PORTLAND — Be it by a pair of pins or maybe a thrilling last-second comeback, a combined 18 wrestlers from the Rogue Valley found a way Friday to advance into the semifinal round here at the Class 6A-1A wrestling state tournament at the Memorial Coliseum.
Eagle Point and Grants Pass paved the way with four entrants apiece in this morning's championship semifinals, while Ashland, Crater, Phoenix and Illinois Valley each pulled two wrestlers into the top bracket. Championship hopes also remained alive for North Medford's Trent Wilson and Hidden Valley's Chance Anderson.
"This is the most we've had in the semis since I've been at Eagle Point, so that's a good performance," said Eagles head coach Kacey McNulty. "But we need points in the backdoor to bring home a trophy."
Led by Alek Callahan (132), James McCoy (152), Hunter Hoeptner (160 pounds) and Ethan Pomeroy (195), Eagle Point closed the first of two days at the state tournament in fifth place in the Class 5A team standings with 59.5 points. The top four teams receive a trophy.
Callahan and McCoy dominated their two matches Friday, while Hoeptner scored a 3-0 decision in the quarterfinals and Pomeroy scored a 5-3 win in his second match thanks to a takedown on a scramble with one second to go.
The Eagles have seven of their 13 qualifiers still in contention on Day 2, with Levi Pomeroy and Eddie Perez-Rivera in the consolation bracket at 126 and Sean Freeman still alive at 170.
Hermiston is the overall 5A leader at 85.5 points, with Ashland in 15th place after second-seeded seniors Mason Montgomery (220) and Cody Frost-Eisenberg (285) advanced to the semifinals. Montgomery controlled both his matches, while Frost-Eisenberg found himself down 7-0 in the quarterfinals before rallying and ultimately ending the match with a pin in 5 minutes, 16 seconds.
"We're sitting about where I thought we would be," said Ashland head coach Tony Champion, who also saw Sadie Bailey advance to the finals in exhibition girls wrestling, "but tomorrow's the real deal and we'll see what happens in the morning with Mason and Cody. They both have a real legitimate shot of going all the way this year but you never know what's going to happen in these tournaments."
That unpredictable nature was in full force Friday, with wins and losses hinging on mere seconds in thrilling competition that saw more than a handful of upsets.
Crater's Cavin Gillispie exemplified how much of a roller-coaster ride it can be when you gather the top 16 wrestlers from each weight class and have them square off.
Gillispie, a 170-pound sophomore, placed fourth at the regionals but scored a 9-0 major decision over No. 2 seed Edwin Montes of North Salem to start his day. Gillispie then added a sensational comeback for an 8-3 win over Brad Pfeifer of Clackamas to earn a spot in the semifinals.
In the quarterfinal, Gillispie trailed 3-0 before scoring a takedown just before the end of the second round. In the third and final round, Gillispie escaped from Pfeifer to tie the match at 3-all with 53 seconds remaining, then somehow came out of a wild scramble in the final 15 seconds with a takedown and three-point near fall after almost giving the advantage back to Pfeifer.
"It was a great scramble at the end where he just kept wrestling," said Crater head coach Greg Haga.
Gillispie's win came on the heels of teammate Tommy Winningham also advancing to the semifinals at 152 with a 4-1 decision over top-seeded Alex Hada of Hillsboro.
Unfortunately, Micah Walker couldn't keep the Comets' momentum going at 182 despite taking a 3-1 lead into the final seconds of his quarterfinal match against No. 3 seed Zach Hammerschmith of McNary. Walker led throughout but got caught by Hammerschmith in the final second for a takedown that forced overtime.
In OT, Walker had a couple promising single-leg efforts but each resulted in a restart when Hammerschmith got out of bounds. A third attempt was slipped by the McNary wrestler, who swooped around for a winning takedown with four seconds left in the one-minute overtime.
"That's wrestling," Haga said with a shrug. "The match right before it (Gillispie) won it in the last eight seconds and in (Walker's) match we lose it in the last eight. Unfortunately that's the job of a coach when you're dealing with 15- and 16-year-old kids."
Walker regrouped in the consolation bracket to remain alive for today's placing rounds, allowing Crater to pull into a tie for 13th place with Tualatin at 26 points apiece. Roseburg wrapped up the Class 6A crown with a phenomenal Day 1 performance that saw the Indians score 142 points to easily outdistance second-place West Linn (51.5).
Grants Pass stands fifth overall after advancing Tyler Thomas and Trajan Hurd into the semifinals at 126, Casey Coulter into the semis at 113 and Kjell Thorsen into the semis at 152 (where three of the four semifinalists hail from the Southern Oregon Hybrid).
