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Crater takes early lead at Reser's tourney

HILLSBORO ' Generally considered a barometer of where a wrestling team stands leading up to the state tournament, the Reser's Tournament of Champions found a familiar name atop the standings after Friday's opening action.

Top-ranked Crater, winner of six of the past eight state titles, pulled out to a narrow lead over Hermiston at Liberty High and has high hopes of extending that margin in this morning's championship semifinals.

Crater, which has a 2.5-point lead over Hermiston, has six wrestlers still alive in the championship bracket and two others plugging away in the consolation bracket.

Tomorrow in the semis is where we need to make our jump, said Crater coach Greg Haga. We need to pull four or five guys into the finals. That could be about a 50- to 60-point jump right there.

Vying to earn spots in tonight's championship finals are Brock Gutches (103 pounds), Jake Vizzini (125), Tyler Weathers (130), Jon Bernhardt (145), Cody Clark (215) and Charlie Alexander (275).

Still alive for the Comets in the consolation bracket are Andrew Van Wey (112) and Adam Lindgren (140).

— We wrestled real tough today, said Haga, adding he was pleased with his second varsity. Even in some of our defeats, the kids wrestled real well and competed on the mat. There's no place to hide up here in any of the weights. There are tough guys in every match.

Besides Crater, the field includes Class 4A teams ranked Nos. 3-9, and the second-ranked 3A team in Estacada.

TEAM SCORES (Top 5)

' Crater 93.5, Hermiston 91, Crook County 72, Pendleton 70.5, Estacada 68.5.