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Phoenix gets a little help from its friends

SALEM ' Phoenix had to sweat it out a little Saturday, but that didn't put a damper on what the Pirate contingent was able to pull off at the Class 3A state wrestling championships.

With a little help from Skyline Conference mate North Valley, Phoenix was able to garner its second straight third-place finish with a solid showing Saturday at the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion.

The Pirates, who advanced nine of their 16 wrestlers to the state tournament, had six wrestlers finish among the top six of their respective weight classes to edge out Sweet Home for third place by 3&

189; points, 116.5-113.

Burns breezed to its fourth straight 3A title by crowning three champions and four runners-up en route to 222 points. Estacada, which qualified a 3A-best 16 wrestlers to state, came in second at 173.5. Led by Zach Pagnotta's state championship at 152, Illinois Valley placed fifth (106), with North Valley sixth (97.5) behind title efforts by juniors Zack Giesen (160) and Brennon Olander (275).

— I don't have any regrets about what we did up here, said Phoenix head coach Harry Mondale. The kids did a fabulous job, there's no getting around that. To get third, that's a great one with this crew. They accomplished quite a bit.

About the only thing the Pirates weren't able to accomplish was an individual state championship, with top-ranked 171-pounder Ricky Farrell succumbing to Elmira's Josh Gannon, 4-3. It was the second straight runner-up finish for the senior Farrell, who lost to Estacada's Sean Stafford 11-2 last year in Portland.

I think I'm 100 times a better wrestler than that kid, said a clearly frustrated Farrell. I just froze up and wrestled the worst I've ever wrestled in my life. I don't know, there's something about the finals where I always lose it. I always freak out and can't handle the pressure I guess. I just froze up and couldn't do anything out there.

The No. 2-ranked Gannon maneuvered his way to a takedown with 12 seconds to go in the first period, then added a reversal for a 4-0 lead 30 seconds into the second period. Farrell finally was able to land a counter move with a reversal one minute later, and was cut loose for an escape to start the third period to make it 4-3. But the rest was a series of stalemates as Gannon locked up Farrell at every opportunity.

Their kid (Gannon) was a good kid, there's no doubt about it, said Mondale. It was just one of those things gosh darnit. He scatters out pretty good and wouldn't let Ricky do what he does best. We needed to be able to take him down and just couldn't take him down.

Farrell's loss left the door open for Sweet Home to vault into the No. — spot with a win by senior heavyweight Chris Kelley three matches later, but Olander didn't let that happen as he dominated en route to his first state title with a 6-1 victory.

There's nothing wrong with getting a little help every now and then, added Mondale.

In reality, though, the Pirates reaped what they sowed in an altogether gritty performance.

Nick Amuchastegui led the Pirate contingent in the consolation bracket, placing third for the second straight year with a 7-0 triumph over Sherwood's Calvin Davis at 140. Phoenix also garnered fourth-place finishes from Kris Kaufman (125) and Anthony Broskey (135), with Riley Gibson finishing fifth (189) and Zack Glanz sixth (130).

We may not have had the quantity of guys, but we certainly had the quality, said Farrell. All our guys work hard so it's no surprise at all that we came away with third place.

Giesen's school-record third straight state crown wasn't much of a surprise either considering his domination of the 160-pound bracket. The junior Knight didn't allow a single takedown in his five victories, with the two-points allowed in his 8-2 finals victory over third-ranked Chris Hayner of Molalla serving as a tourney-high for Giesen.

This time around was probably his most relaxed trip here, North Valley head coach Damien McLean said of the school's first-ever three-time champ. Last year he was so nervous I didn't think we were ever going to get him out of the bathroom to go to the finals. Today he was relaxed, knew what he had to do and went out and got it done.

Saturday's win capped Giesen's season with a 36-1 record, with his lone loss coming to two-time defending Class 4A state champion Chase Maloney of Crater. Although he wanted to make more of a splash in the finals, Giesen had little to complain about once he was handed yet another medal.

Every time the pressure's on, it just feels better each time, said Giesen. I'm definitely not going to think about four, though. That's way too much pressure right now.

