TIGER MATMEN BATTLE

January 13, 2005 12:00 am
TIGER TURNING A TIGER: Dino May of La Grande tries to turn Toby Smith of Ontario during their 152-pound match Wednesday. May won both his matches easily, but the Tigers lost to Ontario and Mac-Hi. (The Observer/JOE SOVA).
TIGER TURNING A TIGER: Dino May of La Grande tries to turn Toby Smith of Ontario during their 152-pound match Wednesday. May won both his matches easily, but the Tigers lost to Ontario and Mac-Hi. (The Observer/JOE SOVA).

Joe Sova

Sports Editor

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.