February 21, 2002 11:00 pm

PORTLAND Two La Grande Tiger wrestlers competed in the quarterfinals this morning at the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 3A Wrestling State Championships.

Austin Zander at 119 pounds and Adam Kleck at 160 both advanced to the quarters by winning their matches in Thursdays opening rounds at Memorial Coliseum.

Austin and Adam both are wrestling with a lot of confidence right now, La Grande coach Miles Hancock said.

La Grandes Levi Hug, the Tigers third wrestler, dropped out of the tournament with two straight losses after winning his opening round match at 125.

The tournament opened with three wins for La Grande. Kleck had a bye in the first round, but Zander pinned Calvin Davis of Sherwood late in the first round and Hug pulled out an 8-6 decision over Hidden Valleys Keith Pedrick.

In the second round, Zander needed a late run for an 11-8 decision over Rich McCullough of Astoria.

It was a pretty close match for Austin, but in the third round he was able to come on, Hancock said.

Zander trailed in the second round before pulling ahead, then overpowered McCullough in the third for the victory, Hancock said.

Hug lost a 12-4 major decision to Sweet Homes Jordan Johnson in the second round. Thursday evening, Hug lost 8-4 to Ben Workman of Phoenix. The consolation match was closer than it looked, according to Hancock.

Levi needed an escape and he couldnt get away from the guy, Hancock said.

Kleck wrestled just one match Thursday and pinned Scott Puhlman of Molalla in 4 minutes, 40 seconds.

The two pins from Kleck and Zander gave La Grande a small boost in the team standings. Greater Oregon League rival Burns leads the tournament after the first day, having advanced eight wrestlers to the quarterfinals.

Getting those pin points really helped us, but were not focusing on team points very much, Hancock said.

The semifinals are tonight, with the championship finals Saturday evening.

The Class 2A/1A portion of the tournament opens today.

OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 3A Wrestling State Championships

Thursday, at Memorial Coliseum, Portland

La Grande HS results

First round

119 Austin Zander, LG, pinned Calvin Davis, Sherwood, 1:53.

125 Levi Hug, LG, dec. Keith Pedrick, Hidden Valley, 8-6.

160 Adam Kleck, LG, bye.

Second round

119 Zander dec. Rich McCullough, Astoria, 11-8.

125 Jordan Johnson, Sweet Home, maj. dec. Hug, 12-4.

160 Kleck pinned Scott Puhlman, Molalla, 4:40.

Consolation first round

125 Ben Workman, Phoenix, dec. Hug, 8-4.