REDMOND — La Grande went a perfect 6-0 in duals Friday and Saturday to dominate at the Oregon Classic in Redmond and come away with the 4A team title at the tournament, the Tigers' first title in the tournament.
“The wrestling world describes it as the dual meet state championship,” LHS head coach Klel Carson said.
Carson added the win is a confidence-booster for the team.
“We know for sure that our varsity lineup is the toughest in the state,” he said.
The Tigers were nearly perfect in their pool Friday, winning three duals against Molalla, Madras and Woodburn by a combined score of 228-6. That included 78-0 victories over Molalla and Madras that saw them collect pins in 19 of the 23 contested matches. Fourteen of the pins happened in the first round, and eight took less than a minute, with the quickest being Spencer Gerst’s 12-second pin of Madras’ Shain Beymer at 220 pounds. Lincoln Clark needed only 17 seconds to pin Molalla’s Dakota Orfield in the 220-pound bout in the first dual.
The domination continued against Woodburn, with La Grande posting nine more pins in a 72-6 win, all of which took place in the first round of the matches. Gabe Shukle had the fastest pin, topping Grant Morales in just 20 seconds at 285.
“They were going after kids. It was awesome,” Carson said.
In the 4A championship bracket, the Tigers again cruised, defeating Cascade in the quarterfinals (64-18), Tillamook in the semifinals (66-12) and Sweet Home in the championship (45-19). Tillamook and Sweet Home were the champion and state runners-up in 4A a year ago.
Victories by fall — and quick ones — were again the name of the game against Cascade. La Grande collected nine pins against the Cougars, three of which took less than 20 seconds: Brysen Peneloza (106) in 10 seconds over Adrian Cotton, Braden Carson (126) in 17 seconds over Trenton Wymore, and Gerst (220) in 14 seconds over Rion Gage.
The Tigers won six matches by fall in the semifinals. Peneloza again had the quick match, topping Joshua Perdew in only 36 seconds.
The Tigers had to work for their win in the final against Sweet Home, as the Huskies at one point had a 19-15 lead. But the LHS upperweights came through to lock up the win. Brody MacMillan (160) edged out Jesse Jamison by a 6-5 decision and Parker Robinson (170) claimed a win by forfeit for a 24-21 lead. Nathan Reed (182) extended the lead with a 7-1 decision over Nic James, and Chris Woodworth (195), Gerst (220) and Shukle (285) all won by fall, with Shukle wrapping up the match with a 16-second pin.
“Once we started rolling, it kept going,” Klel Carson said.
The Tigers return to action Thursday when they travel to Ontario for a dual.
Huskies place fourth in 2A/1A division at Oregon Classic
Elgin wrestlers took fourth place in the 2A/1A bracket by going 1-2 in duals in its pool, then winning both its consolation bracket matches to claim the consolation crown.
The Huskies opened with a 43-18 loss to Crane, with their victories coming via fall by Gabriel Hasbell (113), Joe Lathrop (132) and Ty Hammond (152). Elgin then beat Coquille, 30-15, behind wins by fall from Hasbell (120), Kenny Terry (126), and Hammond. Central Linn topped Elgin in the final dual of pool play, 51-24. Hasbell (113), Lathrop, Clayton Hammond (170) and Blake Jenkins (195) all won by fall.
The Huskies opened consolation wrestling by defeating Lowell, 41-18. Hasbell (120), Ty Hammond and Clayton Hammond (182) each had wins by fall, and Lathrop recorded a technical fall.
Elgin defeated Lakeview in its final dual, 33-9. Terry, Ty Hammond and Jenkins led the way with pinfall victories.
The Huskies next head to the 1A state preview tournament Saturday in Halfway.
Bobcats win three titles at Lafe Smith Memorial
Gage Martens, Carter Blackburn and Levi Hammond each claimed individual championships Saturday to lead Union/Cove to a third place finish at the Lafe Smith Memorial Tournament in Bonanza.
Martens won all three of his matches at 106 pounds for the Bobcats and in the final earned a 6-0 decision over Henley’s Madison Shearer.
Blackburn went 4-0 at 145. He won his first three matches by fall then in the final secured a 4-1 decision over Echo/Stanfield’s Isaiah Lemmon.
Hammond had just two bouts at 152 but won both by fall, and he needed just 1:19 to pin Mazama’s Jullin Gardner in the championship.
The Bobcats also earned four second-place finishes. Jaxon Blackburn went 3-1 with three wins by fall at 132, David Creech finished 1-1 at 160, Damon Nipper was 2-1 at 195, and Michael Day was 2-1 at 220.
Union/Cove is off until the Ilwaco Beach Brawl in Ilwaco, Washington, Feb. 1.
Evans wins another tournament
Enterprise’s Trace Evans dominated in his four matches over the weekend to claim the 138-pound title at the Padilla Invitational in Parma, Idaho.
Evans won three of his four matches by technical fall and the fourth by pin. In the championship match, he blanked Nampa’s Ryland Silvis 15-0.
Drew Widener of Enterprise went 2-2 on the day at 285, and the Outlaws’ other win came from Tyler Gray, also at 285.
The Outlaws return to the mat Friday at the Grant Union Invite.