PORTLAND — With Hermiston miles ahead of the Class 5A field, Saturday night's drama at the state wrestling tournament came down to which team could claw past the others and finish as runner-up at Memorial Coliseum.

PORTLAND — With Hermiston miles ahead of the Class 5A field, Saturday night's drama at the state wrestling tournament came down to which team could claw past the others and finish as runner-up at Memorial Coliseum.

Crater, Thurston and Hillsboro entered the championship finals in striking distance of one another, but it was the Comets who summoned enough fortitude to claim second place and earn their highest finish since winning it all in 2006.

"It was the seniors, with eight placers in the bunch," said Crater interim head coach Denny Walters. "They knew they had a job to do and went out and did it. I'm extremely proud of those guys."

Hermiston scored a whopping 303 points to outdistance the field for its third straight 5A title.

"Hermiston's just too tough," said Walters. "I think they would've been right there at any level."

The going wasn't quite so easy for Crater, which crowned two champions to slip past Thurston by one point for second place, 165-164. Hillsboro was fourth at 150.5 and Eagle Point (101.5) finished fifth — just outside of a trophy spot for the second straight year.

Logan Brooks had a chance to secure second place at 189 pounds with a win over Thurston's Jordan Hagg, but was tagged for stalling with 13 seconds to go to send the match into overtime at 3-all. With 14 seconds left in the extra minute, the two wrestlers locked up and Hagg got the better of it to earn a takedown and eventual 8-3 decision.

"In that place, it was whoever got his chest higher," said Brooks of the fateful maneuver. "He was a little bit taller than me, a little bit longer than me and he had that leverage advantage."

That loss put the Colts in the driver's seat with only one Crater wrestler remaining in 215-pound senior Darrio Mobley.

Not wanting to put added pressure on Mobley, Walters said he never said anything to him about the magnitude of his match.

Turns out he didn't have to. Mobley was as wrapped up in Brooks' match as anyone, even if he didn't know the exact numbers in the team race.

"I just knew when Logan lost I had to go out there and make something up for the team," said Mobley. "We were right there with Thurston, and he'd just gotten done losing to a Thurston guy, so that just put us that much more in the hole. I just gave it everything I had."

Mobley's everything was more than enough as he dominated Century's Leo Hammer en route to a 7-1 win that clinched the second-place trophy.

"Darrio's one of those guys who, when it's time to shine, he always steps up," said Walters. "He's a phenomenal athlete."

"Actually, I thought it'd be closer than that because Hammer's tough," added the coach. "Darrio just completely took him out of his game plan. I didn't see that coming."

It's a safe bet not many in the state could have predicted how high the Comets would finish, especially considering the adversity and turmoil the team has faced this month with the suspension of head coach Greg Haga by the Oregon School Activities Association.

"When you lose your head coach, a lot of things can happen," said Walters. "This sport's hard enough with cutting weight and working hard with daily doubles. It's a grind, so for these guys to stay together, I'm extremely proud of them."

Crater senior Brock Gutches sent a message loud and clear how the Comets feel about Haga in the moments after earning his second straight state title, holding up a "Team Haga" T-shirt for all to see.

"It meant a lot to me, it meant a lot to our community and a lot to our team," the 152-pounder said of the gesture. "I'm real disappointed Haga couldn't be here, but stuff happens and you have to deal with it."

"Coach Haga is just a great friend of mine, an awesome mentor and a great coach," he added. "It meant a lot to me that I got to hold that shirt up."

Gutches said he planned the act prior to the state tournament, and wasted little time getting to his big moment. He scored three pins inside 1 minute, 35 seconds to reach the final, then slammed Hermiston's Cody Britt in 2:15 Saturday night.

"My plan was to stay on him until he just quit," said Gutches, who has signed to wrestle at Boise State but plans to redshirt next season.

In Crater's other championship final, senior Nick Ferris ran into a buzzsaw at 125 in the form of Hillsboro sophomore Mikie Rodriguez, who earned his second straight title with a 16-0 technical fall at 4:21.

