It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
PORTLAND — With his Phoenix High teammates poised to pounce in the bowels of Memorial Coliseum, Pirates senior Izzy Rubio had the look of a wrestler who could take all of them on and not bat an eye Saturday night.
That group, however, was hovering to mob him in celebration after Rubio turned his second straight championship finals appearance into his first state title during the Class 4A state tournament.
The Phoenix senior dominated his 170-pound match with Crook County's Clark Woodward from the opening whistle, taking a 5-0 lead through one period en route to a 10-2 triumph that set off jubilation among the Pirate coaches and fans on hand.
"It's amazing "» I've worked for this for a long time," Rubio said. "It's just such a great feeling."
"(Woodward's) a tough kid but I just decided to go after it as hard as I could," he added. "It was my last chance and I got it, so I'm happy."
Rubio came up short in last year's final at 160 to snap a streak of seven straight years that Phoenix had crowned a state champion. He was determined to not let the drought continue.
"I just keep working harder every year and tried to get a little better every day in practice," Rubio said of the difference from a year ago.
On this night, he was in top form. A takedown and three-point near fall made it 5-0 and he was up to 8-0 before Woodward managed to score an escape at the end of the second round.
"He went out there and went right after him and didn't hold anything back," said Phoenix head coach John Farmer. "He basically dominated the match from whistle to whistle, and that's what a state champ is supposed to do. He did a great job all season and all four years having him, he's just a top-notch kid in every aspect. I'm really happy for him, he deserves it."
In his only hiccup of the tournament, Rubio needed a third-period rally to get into the finals. He trailed No. 2 seed Caleb Woodworth of La Grande 8-7 entering the final two minutes, earned a tying escape and then used a takedown with 1:12 to go to eke out a 10-8 triumph.
Beyond Rubio, Phoenix struggled during Saturday's morning action.
Fellow semifinalist Kyle Bradfield allowed a tiebreaking takedown with 24 seconds to go in his match against Astoria's Joshua Long to lose 4-2, then couldn't shake the dramatic turn of events and finished sixth at 145.
Phoenix junior Richard Orndorff (120), sophomore Mark McAlister (126) and senior Braden Vega (160) each came up short in their bid to reach the placing rounds.
Even with that, those same Pirates stormed Rubio in celebration, and he was more than willing to share the moment.
"It's awesome to have all this support and everything," said Rubio. "I can't thank everyone enough who has helped me along the way. It's just an awesome feeling."
Crook County set an Oregon state tournament scoring record by crushing the field with 406.5 points to claim the 4A team title. It became the first school in state history to score 400. Runner-up Henley had 159.
Hidden Valley's Chance Anderson dropped a 5-1 decision to Cascade's Spencer Crawford in the 160 semifinals and wound up taking fourth after falling 3-2 to Scappoose's Johnathan Tardif in the third-place final.
Fellow Mustang A.J. Munoz (138) lost a one-point match in his bid to reach the placing rounds, while North Valley's Luke Valle (120) was pinned in his only match of the morning.
Illinois Valley's Theo Hughey (170) and John Britt (182) each advanced to the Class 3A finals to help the Cougars finish sixth overall. Glide edged Vale, 182.5-167, for the 3A team title.
Hughey was forced to injury default his championship final, while Britt was pinned in 1:17 by Seth Nonnenmacher of Burns.
Also placing for Illinois Valley were Logan Miller (third at 145), Eric Miller (fourth at 126), James Jarrett (fourth at 182) and Julian Northrup (fifth at 195).
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Crook County 406.5, Henley 159, Scappoose 139.5, North Marion 63, Marshfield 60.5, Elmira 59, La Grande 57, Cascade 55, Newport 55, Tillamook 53.
OTHER LOCAL SCORES — Phoenix 51, Hidden Valley 19, North Valley 3.
106 — Cole Rohan, La Grande, dec. Francisco Berra, Ontario, 4-3; 113 — Trayton Libolt, Crook County, dec. Collin Purinton, Banks, 4-3; 120 — Kurt Mode, Crook County, major dec. Jachael McMillon, Gladstone, 14-0; 126 — Thaddeus Nelson, Marshfield, pinned Brent Bannon, Crook County, :58; 132 — Zach Bresser, Henley, dec. Hayden Bates, Crook County, 5-2.
138 — Conner Noonan, Henley, dec. Lane Stigall, North Marion, 7-3; 145 — Collbran Meeker, Crook County, pinned Joshua Long, Astoria, 3:27; 152 — Tyler Berger, Crook County, pinned Ben Gadbois, Scappoose, 3:33; 160 — Spencer Crawford, Cascade, dec. Brendan Harkey, Crook County, 5-1.
170 — Ismael Rubio, Phoenix, major dec. Clark Woodward, Crook County, 10-2; 182 — Isaiah Goodrich, Scappoose, pinned Gunnar Robirts, Crook County, 4:58; 195 — Boomer Fleming, Ridgeview, pinned Matt Engholm, Elmira, 1:06; 220 — Trevor Rasmussen, Crook County, pinned Devin Ray, Scappoose, 4:52; 285 — Zane Wardwell, Elmira, pinned Jason Williams, Crook County, 4:49.
160 — Johnathan Tardif, Scappoose, dec. Chance Anderson, Hidden Valley, 3-2.
145 — Hunter Hoyt, Scappoose, maj. dec. Kyle Bradfield, Phoenix, 11-3.
TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Glide 182.5, Vale 167, Rainier 151, Dayton 117.5, Riverside 112, Illinois Valley 108.5, Willamina 107, Burns 94, Nyssa 91, Harrisburg 53.
OTHER LOCAL SCORES — Rogue River 0.
106 — Heath Hartley, Nyssa, dec. Aristotle Rockwell, Riverside, 10-3; 113 — Kevin Munoz, Vale, dec. Justice Larson, Rainier, 10-4; 120 — Michael Reyes, Willamina, pinned Elijah Conlon, Riverside, 5:45; 126 — Hans Rockwell, Riverside, pinned Skyler Voigt, Willamina, 6:18; 132 — Coty Brown, Willamina, dec. Justin Acuff, Sheridan, 8-5.
138 — Jared Henry, Dayton, dec. Devin Freeman, Glide, 10-9; 145 — Walker Damewood, Glide, dec. Micah Cisneros, Dayton, 7-0; 152 — Jake Forrester, Glide, dec. Alex Holland, Glide, 7-2; 160 — Garret Short, Glide, dec. Austin Howard, Willamina, 13-10.
170 — William Beard, Glide, injury def. Theo Hughey, Illinois Valley, 5:05; 182 — Seth Nonnenmacher, Burns, pinned John Britt, Illinois Valley, 1:17; 195 — Mikel Farley, Glide, major dec. Garrett Dees, Rainier, 12-1; 220 — Christian Rodriguez, Vale, pinned Jason Larson, Rainier, 5:16; 285 — Jesse Hutchins, Rainier, pinned Kye Yraguen, Vale, 1:27.
126 — Zak Winsted, Harrisburg, pinned Eric Miller, Illinois Valley, 5:19.
145 — Logan Miller, Illinois Valley, dec. Lane Cummings, Vale, 7-1.
182 — Billy Montano, Jefferson, pinned James Jarrett, Illinois Valley, 4:30.
195 — Jullian Northrup, Illinois Valley, pinned Saul Ballaine, Lakeview, 6:56.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, email@example.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry