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...
With a few sick wrestlers out of his lineup and others who were going to need to step up their efforts for Wednesday night's dual, Crater head coach Greg Haga said he didn't sleep much overnight in preparation for his team's trip to North Medford.
Turns out the veteran Comets coach had nothing to be concerned about.
Despite a shift in the lineup, Crater won nine of the 14 weight classes — seven by pin — to pull away from the Black Tornado for a 51-30 win in Southern Oregon Hybrid action at North Medford High.
"I was really happy with the way we wrestled," said Haga, whose team is now 6-5 in duals. "Like a lot of teams here in the valley we're fighting a little bit of sickness and when we came home from the (Oregon) Classic we practiced twice on Monday and twice on Tuesday and I was worried about their legs but the kids responded well."
In one of the biggest matches of the night, Crater's Micah Walker scored a 5-4 overtime decision over North Medford's Trenton Wilson at 195 pounds.
"For us coming into this we thought that was one of the biggest matches we had to have," said Haga. "That to me was the seventh match that we had to win, and we ended up winning nine, but that was a big win. Wilson's a tough kid and a returning state placer and any time you can beat him in a match over there, that's a big deal."
Wilson scored the first takedown and then used an escape to build a 3-0 lead early in the second period before Walker answered with a takedown. An escape by Walker left things tied through three periods, and neither wrestler could gain an advantage in the first one-minute overtime.
In the second overtime, Walker picked the bottom position and pulled off a reversal before riding Wilson out for the extra period. Wilson opted for the down position as well in his final chance to rally and earned an escape but could not score again to fall for the second time this year in a close match to Walker.
Haga said other key victories came at 120 and 126 where Luke Mackey and Walter Kurz, respectively, bumped up a weight class but still were able to record first-period pins.
Also earning pins for the Comets were Nate Walters (138), Jason Comer (152), Tommy Winningham (160), Cavin Gillispie (182) and Mike Rios (285).
"Crater took it to us, they were ready to wrestle and they executed better than us," said North Medford head coach Phillip Lopez. "When you're ready to wrestle it makes a difference. We just need to better prepared for matches mentally."
Henry Cox (106), Justin Geyer (145), Isaac Grether (170) and Skyler Black (220) recorded pins to lead North Medford.
TEAM SCORE — Crater 51, North Medford 30.
106 — Henry Cox, NM, pinned Hunter Grant, 1:24; 113 — Brooke Brower, C, won by forfeit; 120 — Luke Mackey, C, pinned Tristan Lindi, 1:42; 126 — Walter Kurz, C, pinned Michael Oneslager, 1:31; *132 — Nico Baldovino, NM, won by forfeit.
138 — Nate Walters, C, pinned Cole Hornbrook, 3:12; 145 — Justin Geyer, NM, pinned Luke Doggett, 1:53; 152 — Jason Comer, C, pinned Dylan Wedman, 1:21; 160 — Tommy Winningham, C, pinned Jeremy Sparks, 3:21.
170 — Isaac Grether, NM, pinned Chase Bitterling, 2:31; 182 — Cavin Gillispie, C, pinned Michael Rucker, 1:39; 195 — Micah Walker, C, dec. Trenton Wilson, 5-4 OT; 220 — Skyler Black, NM, pinned Cameron Sweet, 1:07; 285 — Mike Rios, C, pinned Taylor Stone, 1:43.
* starting weight
EAGLE POINT 34, GRANTS PASS 32 — At Eagle Point, sixth-ranked Class 5A Eagle Point improved to 7-3 overall with the nonleague victory over fourth-ranked 6A Grants Pass.
Top-ranked James McCoy pinned Grants Pass' Jordan Bellon in 2 minutes, 27 seconds in the 152-pound match, which opened the dual.
Eagle Point's Ethan Pomeroy (220), who was bumped up from the 195-pound classification where he is ranked third, won by fall over Ricky Getz in 1:12.
Christian Torrico (113) earned a 10-2 major decision over Trevin Bailey in another key match for the Eagles, who received three forfeit victories.
106 — Tyler Bellon, GP, major dec. Mikey Johnson, 10-0; 113 — Christian Torrico, EP, major dec. Trevin Bailey, 10-2; 120 — Casey Coulter, GP, pinned Michael Hammond, 1:34; 126 — Trajon Hurd, GP, major dec. Eddie Perez-Rivera, 12-2; 132 — Tyler Thomas, GP, dec. Alek Callahan, 6-5.
138 — Ted Sutters, GP, dec. Loren Denn, 6-5; 145 — AJ Munoz, GP, dec. Kaden Crandall, 5-4; *152 — James McCoy, EP, pinned Jordan Bellon, 2:27; 160 — Hunter Hoeptner, EP, won by forfeit.
170 — Jeremy Nicholas, GP, pinned Sean Freeman, 3:52; 182 — Blaine Cloney, EP, won by forfeit; 195 — Gage Bailey, EP, won by forfeit; 220 — Ethan Pomeroy, EP, pinned Ricky Getz, 1:12; 285 — Aaron Little, GP, dec. Anthony Valdovinos, 4-1.
* starting weight