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Sprague wins Crater Classic

Talented Salem club stuns Comets in their own gym —

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CENTRAL POINT-- The Sprague Olympians did to Crater what no team had ever done: Beat the Comets at the Crater Wrestling Classic. —

— The Olympians crowned five individual champions and had four runners-up to stun the Comets in their own gym on Saturday. —

— The Salem school piled up 430 points to handily thump the two-time defending state champion Comets, who totaled 367. —

— Marshfield was a distant third with 141, followed by North Medford (133), Mountain View (124), South Medford (116), Rogue River (69), North Valley (60), South Umpqua (57) and Hidden Valley (52). —

— Today we got out-wrestled, pure and simple, said Crater coach Greg Haga, whose Comets had won the previous seven Crater Wrestling Classics. Give Sprague credit. They beat us early in the tournament, they beat us late and they beat a bunch of our guys head-to-head. —

— It wasn't a fluke. They kicked our hind end and we have no excuses. —

— Perhaps most surprising was that two of Crater's defending state champions -- Morgan Hawkins and Justin Godley -- were not only beaten by Sprague wrestlers, but pinned. —

— Chris Mortensen flattened Hawkins in one minute, 11 seconds in the 130-pound title match, while Stryder Davis of the Olympians slammed Godley to the mat in 5:48 in the 145-pound bout. —

— I got him with a chin whip to take him down and then used a grapevine to pin him, explained Mortensen, who was a state runner-up at 103 pounds two years ago but failed to place last season. I was very surprised at what happened. —

— Davis' victory over Godley was no surprise, considering he split two matches against the Crater wrestler at a tournament in Reno last month and came into Saturday's match ranked No. — at 145 pounds. Godley was ranked No. 2. —

— I was lucky I caught him, to tell you the truth, said Davis, who transferred to Sprague from South Albany High last fall. I had the lead (6-2) in the third period and he had to start taking some chances. —

— The Comets did emerge with four champions -- Shane Webster at 160 pounds, Tanner Hillyer at 171, Scott Toney at 189 and Anders Vetch at 215. —

Webster, Crater's other defending state champ, squeezed out a hard-fought 3-1 overtime victory over Mountain View's Luke Larwin. The relentless warriors, ranked 1-2 in the state, fought through six minutes of regulation time but neither could manage more than an escape, forcing the overtime. —

— With Larwin finally beginning to tire just a bit, Webster shot around the Mountain View wrestler's backside and registered the winning takedown. —

— It could have gone either way, said Webster, who ran his season record to 23-0. He could have caught me just as easily as I caught him. —

— In the overtime I finally found an opening and took him down, but he's a great wrestler and a good guy. This is the type of match I love to wrestle. —

— Hillyer was impressive in all three of his matches and culminated his day with a 12-3 romp over Sprague's Ryan Shurtz. —

— Toney, meanwhile, cruised to a 5-0 victory over North Medford's Norris Bier in the 189-pound title match and Vetch downed Sprague's Robert Dyer, 4-1, at 215. —

— Sprague coach Kary Hadden was all smiles afterward. —

— For us to wrestle this tough in this environment was very encouraging, said Hadden, whose team has finished seventh at state the past three years. We had a lot of kids who came through, and our depth really showed. We're two-deep most of the way through. —

— Sprague finished runner-up in the state football playoffs last month, and Saturday was the first day the football players-turned wrestlers truly found their groove, Hadden said. —

— This is only the second tournament the football players have been with us, he said. The whole team spent last night in this gym and we came together as a team. We talked about what we needed to do on the mat today to be successful, and the kids went out and did it. —

— One of the football players -- heavyweight Jeff Livingston -- walked off with an individual title, and two others were second. —

— Hadden isn't counting on the Comets being down for long, however. The same two schools will compete at the Oregon Classic next week in Portland and then enter the Hillsboro tournament the following week. —

— It's going to be a war from here on out, Hadden said. I've known Greg Haga for a long time and I know his kids will come back fighting and clawing. —

— Monday's practice won't be for the weak-willed, Haga admitted. —

— We're going to crank it up about three notches and see who wants to keep wrestling, Haga said. —

— South Medford crowned two champions -- Cory Sweet at 140 pounds and T.J. Winningham at 152. But the Panthers' most gutty performance belonged to 215-pound Ian Taylor. —

— Taylor suffered a nasty gash under his right eye during a sudden death overtime loss to Sprague's Dyer, but, with wads of tape wrapped around his head to cover the wound, he pinned Marshfield's Jesse Pittman in the third-fourth place match. —

— Wrestling is perseverance, and I'm not going to give in to something like this, shrugged Taylor, whose right eye was completely covered by the tape. I'm sure I'll need quite a few stitches, but this isn't a big deal to me. —

— Other local grapplers who excelled were Rogue River's Nick Minard, who registered a 5-4 victory over Sprague's James Montgomery in the 112-pound title match; North Medford's Josh Tarolli, who pinned previously unbeaten Ricky Jansma of Marshfield in the 119 championship bout; and North Valley's Matt Gentry, who rolled to a 7-3 win over Sprague's Noah Cinquini at 135. —

— TEAM SCORES-- Sprague 430, Crater 367, Marshfield 141, North Medford 133, Mt. View 124, South Medford 116, Rogue River 69, North Valley 60, South Umpqua 57, Hidden Valley 52. —

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS —

— 103 -- Seth Miller, S, dec. Chris Jensen, NM, 4-3; 112 -- Nick Minard, RR, dec. James Montgomery, S, 5-4; 119 -- Josh Tarolli, NM, won by technical fall over Ricky Jansma, M, 2:34; 125 -- Robert Fredrickson, S, dec. Gabe Gurule, S, 1-0; 130 -- Chris Mortensen, S, won by technical fall over Morgan Hawkins, C, 1:11. —

— 135 -- Matt Gentry, NV, dec. Noah Cinquini, S, 7-3; 140 -- Corey Sweet, SM, won by technical fall over Joel Britt, SU, :50; 145 -- Stryder Davis, S, won by technical fall over Justin Godley, C, 5:48; 152 -- TJ Winningham, SM, dec. Kevin Hansen, S, 10-6. —

— 160 -- Shane Webster, C, dec. Luke Larwin, MV, 3-1 in OT; 171 -- Tanner Hillyer, C, dec. Ryan Shurtz 12-3; 189 -- Scott Toney, C, dec. Norris Bier, NM, 5-0; 215 -- Anders Vetch, C, dec. Robert Dyer, S, 4-1; 275 -- Jeff Livingston, S, dec. Austin Etchison, C, 7-4. —

THIRD-FOURTH —

— 103 -- Ty Van Burger, M, won by technical fall over Travis VonEps, MV, 2:21; 112 -- Cody Lathrop, C, dec. Clancy Finchum, C, 4-0; 119 -- Dustin Anders, C, dec. Luke Miller, S, 8-4; 125 -- Cody Larwin, MV, dec. Jared Enright, M, 8-3; 130 -- Pete Mengerhausen, HV, won by technical fall over Jason Licato, C, 2:46. —

— 135 -- Jason Enright, M, dec. Bob Pool, C, 5-3; 140 -- Reed Gray, S, dec. Jayson Stratton, C, 8-1; 145 -- Cole Spillman, M, won by forfeit; 152 -- Tommy Jones, SU, dec. Joel Gibson, NM, 6-0. —

— 160 -- Scott Nelson, S, dec. Derek Hopp, MV, 12-4; 171 -- Mike Murphy, SM, dec. Landon Ross, S, 5-4; 189 -- Brendan McLean, NV, dec. Aaron Heyer, M, 5-3; 215 -- Ian Taylor, SM, won by technical fall over Jesse Pittman, M, 4:14; 275 -- Ben Tibbetts, C, won by technical fall over Scott Myers, NM, 5:07. —

FIFTH-SIXTH —

— 103 -- Nate Gipson, C, dec. Ryan Wilder, S, 3-2; 112 -- Ian Rasmussen, SM, dec. Trevor Caldwell, S, 10-4 in OT; 119 -- Matt Hillier, S, dec. Clint Hanes, C, 10-3; 125 -- Wes Hunt, C, dec. Jimmey Ulrey, NM, 8-2; 130 -- Layne Ross, S, dec. Adrian Gerstmar, RR, 5-2. —

— 135 -- Walker Hanlon, MV, won by technical fall over Ken Myers, SM, 4:07; 140 -- Cole Scott, MV, dec. Nick Dent, S, 10-7; 145 -- Adam Klein, RR, dec. Levi Wisdom, C, 9-4; 152 -- Leon Kallai, NV, won by technical fall over Brad Jones, S, 3:20. —

— 160 -- Kyle Tuttle, S, dec. Covey Baack, C, 1-0; Justin Samples, C, won by technical fall over Andy Creese, MV, 2:51; 189 -- Ben Vandagrift, SM, dec. Aaron Harleman, C, 6-5; 215 -- Curt Strickland, HV, dec. Dan Ostrin, S, 5-3; 275 -- Lude Perez, S, won by technical fall over Dave Timme, RR, :44.

Sprague wins Crater Classic Photo by Jim Craven Crater's Shane Webster, right, cruises to a win over Derek Hopp of Mountain View.