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North gives Roseburg a fight at SWC district

As expected, Roseburg is once again king of Southwest Conference wrestling.

But that was not without an inspired fight from North Medford on Saturday in the SWC district meet at South Medford.

The Black Tornado claimed five individual champions — all five defeating Roseburg opponents in the finals — and will send 11 wrestlers to the Class 6A state tournament at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland Feb. 26-28.

"We've improved as a program," North Medford coach Nolan Harris said. "You are always looking to take steps, and we took one here tonight. We'll see if we can take one in two weeks."

Roseburg, the defending Class 6A champion, captured the team title with 494 points. North Medford finished second with 336.

The Indians secured 18 berths to state and had six district champions out of a possible 14.

"I don't like getting beat, and we got beat plenty," said Roseburg coach Steve Lander, who was named co-coach of the year along with South Eugene's Gabe Hamel. "But we won the tournament, and that's one of our goals for the year. A few kids I would have liked to see do better, but I'm sure all the coaches can say that.

"We'll be fine. We sure plan on defending (the state title)."

Ryan Mahoney (145), Cory Haggans (152), Mark Dickison (171), Kody Bonham (189) and Robert Ross (285) were North Medford's district champions.

The Black Tornado's Ammon Ebert (135) and Kade Peden (160) lost in their respective championship matches, while Chris McFall (103), Kohl Damon (125), Cody Wedman (140) and Jesse Hornbrook (171) finished third.

The top three finishers qualify for state.

"It started with our lightweights," Harris said. "We had a big round in the consolation semifinals. I've got to hand it to our lightweights. We've been relying on them all year to get us rolling, and they came through for us today."

The most compelling finals match was Mahoney's against Roseburg's Dylan Westwang, a returning district champion.

Mahoney trailed 7-4 entering the third period, but his escape and takedown with 11 seconds remaining tied the score.

Mahoney utilized his momentum in the sudden-death overtime, quickly recording a takedown of Westwang, who was battling an injured shoulder, for the 9-7 victory.

An elated Mahoney threw his arms up at the sound of the whistle and later jumped into the waiting arms of Harris.

"It felt great to finally beat him," said Mahoney, who was 0-2 against Westwang this season. "I just fought hard until the very end. It was great to avenge those losses."

Haggans followed with a 4-1 decision over Roseburg's Dylan Fors, a state placer last season, at 152.

Haggans scored all of his points, including a late takedown, in the third period. It was Haggans' first win this season against Fors.

"It gives me a lot of confidence going into the state tournament," Haggans said.

Haggans was 0-2 last year at the state tournament, but he's eyeing a top-three finish this season.

"If I wrestle as tough as I can, that's my goal," he said.

Dickison's district title at 171 was a measure of revenge for the junior. He never trailed Roseburg's Josh Weaver in posting the 8-3 victory.

Dickison was mere seconds away from an SWC title last season.

"He got thrown with about 10 seconds left to lose," Harris said. "This is redemption for him. It was sweet to see him put it all together here. He's peaking at the right moment."

Bonham, also a district runner-up last year, powered through Roseburg's Joe Hennricks for a 10-5 victory.

The No. 2-ranked Ross recorded one of just two pins in the finals. He took down Roseburg's Jordan Guthrie in 2:47 to improve to 32-6 on the season.

"He's tough and strong," Ross said of Guthrie. "I just wanted to be patient and take what I can. Luckily, I caught him on his back. It was pretty sweet.

"I think I have a good shot of taking (a state title). My goal is top three at state, if not win it. That would be great."

Though Ebert dropped a 9-4 decision to Roseburg's Sam Mecham in the 135-pound finals, Harris said the match set the tone for North Medford. Mecham is a two-time district champion and was a state runner-up last year.

Ebert was within two at 6-4 early in the third period.

"He (Ebert) went the distance with him, and I thought it could have been closer," Harris said. "The kids just started believing, and we got on a roll."

South Medford finished fourth with 108.5 points. The Panthers' only state qualifier was 160-pounder Ken Hyland. He defeated North Medford's Peden for the third time this season, 7-0.

"I really wanted it," Hyland said.

South Medford coach Sergio Gonzalez said Hyland wrestled "solid and smart."

"It's tough to wrestle someone three times," Gonzalez said.

The Panthers sent two wrestlers, 125-pounder Sierra Land and 171-pounder Jordan Townsend, into third-place matches.

