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SOU wrestlers advance to national semis

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The third-ranked Southern Oregon wrestling team posted a strong opening day performance at the 2012 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Saturday, dominating University of Cumberlands 39-12 in the opening round and knocking off sixth-seeded Montana State-Northern 35-8 in the quarterfinals.

The Raiders next face No. 2 seed Grand View today at 11 a.m. (CST). The winner of that dual will advance to the 3 p.m. championship bout to face either top-seeded Great Falls or No. 4 Oklahoma City for the national title.

The Raiders won the duel title in 2009.

Grand View will host the national championships later this season and will be a factor in it, said SOU coach Mike Ritchey.

"It'll be a big day for us," Ritchey said of today's matchup. "They have 12 ranked guys and we have 10. In dual meets it comes down to matchups, which makes things exciting.

"The kids are getting after it. We'll go in tomorrow and try to get steamrolling on them. We have better matchups in the lower weights. Hopefully we'll get a good lead and hang on to it."

The 174-pound division, where the Raiders' Brock Gutches resides and will face a higher-ranked opponent, will be key, said Ritchey.

Against Montana State-Northern, Southern Oregon won seven of 10 matches — the onslaught included two pins, two technical falls and a major decision.

Top-ranked 125-pounder Mitchell Lofstedt got the Raiders off to a rousing start with an easy 16-1 technical fall rout over Riley Miller.

The Raiders lost the next match, then won five straight — including back-to-back pins at 157 by Tommie Hooper and 165 pounds by Derek Mestrovich — to clinch a spot in the semis. Hooper, ranked eighth, needed just 35 seconds to pin Edward Cheff and Mestrovich, also ranked eighth, upset third-ranked Ethan Hinebauch in 3:21.

Also coming up big for the Raiders was ninth-ranked Gutches, who earned a major decision over No. 12 Max Payne, and Derek Rottenberg, who garnered a 15-0 technical fall against Kody Reed.

Southern Oregon's first-round win over Cumberlands was equally lopsided — the Raiders opened the dual with eight straight wins, including five pins.

Hooper, fourth-ranked 165-pounder Brian Lemmon, Gutches and No. 2-ranked 184-pounder Austin Vanderford racked up four pins in a row.

In one of the most intriguing matches, Lofstedt edged No. 3 Larone Madison 7-2.

SOU 35, MSU-Northern 8

125 — Mitchell Lofstedt, SOU, tech. fall Riley Miller, 16-1; 133 — Cameron Neiss, MSUN, dec. Miguel Baltazar, 6-4; 141 — Brad Tamashiro, SOU, forfeit; 149 — Jimmy Eggemeyer, SOU, dec. James Peterson, 9-5; 157 — Tommie Hooper, SOU, pinned Edward Cheff, :35; 165 — Derek Mestrovich, SOU, pinned Ethan Hinebauch, 3:21; 174 — Brock Gutches, SOU, major dec. Max Payne, 12-3; 184 — Evan Hinebauch, MSUN, dec. Austin Vanderford, 3-1 OT; 197 — Derek Rottenberg, SOU, tech. fall Kody Reed, 15-0; 285 — Nick King, MSUN, dec. Ethan Hinton, 8-4.

SOU 39, Cumberlands 12

125 — Mitchell Lofstedt, SOU, dec. Larone Madison, 7-2; 133 — Miguel Baltazar, SOU, pinned Grant Burkhalter, 2:21; 141 — Kyle Wirkuty, SOU, dec. Jered Medina, 7-5; 149 — Jimmy Eggemeyer, SOU, dec. Anthonie Linares, 9-6; 157 — Tommie Hooper, SOU, pinned James Holland, 0:25; 165 — Brian Lemmon, SOU, pinned Zachary Barkett, 3:38; 174 — Brock Gutches, SOU, pinned Justin Dillinger, 0:36; 184 — Austin Vanderford, SOU, pinned Jeremy Gardner, 3:54; 197 — Courtney Freeman, UC, pinned Ethan Hinton, 3:45; 285 — Michael Pezzuto, UC, forfeit.

SOUTHERN OREGON 57, OREGON TECH 53 — At Ashland, Southern Oregon used a 14-0 second-half run to overcome a double-digit deficit in a Cascade Collegiate Conference tilt at Bob Riehm Arena.

Angelica Cahee finished with 12 points to lead the Raiders (11-7, 2-5 Cascade), and RaTanya Newsome added 11. Nalani Hernandez posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and added three blocks and two steals in the win.

Aundrea Albright led all scorers with 14 points for Oregon Tech (16-3, 5-2), with Kassi Conditt adding 11 points and Colleen Hunt tallying 10.

Oregon Tech limited Southern Oregon to 25 percent shooting (8-of-32) in the first half to build a 33-23 halftime lead.

Newsome hit a layup to spark a 14-point run by Southern Oregon that turned the game around and gave the hosts their first lead since the opening minutes.

Hernandez made the jumper that put SOU back on top, 46-45, with 5:01 remaining. Kiara Moore followed that up with a jumper of her own, and the Raiders took a five-point lead on a three-point play by Angelica Cahee with less than four minutes to go.

Back-to-back buckets pulled Oregon Tech back within 51-50, but Cahee completed her second three-point play in two minutes when she was fouled on a layup and made the free throw.