North Medford's Wilson, seeded second at 195, was as advertised on Friday. The junior opened his tournament with a 51-second pin and then gradually pulled away from McNary's Alvarro Venegas for a 12-7 win in the quarterfinals. Wilson will face Roseburg's Will Reddekopp in today's semifinals.
"Trent started off a little conservative but as the match went on he opened up and got a lot of good takedowns and good counter takedowns," said North Medford head coach Phillip Lopez. "I thought he wrestled pretty good."
The Black Tornado nearly had two semifinalists but 220-pounder Skyler Black allowed an escape five seconds into the third round against No. 2 seed Dakota Church of Newberg for the only point scored in the tense quarterfinal.
"He wrestled hard, both those guys did, it just went (Church's) way today," added Lopez, whose team is tied for 17th overall.
Top-ranked North Medford sophomore Henry Cox was upset in a heartbreaking quarterfinal that saw him tagged with a 7-5 loss to Glencoe's Ian Stettler in a third-overtime tiebreaker. Cox led 3-2 after one period but a stalling point drew them even in the second. Cox again went up 4-3 on an escape early in the third but another stalling call brought it back to square with 22 seconds to go in regulation.
The match, which was slowed throughout by constant hand-fighting, was scoreless in the first overtime period, then Cox earned an escape during his 30-second portion of the second OT. Needing to hold Stettler down in the next 30 seconds, Cox was flagged with another stalling penalty — this time a two-point infraction — during Stettler's escape attempt to suddenly make his deficit 6-5. With only 20 seconds left, Cox was forced to cut Stettler loose and try in vain for a tying takedown.
Cox regrouped to advance into today's placing rounds, along with teammate Cole Hornbrook (138).
At the 4A level, Phoenix's Kyle Bradfield (145) and Izzy Rubio (170) advanced to the semifinals to help the Pirates move into ninth overall with 35 points but well off the pace set by Crook County (180 points). Henley is second with 93 points.
Bradfield, a third-seeded senior, stamped his spot in the semifinals with a thrilling comeback against McLoughiln's Jeffrey Jones. Bradfield trailed 5-3 late in the third period but pulled off a takedown to tie and, on a restart, added back points to win 7-5.
"Bradfield just wrestled one of the best matches I've seen anybody wrestle in a long time," said Phoenix head coach John Farmer. "He kept wrestling his heart out after losing 5-3 with 20 seconds or so to go. He wants it real bad. He never stopped for a second. If he had, he would've lost."
Rubio's matches weren't quite as nerve-wracking, with last year's state runner-up scoring a 7-0 win over No. 3 seed Luke Youngberg of Estacada in the quarterfinals to remain on pace for another title shot.
Also remaining in contention for today's placing round for the Pirates were Richard Orndorff (120), Mark McAlister (126) and Braden Vega (160).
Besides Anderson, Hidden Valley's A.J. Munoz (138) remains in action, along with North Valley's Luke Valle (120).
Illinois Valley stands eighth in the 3A tourney with 41.5 points after advancing Theo Hughey (170) and John Britt (182) into the semifinals. Vale leads Glide 73-70.5 in the team standings.
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Roseburg 139, West Linn 48.5; 3, Grants Pass 41; David Douglas 40, Hillsboro 37, Forest Grove 32, Oregon City 31, Sunset 28.5, Clackamas 28; Aloha 27.
OTHER LOCAL SCORES — Crater 25, North Medford 19.
106 — Andrew Curry, David Douglas, maj. dec. Tyler Bellon, Grants Pass, 12-4; Henry Cox, North Medford, pinned Drew Boyer, Canby, :38.
113 — Casey Coulter, Grants Pass, by forfeit over Jared Hampl, Sprague.
120 — Devin Poppen, Oregon City, pinned Tristan Lindi, North Medford, :25; Cahleb Gonzales, Lake Oswego, pinned Caleb Dix, North Medford, 5:54.
126 — Tyler Thomas, Grants Pass, pinned Justice Racca, Glencoe, 2:39; Trajan Hurd, Grants Pass, pinned Christian Chan, Glencoe, 2:37.
132 — Nathan Walters, Crater, pinned Jake Vaughn, Sprague, 2:27.
138 — Spencer Stokes, Sunset, pinned Mason Roddy, Grants Pass, 1:28; Cody Smith, Forest Grove, pinned Cole Hornbrook, North Medford, 4:20.
145 — Timothy Harman, West Linn, maj. dec. Jordan Bellon, Grants Pass, 17-5; Rick Molinari, David Douglas, maj. dec. Jason Comer, Crater, 11-0.
