Bench comes through for SOU men
ASHLAND — Kenny Meyer led six Southern Oregon players in double figures with 14 points, Tristen Holmes had 13 and nine assists, and the Raiders shot 58 percent in Sunday's 88-78 win against Cal Maritime at Mountain Avenue Gym.
Freshmen Tate Hoffman (13 points, six rebounds) and Conor Carroll (12 points) both went 3-for-4 from 3-point range off the bench, helping the Raiders (3-0) survive on a day when leading scorer Ben DeSaulnier was limited by foul trouble and starting forward Hunter Bradford left with an injury in the first half. DeSaulnier and Bradford still contributed 10 points apiece.
The Raiders got 45 points out of six freshmen. They made seven of their first nine 3-points attempts and finished 12 of 25 from downtown — including an 8-of-14 display by the bench — and 30 of 52 from the field.
Carroll made all three of his triples in a stretch of three minutes to help SOU extend an early lead that eventually went to 40-25 when Holmes connected from the top of the arc with 4:18 left in the first half. The advantage was 44-34 at halftime, and the Keelhaulers (1-2) trimmed it to two before SOU went on a 9-2 run capped by Justin Martin's 27-footer to make it 64-55 with11:07 to play. It was 78-71 before Hoffman drilled an open 3-pointer at the 3:34 mark, and Hoffman helped seal the outcome by making four free throws down the stretch.
The Keelhaulers, who have won five straight Cal Pacific Conference titles and appeared in the Sweet 16 last year, fell to 1-2. They shot 40 percent (29 of 72) but made 11 3-pointers and were led by Daniel Radford's 20 points.
MIKE CLOCK OPEN: At Forest Grove, NAIA All-American Casey Coulter and the seventh-ranked Southern Oregon men's wrestling team started their season on a high note at Pacific's Mike Clock Open.
Coulter won the 133-pound bracket, and four other Raiders — Devin Poppen (141), Hunter Hodges (157), Max Hane (184) and Andrew Orr (184) — claimed top-three finishes.
Coulter, a junior who competed exclusively at 125 his first two seasons, went 5-0 with three bonus-point wins. He started with technical falls against Grays Harbor's Israel Elwell (15-0) and Washington State's Cameron Bennett (16-1) before pinning Southwestern Oregon's Thorin Wilson 1:43 into the quarterfinals. He wrapped up the title with a pair of decisions, 2-1 against Nathan Johnson of Clackamas and 6-5 against Cruz Velasquez of Simon Fraser.
At 184, Hane and Orr both got through the semifinals unscathed but opted out of a first-place matchup. Hane went 4-0 with a pin and a technical fall, defeating Warner Pacific's Alex Cruz 4-3 in the quarterfinals and the unattached Justin Marble 4-3 in the semis. Orr, a transfer making his debut for the Raiders, had three straight pins — getting unattached Kevin Pine in the second round and Central Washington's Logcen Blitstein and Washington State's Tucker Hanson in the first — before winning by 12-6 decision against Simon Fraser's Doug Peyser in the semis.
At 157, Hodges also started his season with three straight wins by falls over Pacific's Zach Culter (3:41), Eastern Oregon's Ryan Middleton (2:01) and Southwestern Oregon's Cole Hornbrook (1:00). After benefitting from a forfeit in the semis, he lost 4-3 to Clackamas' John Leal in the final.
MIKE CLOCK OPEN: At Forest Grove, eight of the Southern Oregon women's wrestling team's 11 newcomers were top-three placers in the team's season debut at Pacific's Mike Clock Open.
Desiree Zavala and Nicole Diaz, both freshmen, captured individual titles and the Raiders were first in the team standings. Wrestling at 143 pounds, Zavala defeated Simon Fraser's Chloe Welch by a 10-0 technical fall in the semifinals and Warner Pacific's Kiera Gabaldon by 3-2 decision in the final. Diaz (170) won three decisions — 7-3 over Grays Harbor's Jenae Shannon, 9-2 over Simon Fraser's Tav Kaur, and 8-4 in the title match over teammate Nonie Reyes Small.
Along with Reyes Small, freshman Milagros Garcia (191) was also a runner-up. Reyes Small had two pins, and Garcia registered two falls and two technical falls on her way to the championship bout.
Kal Holliday (130), a returning WCWA All-American, started with a first-round pin of Warner Pacific's Regina Bell and a 10-0 technical fall against Southwestern Oregon's Kaylynn Kixenbaugh to reach her bracket's final, eventually going down by pin against Simon Fraser's Nicole Depa. Alejandra Rodriguez (136), who went 28-2 last year, gave the Raiders a fourth second-place finisher by going 3-1 with a pin, a technical fall and a decision. She worked through the wrestle-back side after going down in her second match by technical fall.