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Comets leave little doubt

Buoyed by six champions and five runners-up, Crater breezes to the Classic championship

CENTRAL POINT ' Wrestling Crater High is a difficult task in its own right.

Taking on the Comets when they have a chip on their shoulders is downright unforgiving.

Coming off a dual-meet loss to rival Eagle Point on Thursday, and with West Linn in town trying to claim its second straight Crater Classic, the Comets wrestled as if they had something to prove and left no doubt as to who had the most complete team Saturday afternoon at Crater High.

Buoyed by six champions and five runners-up, Crater breezed to the championship in the Crater Classic with 137 more points than runner-up West Linn, 398-261.

— South Medford had two champions and two runners-up to take third at 165, followed by Thurston (159.5), Culver (144), Lebanon (135), North Medford (118.5) and Woodburn (42) in the eight-team tournament.

It's good to get back from losing to Eagle Point in the dual, said junior Crater heavyweight Charlie Alexander. We got after it pretty good today.

Alexander was one of four Comets to punctuate their tournament with a pin in the championship finals, taking care of North Medford's Tim Endecott in 1:56. Also earning championship falls for Crater were Tyler Weathers at 119 pounds, Jon Bernhardt at 145 and Cody Clark at 215.

Chase Maloney scored a 15-5 major decision over Thurston's Abe Hogle for the 160-pound title, with Ron Lee outscoring teammate Chris Robertson 11-5 at 189.

Jake Vizzini (112) also placed second for the Comets, along with Bryon Kezer (125), Jesse Warren (145) and Collin Brooks (171).

It's real easy to see that from 160 up we're pretty tough, said Crater head coach Greg Haga, who typically uses his own tournament as a measuring stick for how his team is shaping up for the district meet. Our focus is down low to get some of those other weights solidified for the conference (tourney). Today they showed me some good signs of being able to do that.

The Comets also had Devon Mauck (130), Will Smith (140) and Nick Grabowski (215) take third, with 112-pounder Andrew Van Wey advancing to the semifinals before a flu-bug forced him to forfeit that match and the third-place final.

West Linn scored only three titles with wins by Prescot Garner (103), Alec Zachman (125) and Matt Kim (130), who was named outstanding wrestler for the 103 to 140 weight classes.

It's nice to beat West Linn, said Haga. They whipped us here last year and their coach (Doug Samarron) and I went to college together (at Southern Oregon University) so it's kind of a friendly rivalry. It's good to go out and not just beat 'em, but beat 'em bad.

The match of the night actually went to neither a Crater or West Linn wrestler, but to North Medford junior Chris Platt at 171.

Continuing his back-and-forth rivalry with Crater's Collin Brooks, Platt shrugged off a 3-0 deficit entering the third period to score a 5-3 triumph.

Platt, who placed third at state last season, had previously topped Brooks 7-3 in a dual meet and, more recently, lost 5-0 to the Comet junior in the Rogue Valley Classic finals.

He's real tough and a good wrestler, Platt said of his counterpart. It's a pretty good rivalry we've got going.

Brooks scored an early takedown to take a 2-0 lead but the rest of the action was essentially a stalemate until the third, when Platt earned an escape and then locked Brooks down for a 3-all tie. Platt put the finishing touch on his comeback with a near-side cradle in the final 20 seconds.

I just fell right into it, said Platt, who was named outstanding wrestler for the upper weights.

For Brooks, it was simply a matter of not being able to remain aggressive in the final two minutes.

I just gassed and kinda shut down my game in the end, he said.

Their matchup is one that stands to play out at district, and beyond.

It's real easy to see both Chris and Collin in the state finals, said Haga. I think it's going to be a close match every time they wrestle.

South Medford's Chris Helman (135) and Travis Harvey (140) each won titles, with Seth Hernandez second at 135 and Juan Aguilar second at 103.

TEAM SCORES ' Crater 398, West Linn 261, South Medford 165, Thurston 159.5, Culver 144, Lebanon 135, North Medford 118.5, Woodburn 42.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

103

' Prescot Garner, WL, pinned Juan Aguilar, SM, :42; 112

' Miguel Baltazar, Cul, dec. Jake Vizzini, Cra, 7-3; 119

' Tyler Weathers, Cra, pinned James Moyses, Cul, 5:01; 125

' Alec Zachman, WL, major dec. Bryon Kezer, Cra, 12-1; 130

' Matt Kim, WL, dec. Adam Kinley, Cul, 9-6.

135

' Chris Helman, SM, pinned Seth Hernandez, SM, 1:34; 140

' Travis Harvey, SM, dec. David Carter, Thu, 4-2; 145

' Jon Bernhardt, Cra, pinned Jesse Warren, Cra, 1:27; 152

' Colby Covington, Thu, dec. Brandon Goss, WL, 7-2.

160

' Chase Maloney, Cra, major dec. Abe Hogle, Thu, 15-5; 171

' Chris Platt, NM, dec. Collin Brooks, Cra, 5-3; 189

' Ron Lee, Cra, dec. Chris Robertson, Cra, 11-5; 215

' Cody Clark, Cra, pinned Joe Stowers, WL, 1:14; 275

' Charlie Alexander, Cra, pinned Tim Endecott, NM, 1:56.

THIRD-FOURTH FINALS

103

' Ryan Allen, Thu, tech. fall Zack Kezer, Cra, 16-0; 112

' Kendal Ward, WL, won by forfeit over Andrew Van Wey, Cra; 119

' Jon Ulrey, NM, tech. fall Chris Triglia, Leb, 15-0; 125

' Billy Kenyon, Cul, pinned Dustin Jacobsen, Cul, :39; 130

' Devon Mauck, Cra, dec. Brandon Ladick, WL, 6-5.

135

' Levi Roberts, Cul, major dec. Tyson Weston, NM, 19-5; 140

' Will Smith, Cra, pinned Mark Muzzioli, Cra, 2:37; 145

' Gabe MaGee, Leb, major dec. Spencer Hansen, WL, 13-3; 152

' Daniel Leach, Wood, dec. Dan Swift, SM, 6-4 OT.

160

' Ryan Folsom, NM, tech. fall Austin Hughes, Thu, 18-3; 171

' Michael Ricke, Leb, dec. Nick Locke, WL, 5-4; 189

' Justin Stancliff, NM, dec. Gurkan Calis, Leb, 13-10; 215

' Nick Grabowski, Cra, pinned Brian Mitchell, Thu, 1:28; 275

' Mac Gerber, WL, pinned Kyle Bellon, Leb, 1:28.

FIFTH-SIXTH FINALS

103

' Zane Smith, Thu, dec. Cody Knudson, SM, 6-4; 112

' Brad Sandahl, WL, pinned Jeremy Thompson, Cul, 1:30; 119

' Jerry DeBoer, SM, major dec. Tim Kim, WL, 14-3; 125

' Michael Donovan, WL, pinned Kevin Chavez, Thu, 3:49; 130

' Andrew Walnum, Leb, pinned Isaac Salazar, Leb, 1:43.

135

' Jared Yates, Wood, pinned Gerald Speas, Cul, 1:06; 140

' James Phillips, Leb, dec. Darren Brown, Leb, 5-2; 145

' Daniel Brabham, Cul, dec. John Platt, NM, 10-5; 152

' Adam Lindgren, Cra, pinned Alex Brummer, SM, 2:58.

160

' Aaron Gazeley, Leb, major dec. Kenny Licea, SM, 14-0; 171

' Brice Arand, Thu, pinned Levi Morgan, Thu, 3:20; 189

' Jim Halicki, WL, dec. Jake Helbling, WL, 5-2; 215

' Brian Heinrichs, SM, pinned Todd Totton, Leb, :50; 275

' Cody Leeder, W, pinned Will Shepard, Cra, 1:45.

North Medford?s Chris Platt, left, has a leg up on Crater?s Collin Brooks during the 171-pound championship. Platt won, 5-3. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Mail Tribune Jim Craven