152 — Tommy Winningham, Crater, dec. Cameron Harris, West Salem, 5-4; Kjell Thorsen, Grants Pass, pinned Zach Vollstedt, Tigard, 1:00.
160 — Hunter Morse, Hillsboro, dec. Jerry DelaFuente, Crater, 2-1; Nathan Burnett, Sunset, dec. Jeremy Nicholes, Grants Pass, 7-4.
170 — Franklin Giannone, Tualatin, maj. dec. Brandon Brooks, South Medford, 12-3; Cavin Gillispie, Crater, maj. dec. Edwin Montes, North Salem, 9-0.
182 — Micah Walker, Crater, dec. Roland Lester, West Linn, 7-2.
195 — Trenton Wilson, North Medford, pinned Daniel Reyes-Hernandez, Glencoe, :51.
220 — Skyler Black, North Medford, dec. Andrew Horton, Century, 3-2.
285 — Zach Jett, Clackamas, pinned Dom Harris, South Medford, 1:20; Ellis Eaton, West Linn, dec. Mike Rios, Crater, 6-0.
106 — Ian Stettler, Glencoe, tiebreaker Henry Cox, North Medford, TB-1 7-5.
113 — Casey Coulter, Grants Pass, dec. Matt Peterson, Hillsboro, 7-1.
126 — Tyler Thomas, Grants Pass, pinned Dreagn Bennett, Sprague, 1:19; Trajan Hurd, Grants Pass, pinned Logan Holmquist, Sprague, 5:01.
132 — Amari Sengsavanh, Century, maj. dec. Nathan Walters, Crater, 26-13.
152 — Tommy Winningham, Crater, dec. Alex Hada, Hillsboro, 4-1; Kjell Thorsen, Grants Pass, dec. Ryan Schwartz, Aloha, 7-0.
170 — Cavin Gillispie, Crater, dec. Brad Pfeifer, Clackamas, 8-3.
182 — Zach Hammerschmith, McNary, sudden victory Micah Walker, Crater, SV-1 5-3.
195 — Trenton Wilson, North Medford, dec. Alvarro Venegas, McNary, 12-7.
220 — Dakota Church, Newberg, dec. Skyler Black, North Medford, 1-0.
need 220, 285
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Hermiston 81.5, Lebanon 72.5, Dallas 69, Churchill 65, Sandy 58, Eagle Point 57, Redmond 39, Mountain View 36.5, Sherwood 36, Pendleton 33.
OTHER LOCAL SCORES — Ashland 23.
106 — Isaiah Aguilar, Hermiston, pinned Mikey Johnson, Eagle Point, :45; 113 — Kyle Grahn, Sandy, pinned Christian Torrico, Eagle Point, 2:53; Halen Jolley, Sherwood, by DQ over Ivan Valle, Eagle Point; 120 — Isaac Aguilar, Hermiston, pinned Michael Hammond, Eagle Point, 1:12; 126 — Levi Pomeroy, Eagle Point, pinned Jordan Villarreal, South Albany, 1:16; Christian Marquez, Hood River Valley, pinned Eddie Perez-Rivera, Eagle Point, 1:16; 132 — Alek Callahan, Eagle Point, pinned Jacob Brundridge, Silverton, 5:44.
138 — Joshua Reyes, Parkrose, pinned Loren Denn, 1:26; 152 — James McCoy, Eagle Point, pinned Steven Ho, Parkrose, 1:29; 160 — Hunter Hoeptner, Eagle Point, pinned Nick Urben, Putnam, 3:35.
170 — Sean Freeman, Eagle Point, dec. Chancellor Swar, Roosevelt, 8-3; 182 — Triston Ringhouse, Dallas, dec. Blain Cloney, Eagle Point, 5-2; 195 — Samuel Shields-Colbray, Hermiston, pinned Chance Swenson, Ashland, :50; Ethan Pomeroy, Eagle Point, pinned Max Lane, Hood River Valley, 5:08; 220 — Mason Montgomery, Ashland, pinned Brandon Redeau, Roosevelt, 5:51; 285 — Cody Frost-Eisenberg, Ashland, pinned Tony Munoz, Wilsonville, 5:07.
126 — Valen Wyse, Hermiston, pinned Levi Pomeroy, Eagle Point, 3:33; 132 — Alek Callahan, Eagle Point, major dec. Steven Patton, Sandy, 12-4.
152 — James McCoy, Eagle Point, pinned Tyson Janssen, Dallas, 4:29; 160 — Hunter Hoeptner, Eagle Point, dec. Bob Coleman, Hermiston, 3-0.
