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Tornado pins down Panthers

North Medford couldn't have asked for a better starting position for Thursday night's Southern Oregon Hybrid dual meet against cross-town foe South Medford.

With the match starting at 145 pounds, the Black Tornado was able to parade out its most talented and experienced wrestlers to assume early control in what quickly became a 58-9 rout in front of an appreciative home crowd.

"We started with some of our more solid, older kids and I think that was the difference for us," said fourth-year North Medford coach Nolan Harris. "We had seniors wrestling out there and they were a little younger at those weights."

Seniors Alex Smith, Cody Wedman and Marlon Campos each secured pins among the opening seven matches to complement technical fall triumphs by sophomore Reid Shipley and senior Jesse Hornbrook in that span. At the halfway point, the Black Tornado had amassed a 28-9 lead and never flinched from there.

"That's really the heart of our lineup, those senior kids," added Harris. "I think they see the stands packed and they want to put on a show, and they did."

The victory was the fourth straight for North Medford in the cross-town rivalry and continued a reversal that saw South Medford win 7 of 8 in the series prior to Harris' arrival.

"We've got a team mostly of freshmen and sophomores and a lack of experience," said first-year South Medford coach Dave Alonzo, "but we've got a lot of guys with a lot of heart and we'll just get back after it next week and move on from there. We've just got to fix the mistakes and keep working hard, that's all I can ask for."

Smith, ranked ninth at 145 pounds, got things off to a good start for North with a pin in 1 minute, 48 seconds over senior Ricky Stockwell, and Wedman, No. 3 at 152, carried that momentum over with a second-round pin of Panther sophomore Joel Goin.

Shipley tacked on a 17-1 technical fall over senior Colter Therrell before the Panthers finally broke through to cut their deficit to 17-3 thanks to a 10-5 decision by senior Jordon Townsend in a tight match against 13th-ranked senior Branden Todd.

"Jordon was a guy that coming into the season we knew has a lot of potential," said Alonzo. "The last tournament we were at he didn't do very well and I think he wanted to get back out here tonight and get after it. He wrestled good and mentally stayed with it."

Townsend pulled away from Todd in the final 70 seconds, throwing his counterpart for a takedown and two-point near fall to build an 8-3 cushion.

Any chance of momentum was thwarted by Hornbrook in the next match. Making his return to the mat after sitting out last season, Hornbrook needed only seven seconds to score his first points for the Black Tornado and kept the pressure on junior Emmanuel Brown for a 21-6 technical fall. The only sour note on the match was when Hornbrook tweaked his left shoulder late in the second period.

"It's something that's probably going to linger," he said later of the injury. "I'm just going to have to fight through it."

South Medford's Alex Hathaway responded with a pin over fellow sophomore Jacob Kasper in 3:24, but those were the final points the Panthers would earn.

Campos, ranked No. 7 at 285, brought the home crowd back to its feet with a pin in 20 seconds over sophomore John Kellogg and, after two Panther forfeits, 12th-ranked senior Chris McFall took any mystery out of the final outcome with a pin over sophomore Luis Ayala in 2:42.

"He's been wrestling Robert Ross the last two years and I think he was excited to be the one out here donning that Tornado singlet," Harris said of Campos' quick match. "He got a little enthusiastic out there and got the job done."

Four back-and-forth contests closed out the action, with freshman Connor McLoughlin (125), juniors Tyler Crist (130) and Billy Coryell (135) and sophomore Colby Deskins (140) each pulling away from their Panther foes.

Crist was given a second chance in his match against Nik Hegler when the freshman was penalized for stalling with 12 seconds remaining to tie the action at 4-all. In the one-minute overtime session, Crist was able to pick Hegler's heel and work his way around for a winning takedown in the opening 22 seconds.

Coryell scored the final six points over the last 75 seconds of his 13-7 win over sophomore D.J. Jones, while McLoughlin shrugged off an early 2-0 deficit to win 9-2 and Deskins used a third-period reversal and three-point near fall to pull away for a 12-10 win over freshman Corey Braughton.

TEAM SCORE — North Medford 58, South Medford 9.

103 — Austin Mitchell, NM, won by forfeit; 112 — Edgar Cox, NM, won by forfeit; 119 — Chris McFall, NM, pinned Luis Ayala, 2:42; 125 — Connor McLoughlin, NM, dec. Mike Lesly, 9-2; 130 — Tyler Crist, NM, dec. Nik Hegler, 6-4 OT.

135 — Billy Coryell, NM, dec. D.J. Jones, 13-7; 140 — Colby Deskins, NM, dec. Corey Braughton, 12-10; *145 — Alex Smith, NM, pinned Ricky Stockwell, 1:48; 152 — Cody Wedman, NM, pinned Joel Goin, 3:16.

160 — Reid Shipley, NM, tech. fall over Colter Therrell, 17-1; 171 — Jordon Townsend, SM, dec. Branden Todd, 10-5; 189 — Jesse Hornbrook, NM, tech. fall over Emmanuel Brown, 21-6; 215 — Alex Hathaway, SM, pinned Jacob Kasper, 3:24; 285 — Marlon Campos, NM, pinned John Kellogg, :20.

* starting weight

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Kris_Henry

North Medford's Reid Shipley, top, drives South Medford's Colter Therrell to the mat during the 160-pound match on Thursday. - Andy Atkinson