him Monday night, needing a tiebreaker for a 2-1 decision, at Northwestern's Welsh-Ryan Arena.
In the semifinals, Columbia's Shane Hughes got the best of Gutches with a 5-3 decision, but Gutches held on for a 1-0 win over No. 9 Scott Liegel of Wisconsin to reach the third-place bout.
Steve Tekander is the only other Raider to have ever placed at Midlands, taking sixth in 1986.
Gutches, along with Jacob Abrams and Taylor Johnson, represented the first group of Raiders since then to visit the tournament, which is rife with NCAA Division I competition. Johnson won twice on Sunday in the 197-pound consolation bracket.
Seeded seventh, Gutches dominated on the first day, pinning three straight opponents in the first round, including Zillmer in 1 minute, 22 seconds. His season record stands at 16-3 with 10 wins coming by fall.
Gutches and Johnson provided SOU with 22.5 points, placing the Raiders 18th out of 47 schools.
SOU 70, WILLIAM JESSUP 58 — At Rocklin, Calif., Eric Thompson heated up just in time to help the second-ranked Raiders put away William Jessup.
Thompson scored 18 points for the Raiders (14-2 overall), 12 of which came during a late 18-6 run. His 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 40 seconds left capped it, giving the Raiders their largest lead at 62-47.
The Raiders, who never trailed, capped a perfect 11-0 nonleague slate.
David Sturner was steady again with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, notching his 11th double-double of the season. Kyle Tedder had 12 points five rebounds and three assists, and Tim Weber contributed nine points and six assists.
SOU 91, NEW HOPE CHRISTIAN 77 — At Eugene, 17th-ranked Southern Oregon wrapped up its nonleague slate and put an end to a two-game skid.
Carly Meister led a balanced performance with 19 points and five rebounds for the Raiders, who defeated the Deacons for the second time this season and improved to 13-3 overall. They'll host Northwest Christian and Corban on Friday and Saturday in Cascade Conference play.
Kristen Schoenherr had 15 points and five rebounds, Allison Gida had 13 points and five rebounds and Autumn Durand added 15 points for SOU, which led 53-40 by halftime.
The Raiders' lead was as large as 23 points in the second half.
Dorian Perkey scored 24 points for the Deacons (1-15), while Lei Lolohea and Jess Logan had 19 apiece.