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Tigers trounce rival Baker City in dual

La Grande had every reason to come into Thursday night’s dual against Baker with a little extra confidence. The Tigers had just placed second at the Oregon Wrestling Classic, also known as the state championship of dual meets, according to La Grande head coach Klel Carson.

That confidence boost allowed La Grande to come in and steamroll the Bulldogs 73-0 on senior night. 

But, it was the underclassmen who started the momentum snowball.

La Grande freshman Jon Gonzalez won by pinfall with 1:05 left in the second round against Kory Grende at 126 pounds. Freshman Jared Neisse, 132 pounds, followed with a 10-1 decision against sophomore Marco Vela. 

In between forfeit wins by David Jackman (138 pounds), Ryan Middleton (145 pounds) and Nic Kavanaugh (160 pounds), Tyler Issacson started a run of five straight wins by fall. Issacson, a senior, defeated Thomas Larson at 152 pounds with 20 seconds left in the first round. 

At 170 pounds, Caleb Woodworth was leading 9-2 in the match before securing a win by fall against Peter Baker. Dylan McHargue pushed the Tigers’ lead to 45-0 by defeating Matthew Siddoway by fall with 1:06 into the first round.

Micah Fuller and Dylan Reece picked up the final two wins by fall in the run of five at 220 and 255 pounds, respectively. Fuller won his match by pinfall with 1:26 left in the second round against William Pifher, while Reece pinned Malachi Cox with 30 seconds left in the second round.

The weight classes flipped back to the beginning to 106 pounds, and La Grande kept the winning streak going.

Corey Issacson picked up a 6-2 decision against James Ahee at 103 pounds.

Cole Rohan and Taren Hardwick closed out the match with consecutive pins. Rohan, 113 pounds, pinned Kyle Hammon with 57 seconds left in a game of cat and mouse. Rohan kept scoring takedowns, but didn’t like his position and would allow Hammon to get up before taking him back down. The La Grande junior jumped out to a 10-4 lead before securing the pinfall. 

Hardwick jumped out to a 9-3 lead against Cody Bingham at 120 pounds before pinning the sophomore with 1:40 left in the second round.

“Everyone did a great job tonight,” Tiger head coach Klel Carson said. “Baker is a very young team, but they weren’t going to give us anything. All of their wrestlers put up a good fight. 

“Our guys had a little extra adrenaline with it being senior night, but they used it to their advantage.” 

Last weekend, the Tigers accomplished a huge feat at the Oregon Wrestling Classic.
La Grande finished second to Crook County. The Cowboys won the battle between the top two Class 4A teams in the finals 57-6.

Fuller and Reece keyed the semifinal win that sent La Grande to the finals. Fuller recorded a pin against Scappoose with his team trailing by nine points. Reece picked up a win to seal the semifinal win 36-28. 

The Tigers defeated Scappoose in the semifinals 36-28, and knocked off Sweet Home in the quarterfinals. La Grande went undefeated in the pool round.

La Grande 73, Baker 0

106: Corey Issacson, La Grande, decision James Ahee, Baker, 6-2; 113: Cole Rohan, La Grande, fall Kyle Hammon, Baker, :57; 120: Taren Hardwick, La Grande, fall Cody Bingham, Baker,  2:10; 126: Jon Gonzalez, La Grande, fall Kory Grende, Baker, 3:05; 132: Jared Neisse, La Grande, decision Marco Vela, Baker, 10-1; 138: David Jackman, La Grande, forfeit; 145: Ryan Middleton, La Grande forfeit; 152: Tyler Issacson, La Grande, fall Thomas Larsen, Baker, 1:40; 160: Nic Kavanaugh, La Grande, forfeit; 170: Caleb Woodworth, La Grande, fall Peter Baker, Baker, :48; 190: Dylan McHargue, La Grande, fall Matt Siddoway, Baker, :54; 220: Micah Fuller, La Grande, fall, William Pifher, Baker, :30. 255:Dylan Reese, La Grande, fall, Malachi Cox, Baker, 2:30.

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