Earlier in the day, the Comets put three of their four consolation-bracket wrestlers into the third-place final. Kenny Fahndrich (160) and Brandon Hesse (285) each placed third, while Jeremy Artoff (112) settled for fourth. Jeremiah Swing (160) finished eighth.

Senior Garrett Davis paced Eagle Point with a third-place finish at 152. Davis dominated his final match before earning a pin in 2:28 over Hillsboro's Joe Ashby.

Senior Daniel Soto (119) and junior Steven Josephson (171) each placed fourth for the Eagles, while junior Trent Kaiser (130) was fifth. Placing seventh for EP were junior Jake Gallo (140) and senior Josh Winter (145) and freshman Aaron Lorenz finished eighth at 103.

In other local 5A action, Ashland sophomore Jake Scarminach capped a solid run with a fourth-place showing at 145.

Ryan Mahoney and Ken Hyland each posted the top efforts among Medford wrestlers at the 6A level, with North Medford's Mahoney and South Medford's Hyland each placing fourth against second-seeded competition.

Mahoney, a 145-pound junior, came up short in a heartbreaker against Southwest Conference foe Dylan Westwang of Roseburg, 8-6 in overtime.

"We had a good match," said Mahoney of the all-junior final. "I beat him a couple weeks ago at district and I guess it was his time to come back. It's a great matchup that I think we'll get to see more of in the future."

Mahoney's only other loss came at the hands of Sprague's R.J. Pena, who was one of three wrestlers Saturday to earn his fourth straight state title.

"It was a tough task," Mahoney said of his state path. "It could've been better but still I had fun this weekend. It was a great weekend for me and it's going to be fun again next year."

Hyland, the Panthers' lone state qualifier, lost 6-0 to fellow senior Jacob Morris of Oregon City.

The Black Tornado, which finished tied for 12th with 62.5 points, had three other state placers in juniors Cory Haggans (fifth, 152), Ammon Ebert (eighth, 135) and Robert Ross (eighth, 285).

Behind a state-championship performance by senior Justin Eldred (130) and a fourth-place showing by Dylan Fauver (140), Grants Pass finished 14th as a team with 61.5 points. Also placing for the Cavemen were sophomore Nathan Piader (sixth, 112) and freshman Nick Grow (eighth, 103).

Newberg edged Roseburg, 189-174.5, to claim the 6A team title and put an end to the Indians' two-year winning streak.

Class 6A

TEAM SCORES

1, Newberg 189; 2, Roseburg 174.5; 3, Sprague 139.5; 4, Canby 118; 5, McNary 114.5; 6, West Salem 104; 7, Oregon City 97; 8, Tualatin 90; 9, Hood River Valley 84; 10, Gresham 71.5; 11, Redmond 66; 12, Clackamas 62.5; (tie) North Medford 62.5; 14, Grants Pass 61.5; 15, Southridge 59; 16, West Linn 54; 17, Forest Grove 53; (tie) McMinnville 53; 19, David Douglas 45; 20, McKay 38; 21, Centennial 33; 22, Sandy 32; 23, Aloha 29; 24, North Salem 27; 25, Reynolds 24.5; 26, Westview 22; 27, Milwaukie 21; 28, Grant 20; 29, South Salem 16; 30, South Medford 14; 31, Wilson 11; 32, Beaverton 10; 33, Lakeridge 9; 34, Lincoln 7; 35, Barlow 6; 36, Putnam 5; 37, South Eugene 4; 38, Lake Oswego 3; (tie) Sheldon 3; (tie) Sunset 3; 41, Benson 0; (tie) Franklin 0.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

103 — Josh Johnson, Forest Grove, pinned Tazz Tanner, Newberg, 5:30; 112 — Dan Faas, Roseburg, dec. Brady Fischer, Oregon City, 9-4 OT; 119 — Tommy Siciliano, Newberg, pinned Walter Blice, Tualatin, 3:28; 125 — John Reese, Gresham, pinned Jacob Pletcher, 3:49.