Land lost 4-3 to North Medford's Damon, and Townsend dropped a 15-11 decision to the Black Tornado's Hornbrook. The latter was tied 11-11 before Hornbrook's takedown and near fall with 10 seconds remaining.

"We won the close ones," Harris said. "To me that says we are in good shape, and we are mentally ready to wrestle."

SWC District Tournament

TEAM SCORES — Roseburg 494, North Medford 336, Grants Pass 283, South Medford 108.5, South Eugene 91, Sheldon 52.

Championship Finals

103 — Cody Stoecker, R, pinned Nick Grow, GP, 1:28; 112 — Nathan Piader, GP, forfeit Tanner Hageman, GP; 119 — Steven Evans, R, tech. fall Luke Collins, GP, 19-2; 125 — Dustin Mougey, R, forfeit Tyler Lander, R; 130 — Justin Eldred, GP, dec. Jay Tovey, R, 3-0.

135 — Sam Mecham, R, dec. Ammon Ebert, NM, 9-4; 140 — Seth Thomas, R, dec. Dylan Fauver, GP, 7-0; 145 — Ryan Mahoney, NM, dec. Dylan Westwang, R, 9-7 OT; 152 — Cory Haggans, NM, dec. Dylan Fors, R, 4-1.

160 — Ken Hyland, SM, dec. Kade Peden, NM, 7-0; 171 — Mark Dickison, NM, dec. Josh Weaver, R, 8-3; 189 — Kody Bonham, NM, dec. Joe Hennricks, R, 10-5; 215 — Brandon Galvez, R, dec. Brad Mabie, R, 3-1; 285 — Robert Ross, NM, pinned Jordan Guthrie, R, 2:46.

Third-Fourth Finals

103 — Chris McFall, NM, dec. Tyler Crist, NM, 9-7; 112 — Dan Faas, R, pinned Jesse Ledbetter, NM, 5:17; 119 — Chayse Jackson, R, pinned Aaron Perez, GP, :38; 125 — Kohl Damon, NM, dec. Sierra Land, SM, 4-3; 130 — Javier Mandera, R, dec. Alex Littlefair, GP, 4-2.

135 — Zak Munroe, R, pinned Ryan O'Hara, GP, 1:23; 140 — Cody Wedman, NM, dec. Hector Mandera, R, 6-3; 145 — Jackson Hoyt, S, dec. Ben Lewis, R, 10-5; 152 — Zach Baker, SE, dec. Tyler Brookbank, R, 7-6.

160 — Jose Cruz, GP, pinned Zach Tanner, NM, 1:10; 171 — Jessie Hornbrook, NM, dec. Jordan Townsend, SM, 15-11; 189 — Luiz DeCamargo, SE, dec. Selmar Hutchins, R, 5-4; 215 — Johnny Konieczny, GP, dec. Nick Burdick, SE, 8-7; 285 — Aaron Stine, GP, pinned Tony Soto, SE, 1:20.

Fifth-Sixth Finals

103 — Brad Lander, R, dec. Zach Peterson, GP, 2-1; 112 — Edgar Cox, NM, dec. Damon Estrada, R, 6-3; 119 — Dylan Sites, NM, forfeit Darren Cossette, NM; 125 — Ryan Shean, GP, pinned Kyle Perry, GP, 1:48; 130 — Brett Hulstrom, SM, pinned Talon Barber, S, :50.

135 — Evan Benton, NM, forfeit Ethan Brown, SM; 140 — Michael Rake, SM, forfeit Danny Vasquez, GP; 145 — Bryan Burch, S, forfeit Justin Hoy, GP; 152 — Branden Todd, NM, pinned Charlie Siewell, GP, 1:06.

160 — Wiley Nelson, SE, forfeit Devan Fors, R; 171 — Devin Guenther, SM, maj. dec. Travis Kurth, SE, 14-6; 189 — Troy Bolivar, SE, pinned Parker Goodwin, GP, :49; 215 — Brenden Prentiss, S, dec. Myles Converse, NM, 5-2; 285 — Brady Feasel, R, maj. dec. Marlon Campos, NM, 11-2.

Reach reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail landrews@mailtribune.com

North Medford’s Ammon Ebert, bottom, and Roseburg’s Sam Mecham wrestle on Saturday in the 135-pound weight class during the SWC district meet at South Medford High. - Jamie Lusch