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The La Grande Observer Paper 08/27/14

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STILL PERFECT: Elgin/Imbler wrestler Justin Sanders hasn't lost a match this season. (The Observer/JOE SOVA).
STILL PERFECT: Elgin/Imbler wrestler Justin Sanders hasn't lost a match this season. (The Observer/JOE SOVA).

At the Joseph High School wrestling invitational Elgin/Imbler narrowly defeated host Joseph, 154 points to 153 1/2 points, for second place.

Culver was the overall team champion Thursday with 233 points, boasting six champions and placing twelve wrestlers in the finals.

Joseph was buoyed by the performance of tournament champions Lance Strickland at 160 pounds and Clayton Lowe at 215 pounds.

Lowe finished 3rd at 2A/1A state last season at 215 pounds, and Strickland is 12-0 after sitting out the first half of the season due to disciplinary reasons.

"My kids wrestled really good," Joseph head coach Matt McDowell said. "Clayton is really on track and Lance is back and wrestling well and I think he'll do well at state."

Elgin/Imbler's Justin Sanders (125 pounds) and Jeff Smith (189 pounds) won tournament titles as the combined squad placed five wrestlers in the finals.

"These kind of tournaments are good for us," Elgin/Imbler head coach Rocky Burgess said. "The kids are excited when they see a team like Culver show up. They want to wrestle quality opponents so when they do get to state they'll be ready."

In Sanders' championship match he defeated Culver senior James Moyses, last year's 2A/1A state runner up at 112 pounds, 3-1.

"That was the match of the night, the one everyone was waiting for," Burgess said. "It was a real barn burner."

Andy Wallace was the lone champion from Enterprise, defeating Joseph's Thane Shetler in the 145 pound finals.

Jo-Hi Invitational

at Joseph

Team Results

1. Culver 233, 2. Elgin/Imbler 154, 3. Joseph 153.5, 4. Pine Eagle 128, 5. Wallowa 91, 6. Sherman-Condon 73, 7. Enterprise 26, 8. Powder Valley 9.

Championship Finals

103 – Williams, Culver, pinned Nelson, Culver. 112 – Thompson, Culver, pinned Huffman, E/I. 119 – Baltazar, Culver, pinned Nelson, Culver. 125 – Sanders, E/I, def. Moyses, Culver. 130 – Kennedy, Pine Eagle, def. Kenyon, Culver. 135 – Kinley, Culver, maj. dec. Anthony, E/I. 140 – Roberts, Culver, maj. dec. Mathis, SC. 145 – Wallace, Enterprise, def. Shetler, Joseph. 152 – LIndsay, Pine Eagle, def. Brabham, Culver. 160 – Strickland, Joseph, pinned Thompson, E/I. 171 – Brown, SC, maj. dec. Millhouse, Pine Eagle. 189 – Smith, E/I, pinned Harding, Joseph. 215 – Lowe, Joseph, pinned Brunke, Culver. 275 – Fisher, Culver, pinned Garnett, Joseph.

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