130 — Justin Eldred, Grants Pass, dec. Donald Paulson, West Linn, 5-2; 135 — Sam Mecham, Roseburg, dec. Blake Borsberry, West Salem, 6-3 ; 140 — Alex Elder, West Salem, dec. Jacob Kaufman, Newberg, 11-4; 145 — R.J. Pena, Sprague, won by forfeit over Clint Peebles, Newberg; 152 — Dylan Fors, Roseburg, dec. Kaleb Cook, McKay, 8-6.

160 — Brandon Griffin, Sprague, pinned Tony Gonzalez, McKay, 3:41; 171 — Alec Ortiz, Newberg, dec. Miles Hygelund, Canby, 9-2; 189 — Taylor Johnson, Redmond, dec. Michael Doman, Canby, 9-4; 215 — Cody Mansur, Clackamas, dec. Tyler Steele, West Salem, 5-1; 285 — Mitch Gaulke, West Linn, dec. David Vieru, Centennial, 2-0.

THIRD-FOURTH FINALS

103 — Ryan Haney, Redmond, dec. Jack Handbury, Clackamas, 8-2; 112 — Peter Russo, Newberg, maj. dec. Levi Martinez, 10-0; 119 — Jordan Lowe, McNary, dec. Timmy Constien, Gresham, 6-3; 125 — James Roberts, Canby, dec. Alex Kostenborder, Sprague, 6-2; 130 — David Frasier, Hood River Valley, dec. Kyle Richardson, Canby, 6-4.

135 — Sean Soliz, Redmond, dec. Robert Frasier, Hood River Valley, 8-4; 140 — Sean Baker, Hood River Valley, maj. dec. Dylan Fauver, Grants Pass, 9-1; 145 — Dylan Westwang, Roseburg, dec. Ryan Mahoney, 8-6 OT; 152 — Adam Swogger, South Salem, dec. Corey Ellison, West Salem, 4-3.

160 — Jacob Morris, Oregon City, dec. Ken Hyland, South Medford; 171 — Tyler Sherman, Newberg, dec. Nick Roberts, Gresham, 3-0; 189 — Jonathan Byers, David Douglas, dec. Jules Johnson, McMinnville, 9-8; 215 — Alek Poti, Tualatin, dec. Devin Wells, Southridge, 6-4; 285 — Alex Matiaco, Forest Grove, dec. A.J. Johnson, Southridge, 4-3.

FIFTH-SIXTH FINALS

103 — Garrett Heinetz, David Douglas, maj. dec. Tyler Jordan, McNary, 12-4; 112 — Trey Marquez, Tualatin, dec. Nathan Piader, Grants Pass, 6-0; 119 — A.J. Ballard, Canby, dec. Chayse Jackson, Roseburg, 5-3; 125 — Brad Topliff, Sandy, pinned Josh Humlie, McMinnville, 5:32; 130 — Jay Tovey, Roseburg, pinned Jesse Martinez, McNary, 1:49.

135 — Dillon Carbajal, Tualatin, maj. dec. Jordan Young, Reynolds, 14-0; 140 — Bryce Whitehead, Sprague, pinned Dillon Doering, McNary, 4:43; 145 — Joe Guerrero, North Salem, dec. Jose Damien, Gresham, 13-10; 152 — Cory Haggans, North Medford, maj. dec. Andi Hari, McMinnville.

160 — Jacob Snodgrass, Canby, dec. Aaron Mallon, Hood River Valley, 8-5; 171 — Josh Weaver, Roseburg, pinned Mitchell Wilhelmi, 5:27; 189 — Jack Steinberg, Clackamas, dec. Olajuwan Stiffer, Reynolds, 2-1; 215 — Jason Grosjacques, Tualatin, dec. Brandon Galvez, Roseburg, 3-2 OT; 285 — Trent Gallegos, West Salem, pinned Koby Pederson, McNary, 4:45.

