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Eagles win thriller over Black Tornado

Although early in the season, the atmosphere doesn't get much better than what wrestling fans were treated to Thursday night at North Medford High.

North Medford and Eagle Point found their match tied at 30-all with one weight to be determined, and that 189-pound matchup included senior standouts Mark Dickison for the Black Tornado and Steven Josephson for the Eagles.

The returning state qualifiers didn't disappoint in a hard-fought finale, with Josephson avenging a dual-meet loss to Dickison a year ago with a 6-2 decision.

That triumph, and a one-point misconduct penalty, allowed Eagle Point to eke out a 34-30 road victory.

"It was a great environment to step up in and a great kid to have in there for us in Steven," said Eagle Point coach Kacey McNulty. "He gave up a little size but he wrestled smart, and he's a pretty intense and powerful kid for his size."

Dickison's 7-5 win over Josephson in last year's dual was part of a 40-27 victory for North Medford. The two squared off later in the season, with Josephson turning the tables on his counterpart.

In Thursday's meeting, Josephson's determination and defensive abilities helped carry him to the match-winning victory.

"He's got a great leg attack defense and he just had a game plan and he carried it through well," said North Medford coach Nolan Harris. "One thing I've noticed about Josephson is he rises to the occasion. He wore (Dickison) down a little bit."

Beyond the final matchup, McNulty said each team had plenty to be happy about in the back-and-forth battle.

"Where they had really tough kids our kids performed and vice versa, so it made for a tight match," said McNulty.

The Eagles received pins from Dallas Compton (119), Trent Kaiser (140) and Gage Baumer (160). Earning falls for the Black Tornado were Ryan Mahoney (152) and Robert Ross (285).

"It's early and we're going to hopefully improve, but they have a tough program," McNulty added of the nonleague victory. "That's not a bad team that we beat tonight."

TEAM SCORE — Eagle Point 34, North Medford 30.

103 — Austin Mitchell, NM, won by forfeit; 112 — Aaron Lorenz, EP, dec. Chris McFall, 4-1; 119 — Dallas Compton, EP, pinned Tyler Crist, 2:52; 125 — Alex Smith, NM, d. Taylor Mitchell, 7-3; 130 — Ben Zomerdyk, EP, dec. Kohl Damon, 12-5.

135 — Travis Woods, EP, won by forfeit; 140 — Trent Kaiser, EP, pinned Billy Coryell, 2:50; 145 — Ammon Ebert, NM, dec. Chris Wilson, 7-5; 152 — Ryan Mahoney, NM, pinned Edward Martinez, 1:45.

160 — Gage Baumer, EP, pinned Branden Todd, 3:36; 171 — Cory Haggans, NM, dec. Johnny Wilkerson, 9-2; 189 — Steven Josephson, EP, dec. Mark Dickison, 6-2; *215 — Chris Walker, NM, dec. Mario Rivera, 10-8; 285 — Robert Ross, NM, pinned Manny Valdovinos, 1:19.

* starting weight