Pagnotta was the one applying the pressure in his match, a 10-5 victory over second-ranked Nick rd of Rainier. The Illinois Valley junior, who placed second at 145 last year, opened a 5-0 lead after one period and 8-2 after two and cruised into the finish against an opponent who placed second at 152 last year.

It was a big opportunity for me and I just felt like I had the upper-hand, said Pagnotta, who suffered a broken left ankle in football and wrestled sparingly this season. I just wanted to be aggressive from the start and take it to him.

Pagnotta dedicated his victory to older brother Michael, who made it to the finals in his Cougar career but couldn't quite claim the crown. The championship was IV's first since Jon Pope won the 215-pound title in 2002.

Jesse Swift led the consolation charge for the Cougars with his fourth-place effort at 130, with teammates Jacob Miller (119) and Sam Green (130) finishing fifth and Paulo Rocha (145) and Westcott Lynch (152) each placing seventh.

Although his team didn't fare quite as well as he had hoped, head coach Jay Miller said the Cougars will be able to use this season as a springboard toward better things in the coming years. Illinois Valley returns 11 of the 13 wrestlers it advanced to state.

It was tough luck and not tough wrestling, Jay Miller said of IV's state experience. Hopefully it's a motivation for all of us. We know we have the capability, we just have to work a little harder.

Other placers for North Valley were Jesse Kane, fourth at 103, and Matt Wardlaw, seventh at 112.

Also finishing among the top eight at state from the Skyline Conference were Mazama's Erik Lentz (171) and Jake Kerns (275), who each placed fourth, and Henley's Beau Jackson (sixth at 112), Pat Noonan (seventh at 215) and Shayne Bourne (seventh at 275).

Saturday's 3A Results

TEAM SCORES ' 1, Burns, 222; 2, Estacada, 173.5; 3, Phoenix, 116.5; 4, Sweet Home, 113; 5, Illinois Valley, 106; 6, North Valley, 97.5; 7, Coquille, 90; 8, Molalla, 83; 9, Elmira, 72.5; 10, Scappoose, 72; 11, Rainier, 64; 12, Siuslaw, 63.5; 13, La Grande, 61.5; 14, Sherwood, 61; 15, Seaside, 60; 16, Banks, 59; 17, (tie) Baker, 54, and Cascade, 54; 19, Ontario, 52.5; 20, Tillamook, 52; 21, Cottage Grove, 51; 22, Stayton, 50.5; 23, Central, 46; 24, Mazama, 42.5; 25, McLoughlin, 41.

OTHER LOCAL RESULTS ' 27, Henley, 39; 46, Rogue River, 1.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

103 '

Tyrel Peasley, Burns, major dec. Jonathon Floyd, Estacada, 12-4.

112 '

Nic Garcia, Scappoose, major dec. Levi Root, Burns, 14-4.

119 '

Tyler Phillips, Cascade, dec. Tyler Swartzlender, Burns, 12-10.

125 '

Josh Williams, Banks, dec. Tommie Hooper, Burns, 8-3.

130 '

Braedy Smith, Estacada, tech. fall Nathan Stampke, Burns, 19-4.

135 '

Tyrell Watkins, Burns, dec. Vladi Pedersen, Central, 13-11.

140 '

Josh Stalcup, Estacada, dec. Daniel Hethorn, Central, 6-0.

145 '

Ben Cate, Burns, dec. Matt Lang, Estacada, 3-1.

152 '

Zach Pagnotta, Illinois Valley, dec. Nick rd, Rainier, 10-5.

160 '

Zack Giesen, North Valley, dec. Chris Hayner, Molalla, 8-2.

171 '

Josh Gannon, Elmira, dec. Ricky Farrell, Phoenix, 4-3.

189 '

Nick Lutz, Siuslaw, major dec. Joey Lewis, Coquille, 11-3.

215 '

Paul Colins, Newport, dec. Jeff Crowley, Astoria, 9-6.

275 '

Brennon Olander, North Valley, dec. Chris Kelley, Sweet Home, 6-1.