SEVENTH-EIGHTH FINALS

103 — Nickoli Morrissey, McMinnville, pinned Nick Grow, Grants Pass, :44; 112 — Alex Funk, Sprague, maj. dec. Jake Neal, Aloha, 10-2; 119 — Nick Coles, Redmond, maj. dec. Luke Scruggs, Oregon City, 10-2; 125 — Tyler Lander, Roseburg, pinned Lomberto Flores, Hood River Valley, :36; 130 — Nate Andrews, Tualatin, dec. James Puerini, Sprague, 3-0.

135 — Yulerik Sorenson, Sprague, dec. Ammon Ebert, NM, 6-4; 140 — Dalton Justice, Canby, pinned Aaron Farwel, Milwaukee, 3:49; 145 — Spencer Kaufman, North Salem, maj. dec. Taren Bennett, Hood River, 12-3; 152 — Zach Baker, South Eugene, dec. Tanner Weatherill, Hood River Valley, 6-3.

160 — Dan Bogatko, McNary, dec. Robert Kennedy, Tualatin; 171 — Connor Kryskalla, West Salem, dec. Zach Reser, Westview, 9-6; 189 — Lucas Mondragon, Hood River Valley, dec. Scott Kryskalla, West Salem, 5-2; 215 — Tanner Krahel, Aloha, dec. Chris Boyd, Lincoln, 5-4; 285 — Job Johnson, Grant, pinned Robert Ross, NM, :49.

Class 5A

TEAM SCORES

1, Sweet Home 142; 2, McLoughlin 122.5; 3, La Grande 121.5; 4, Illinois Valley 118.5; 5, Tillamook 118; 6, Henley 116; (tie) Scappoose 116; 8, South Umpqua 114.5; 9, Ontario 99.5; 10, Molalla 99; 11, Pleasant Hill 90.5; 12, Cottage Grove 88; 13, Phoenix 86; 14, Cascade 84; 15, North Marion 67.5; 16, Estacada 60.5; 17, Baker 56; 18, Astoria 40; 19, Philomath 36; 20, North Valley 34; 21, La Pine 33; 22, Douglas 31; 23, North Bend 30.5; 24, Sutherlin 27.5; 25, Central 26; (tie) Newport 26; (tie) Stayton 26; 28, Brookings-Harbor 21; 29, Elmira 18; 30, Junction City 11; 31, Sisters 10; 32, Siuslaw 9; 33, Banks 6; (tie) Gladstone 6; (tie) Taft 6; 36, Seaside 4; 37, Hidden Valley 3; 38, Marist 0; (tie) Yamhill-Carlton 0.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

103 — Joey Delgado, Hermiston, pinned McKennan Buckner, Crook County, :54; 112 — C.J. Dircksen, Hermiston, dec. Riley Omlid, Thurston, 4-2; 119 — Ben Jorgensen, Hermiston, dec. Zach Binkerd, Hillsboro, 6-2; 125 — Mikie Rodriguez, tech. fall Nick Ferris, Crater, 4:21; 130 — Ryan Arand, Thurston, dec. Steven Quesada, Silverton, 3-1.

135 — Zac Brunson, Churchill, dec. John Hedge, Thurston, 8-5; 140 — Eric Luna, Cleveland, dec. Bryce McMahon, Hermiston, 6-0; 145 — Jacob Richard, West Albany, pinned Tarrance Williams, Jefferson, 2:23; 152 — Brock Gutches, Crater, pinned Cody Britt, Hermiston, 2:15.

160 — Cody Jones, Dallas, dec. Joel Arranda, Lebanon, 2-1; 171 — Anthony Juliano, Century, dec. Curtis Berger, Hermiston, 7-2; 189 — Jordan Haag, Thurston, dec. Logan Brooks, Crater, 5-3 OT; 215 — Leo Hammer, Century, dec. Darrio Mobley, Crater, 7-1; 285 — .

THIRD-FOURTH FINALS

103 — Joe Potts, Churchill, dec. Gerardo Linerez, West Albany, 8-4; 112 — David Noah, Hillsboro, dec. Jeremy Artoff, Crater, 4-3; 119 — Jaylee Britt, Hermiston, maj. dec. Daniel Soto, Eagle Point, 11-2; 125 — Brett Gast, Crook County, dec. Dalton Urrutia, Lebanon, 11-7; 130 — Brandon Adolf, Hermiston, maj. dec. Victor Aguilar, Glencoe, 10-2.

