TIGER MATMEN BATTLE
Had it not been for an 18-point differential in forfeits, La Grande would have earned a high school wrestling victory over Greater Oregon League foe Mac-Hi Wednesday night at LHS.
Chase Shirley, Dino May, Jeremy Blakely, Michael Godfrey and Kyle Witty reeled off consecutive wins, allowing the Tigers to tie Mac-Hi, 35-35, with one match to go. But sophomore Greg Mills was no match for a stronger and more experienced Nick O'Neill, who recorded a pin to give the Pioneers a 42-35 victory.
Earlier in the evening, Ontario built a 48-5 lead and eased to a 61-15 GOL dual win over the Tigers. Those were La Grande's only home-mat duals of the season.
To begin Wednesday's varsity action, Mac-Hi outscored Ontario, 38-33.
Dino and D.J. May were the only Tigers able to wrestle to wins in the dual against Ontario.
Having no trouble with Mark Honesto in the 125-pound match, D.J. May won by a 16-0 technical fall. At 152, Dino May was unable to get Toby Smith on his back until late in the match, but May dominated in a 16-3 major decision.
Godfrey logged the other Tiger points with a forfeit win at 171 pounds.
"They're one of the strongest teams in the GSL this year," La Grande head coach Matt Wolcott said. "We're just young. We're not much of a dual team."
Shirley (130 pounds) gave La Grande a spark in the dual against Mac-Hi. The aggressive freshman pinned Orrin Darrow at the buzzer to end the first period.
Dino May won by an 18-3 technical fall over Wayne Williams, improving his record to 21-1. Blakely (160) stuck Chris Grimaldi in 1:42. Leading 12-7, Godfrey (171) flipped Blake Nelson over and quickly pinned him with 40 seconds remaining. Witty (189) built a 10-0 lead over Ty Crane, then finally won by fall in 4:24.
D.J. May picked up a forfeit win in the Mac-Hi dual.
Dino May was trying to get pins in both his matches, but settled for the major decision and tech fall.
"Those weren't my better matches," May said. "The guy from Ontario is a freshman."
May feels good about being ranked No. 3 in the state in 3A.
"I'm excited about it," the Tiger junior said.
"I'm proud of the freshmen who were wrestling in that varsity dual," Wolcott said. "They responded very well."
La Grande's lone senior, Patrick Hash, was recognized Wednesday during Senior Night.
The Tigers wrestle at Baker City Friday (6 p.m. varsity), and takes part in the Ontario Invitational Saturday (10 a.m.).
Ontario 61, La Grande 15
103 Tom Martinez, Ont, pinned Steven Conklin, 2:19. 112 Michael Gonzales, Ont, pinned Ryder Willmarth, 4:15. 119 Jace Nakamura, Ont, forfeit win. 125 D.J. May, LG, 16-0 tech. fall Mark Honesto. 130 Andres Hernandez, Ont, pinned Chase Shirley, 1:01. 135 Juan Trejo, Ont, forfeit win. 140 Casey Erlebach, Ont, forfeit win. 145 Jose Rivera, Ont, forfeit win. 152 Dino May, LG, 16-3 maj. dec. Toby Smith. 160 Paul Rangel, Ont, maj. dec. Jeremy Blakely. 171 Michael Godfrey, LG, forfeit win. 189 Todd Smith, Ont, dec. Kyle Witty, 7-2. 215 J.J. Anthony, Ont, pinned Greg Mills, :42. 275 Colin Gundle, Ont, pinned Daniel Blake, 1:06.
Mac-Hi 42, La Grande 35
103 Edgar Rubio, M-H, 15-0 tech. fall Conklin. 112 Joe Payant, M-H, pinned Willmarth, :57. 119 Marvin Emery, M-Hi, forfeit win. 125 D.J. May, LG, forfeit win. 130 Shirley, LG, pinned Orrin Darrow, 1:59. 135 William Hernandez, M-H, forfeit win. 140 Isaias Valencia, M-H, forfeit win. 145 Wes Walker, M-H, forfeit win. 152 Dino May, LG, 18-3 tech. fall Wayne Williams. 160 Blakely, LG, pinned Chris Grimaldi, 1:42. 171 Godfrey, LG, pinned Blake Nelson, 5:20. 189 Witty, LG, pinned Ty Crane, 4:24. 215 Nick O'Neill, M-H, pinned Mills, 2:42. 275 Jeff Stallings, M-Hi, pinned Blake, 1:25.