CONSOLATION BRACKET

THIRD-FOURTH FINALS

103 '

Andy McCormick, Cottage Grove, pinned Jesse Kane, North Valley, :46; 112 '

Brian Stevens, Siuslaw, pinned Weston Zaludek, Elmira, 4:50; 119 '

Brian Jacob, Tillamook, won by default over Justin Rogers, Seaside; 125 '

Robert Nickerson, Coquille, dec. Kris Kaufman, Phoenix, 6-4 OT; 130 '

Shane Vandehei, Sweet Home, dec. Jesse Swift, Illinois Valley, 4-3.

135 '

Trevor Tagle, Sweet Home, dec. Anthony Broskey, Phoenix, 5-4; 140 '

Nick Amuchastegui, Phoenix, dec. Calvin Davis, Sherwood, 7-0; 145 '

Wes Walker, McLoughlin, pinned Jake Terrill, Seaside, 3:55; 152 '

Steven Dailey, Molalla, dec. Chris Cirullo, Pleasant Hill, 2-1.

160 '

Chris Porter, Stayton, dec. Jeremy Blakely, La Grande, 9-7 2OT; 171 '

Brad Pearch, Estacada, dec. Erik Lentz, Mazama, 10-6; 189 '

Todd Smith, Ontario, dec. Olin Howlett, Rainier, 9-3; 215 '

Nick O'Neill, McLoughlin, dec. Ben Gray, Coquille, 6-3; 275 ' Heath Paxton, Baker, pinned Jake Kerns, Mazama, 4:38.

FIFTH-SIXTH FINALS

103 '

Nate Wixom, Stayton, dec. Andy Ellis, Pleasant Hill, 7-1; 112 '

Galen Pearch, Estacada, dec. Beau Jackson, Henley, 11-4; 119 '

Jacob Miller, Illinois Valley, dec. Josh Sherbaugh, Yamhill-Carlton, 10-6; 125 '

Travis Weaver, Toledo, pinned D.J. May, La Grande, :30; 130 '

Sam Green, Illinois Valley, dec. Zack Glanz, Phoenix, 11-7.

135 '

Kenny Haynes, Banks, dec. Levi Bunch, Baker, 4-2; 140 '

Justin DeWolfe, Scappoose, dec. Kenny Early, Molalla, 6-4; 145

' Luke Judy, Sherwood, major dec. Justin Benston, Cottage Grove, 15-4; 152

' Dino May, La Grande, dec. Kyle McGann, Molalla, 11-6.

160 '

Mark Stafford, Estacada, won by forfeit over Josiah Sigler, Seaside; 171

' David Irish, Sherwood, pinned Jarrod Kamstra, Cascade, :42; 189 '

Riley Gibson, Phoenix, major dec. Kyle Witty, La Grande, 12-4; 215 '

Jayson Conger, Elmira, dec. Jeremy Sanders, La Pine, 8-7; 275

' David Iverson, Newport, dec. Daniel Edwards, Seaside, 6-3.

SEVENTH-EIGHTH FINALS

103 '

Patrick Mills, Burns, tech. fall Kyan Bartel, Molalla, 16-0; 112 '

Matt Wardlaw, North Valley, pinned Stephen Kaster, Molalla, 5:45; 119 '

Kyle Oathes, Seaside, major dec. Kevan Palmer, Burns, 11-2; 125 '

Cory Carrillo, Madras, major dec. Neal Frederick, Rainier, 13-1; 130 '

Matt Kloetzer, Burns, dec. Shane Brooks, Scappoose, 6-1.

135 '

Nick Erickson, Pleasant Hill, dec. David Smith, Stayton, 9-2; 140 '

David Raver, La Pine, pinned Ross Weatherspoon, Baker, 3:57; 145 '

Paulo Rocha, Illinois Valley, dec. Travis Branum, North Marion, 9-3; 152 '

Westcott Lynch, Illinois Valley, dec. Toby Smith, Ontario, 9-7.

160 '

Jacob Struck, Madras, dec. Travis Witters, North Bend, 7-6; 171 '

Gabe Hansen, Riverside, dec. Corey Coussens, Banks, 8-4; 189 '

Tyron Chay, Wilsonville, dec. Cameron Koumentis, Stayton, 15-9; 215 '

Pat Noonan, Henley, pinned Jesse Aitken, Sweet Home, 1:07; 275 '

Shayne Bourne, Henley, pinned Jason Mentzer, Cascade, 4:50.