170 — David Rebischke, Dallas, pinned Sean Freeman, Eagle Point, 15-8; 195 — Ethan Pomeroy, Eagle Point, dec. Justin Hamilton, Wilsonville, 5-3; 220 — Mason Montgomery, Ashland, dec. Jeff D'Auvergne, Putnam, 8-2; 285 — Cody Frost-Eisenberg, Ashland, pinned Robert Powers, Wilson, 5:13.
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Crook County 179, Henley 93, Scappoose 52.5, La Grande 40, Newport 40, North Marion 38.5, Marshfield 35.5, Phoenix 35, Cascade 34, Tillamook 34.0.
OTHER LOCAL SCORES — Hidden Valley 14, North Valley 3.
120 — Richard Orndorff, Phoenix, pinned Taran Hardwick, La Grande, 2:13; Luke Valle, North Valley, dec. Trey Shores, Crook County, 11-4; Kurt Mode, Crook County, pinned Zeke Flores, Phoenix, 3:09.
126 — Joshua Connor, Newport, maj. dec. Cedrus King, Phoenix, 19-7; Blake McNall, Gladstone, dec. Mark McAlister, Phoenix, 6-2.
138 — Cody Erhardt, Scappoose, dec. AJ Munoz, Hidden Valley, 11-5.
145 — Kyle Bradfield, Phoenix, pinned Tom Snegirev, Molalla, 1:07.
160 — Spencer Crawford, Cascade, maj. dec. Braden Vega, Phoenix, 12-3; Chance Anderson, Hidden Valley, maj. dec. David Negrete, Central, 13-2.
170 — Clark Woodward, Crook County, pinned William Frazee, Phoenix, 2:50; Izzy Rubio, Phoenix, pinned Brent Yeakey, Ridgeview, 2:19.
182 — Trace Vega, Phoenix, dec. Hayes Van De Hey, Cascade, 10-7; Alberto Meza, Central, pinned Travis Stainbrook, Phoenix, 3:10.
195 — Tyson Broadbent, Scappoose, pinned Brandon Wrezinski, Hidden Valley, 1:14.
120 — Logan Humphrey, Cascade, pinned Richard Orndorf, Phoenix, 5:10; Justin Coon, Tillamook, pinned Luke Valle, North Valley, :56)
145 — Kyle Bradfield, Phoenix, dec. Jeffrey Jones, McLoughlin, 7-5.
160 — Chance Anderson, Hidden Valley, dec. Preston Armstrong, La Grande, 3-0.
170 — Ismael Rubio, Phoenix, dec. Luke Youngberg, Estacada, 7-0.
182 — Gunnar Robirts, Crook County, pinned Trace Vega, Phoenix, 1:17.
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Vale 73, Glide 70.5, Rainier 67, Dayton 60.5, Burns 55, Riverside 50, Nyssa 45, Illinois Valley 41.5, Willamina 41, Harrisburg 32.
106 — Zachary Clark, Illinois Valley, bye.
113 — Manny Pimentel, Illinois Valley, bye; Brandon Perez, Illinois Valley, maj. dec. Ryan Vineyard, Nyssa, 14-4.
126 — Eric Miller, Illinois Valley, bye.
132 — Austin Zeiher, Scio, maj. dec. Zak Lindell, Illinois Valley, 11-2.
145 — Logan Miller, Illinois Valley, bye.
170 — Theo Hughey, Illinois Valley, bye.
182 — James Jarrett, Illinois Valley, bye; John Britt, Illinois Valley, pinned Gage Hardy, Pleasant Hill, 2:13.
195 — Jullian Northrup, Illinois Valley, pinned Noah Casarez, Pleasant Hill, 3:44.
220 — Christian Rodriguez, Vale, pinned Richard Nelson, Rogue River, 1:00.
106 — Andrew Deleon, Nyssa, maj. dec. Zachary Clark, Illinois Valley, 14-2.
113 — David Cervantes, Dayton, dec. Manny Pimentel, Illinois Valley, 16-13; Justice Larson, Rainier, dec. Brandon Perez, Illinois Valley, 8-6.
126 — Zak Winsted, Harrisburg, dec. Eric Miller, Illinois Valley, 8-6.
145 — Micah Cisneros, Dayton, pinned Logan Miller, Illinois Valley, 3:36.
170 — Theo Hughey, Illinois Valley, tech. fall David Adkinson, Clatskanie, 17-0 (4:21).
182 — Seth Nonnenmacher, Burns, pinned James Jarrett, Illinois Valley, 3:56; John Britt, Illinois Valley, pinned Michael Barton, Vale, 1:47.
195 — Dillon Robison, Scio, dec. Jullian Northrup, Illinois Valley, 10-5.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, email@example.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry