Montgomery cruises into state semifinals
Cody Eisenberg came within seconds of pulling off the upset of the tournament in the 220-pound bracket and Mason Montgomery advanced to the semifinals at 195 as Ashland had an eventful day at the OSAA Class 5A state wrestling meet Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Eisenberg had a one-point lead over No. 1 seeded Steely Smith of West Albany before a stalling call with 13 seconds to go sent the match into overtime. There, the two wrestlers battled to a draw through three overtimes before Smith avoided the upset with an escape in the sudden death fourth OT to win 11-10.
"It was a tough loss," Ashland head coach Tony Champion said, "but (Eisenberg) knows where's he's at — he took the No. 1 seed to four overtimes and lost by a point."
Eisenberg rebounded to earn a technical fall victory over Hunter Sexsmith of Parkrose in the first round of the consolation bracket, then pinned Michael Finn of Hermiston in 3 minutes, 27 seconds to keep his third-place hopes alive.
Montgomery earned two easy victories to advance to the final four, showing off the overpowering style that produced a perfect 36-0 regular season.
Montgomery, the No. 3 seed, will face No. 2 seed Jackson Soto of West Albany, last year's runner-up, in the semifinals this morning. Each of the top four seeds advanced to the semifinals in the 195-pound weight class.
Montgomery manhandled his first two opponents in Portland to improve to 38-0. He needed just 53 seconds to pin his first-round foe, Colton Sallee of Lebanon. That earned Montgomery a quarterfinal date with Hood River Valley senior Ramon Ramirez, who was coming off a 7-5 decision over Dustin Ford of St. Helens. Montgomery dominated that one, too, defeating Ramirez 16-3.
"(Montgomery's) wrestling about what I expected him to do so far," Champion said. "We knew that he wouldn't have too tough of matches in the first two rounds but starting tomorrow is when it gets pretty serious. The top three guys in that weight class at 195 are really probably the three best in all classifications."
Soto should give Montgomery a run for his money. The junior pinned his first two opponents Friday in a combined 5:13.
Top-seeded Samuel Shields-Colbray of Hermoston and fourth-seeded Ryan Jurgens of Sherwood also breezed through their quarter of the bracket and will meet in the other semifinal.
"If (Montgomery) wins he's a true champ," Champion said. "And if one of these two guys [Shields-Colbray or Soto] beat him then they've really brought their game because he's trained really hard these last two years. He's in excellent physical and mental condition."
The tournament picks up again today starting at 8:30 a.m. The championship round, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will be streamed live online at osaa.playonsports.com.