135 — Craig Task, Lebannon, dec. Dylan Olsen, Hermiston, 2-1 OT; 140 — Ryan Brunner, Madras, dec. Steven Sturdevant, Thurston, 6-3; 145 — Andrew Nava, Hillsboro, maj. dec. Jake Scarminach, Ashland, 8-0; 152 — Garrett Davis, Eagle Point, pinned Joe Ashby, Hillsboro, 2:28.

160 — Kenny Fahndrich, Crater, dec. Ben Millard, Hermiston, 2-1. 171 — Gabe Rebischke, Dallas, dec. Steven Joseph, Eagle Point, 5-3; 189 — Jacob Abrams, The Dallas Wahtonka, dec. Levi Roan, Crook County, 5-3; 215 — James Gizzard, Hillsboro, dec. Lale Ena, Hermiston, 8-7; 285 — Brandon Hesse, Crater, dec. Saia Kofe, Jefferson, 2-1 OT.

FIFTH-SIXTH FINALS

103 — Roman Holcomb, Pendleton, dec. Ian Hockett, Sherwood, 9-2; 112 — Trevor Hancock, Pendleton, dec. Eddie Ramirez, Glencoe, 2-1; 119 — Joe Gardner, Thurston, dec. Jarded George, Crook County, 6-3; 125 — Jack Samuel, Thurston, pinned Matt Christensen, West Albany, 2:39; 130 — Trent Kaiser, Eagle Point, dec. Stephen Scranton, Madras 2-1.

135 — Rodney Smith, Madras, dec. Mike Savage, Pendleton, 3-2; 140 — Eli Marvin, West Albany, pinned Dillon Garcia, Century, 1:24; 145 — Cody Spradlin, Hermiston, dec. Kyle Christiansen, Crescent Valley, 5-2; 152 — Alden Durrant, Silverton, dec. Ty Rosevear, Sherwood, 8-3.

160 — Patrick Burns, Century, dec. Dillan Massey, Hermiston, 6-3; 171 — Gabe Starr, Silverton, dec. Cory Davis, Thuston, 8-3; 189 — Trevor Barrett, Madras, pinned Billy Gunther, Century, :53; 215 — Marty Langager, Crescent Valley, pinned Adam Carroll, Silverton, 3:21; 285 — Jacob Kociemba, Hillboro, dec. Brandon Murphy, West Albany, 7-2.

SEVENTH-EIGHTH FINALS

103 — John Vara, Hillsboro, pinned Aaron Lorenz, EP, 2:59; 112 — Bryce Reisnaur, Hillsboro, maj. dec. Tyler Nixon, Marshfield, 14-0; 119 — Ruben Almazan, Corvallis, dec. Christian Strahl, Crescent Valley, 5-4; 125 — Jake Wilson, Cleveland, maj. dec. Doogie Harer, Hillsboro, 10-0; 130 — Fabian Scotto, Hermiston, maj. dec. Tyler Henry, Lebanon, 10-2.

135 — Tyler Cremer, South Albany, dec. Taylor Klein, Hillsboro, 14-13; 140 — Jake Gallo, EP, dec. Matt Kilsdonk, Hermiston, 5-4; 145 — Josh Winter, EP, dec. Ryker Smith, West Albany, 8-6; 152 — Daniel Merrill, Thurston, won by injury forfeit, Richard Quesada, Silverton.

160 — Trevor Mannen, Glencoe, dec. Jeremiah Swing, Crater, 4-2; 171 — Zach Bishop, Hermiston, maj. dec. Cody Stock, Glencoe, 13-4; 189 — Trenton Johnson, Dallas, dec. Cody Shipp, Marshfield, 7-4; 215 — Jeff Cox, Mazama, pinned Kyle Rehberger, Churchill, 2:33; 285 — Dustin Shear, Corvallis, pinned Joe Mead, Glencoe, 5:34.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com