Southridge leads 18-0 early, then just keeps going to beat Beaverton

by: MILES VANCE - OH YEAH - Southridge's Nicholas Piwonka lets out a yell after recording a pin in his match against Beaverton on Jan. 24 at Beaverton High School.

BEAVERTON — At the start of their match with Southridge last week, the Beaverton wrestling team gave the Skyhawks a nice little push to get them going.

Buoyed by three forfeit victories at the start of the match, held Jan. 24 at Beaverton High School, Southridge took that little push and ran with it, winning six of the remaining 11 weights and pulling away to win 51-19. The victory lifted Southridge’s regional record to 4-4 and second-place among Metro League teams.

“We were feeling good,” said Southridge’s Nicholas Piwonka, who won by fall at 145 pounds. “We were coming off a good tournament on the weekend, but we knew we had to come out and wrestle hard because Beaverton’s our school rival and that means a lot to us.”

“We knew they’d won three tough dual meets, so we just have to capitalize on our chances,” said Southridge’s Austin Marlow, whose 8-2 decision at 160 pounds clinched his team’s victory.

Beaverton, meanwhile, lost for the second straight time in regional competition and fell to 5-4, but remained in first place among Metro teams.

“We’re kind of used to being down by forfeits because we’ve never really had a complete lineup, (but) we have a really strong lineup from where the forfeits end and we were trying to do well in those weights,” said Beaverton’s Torben Billow, who posted a decision at 132 pounds against Southridge. “We did, and just tried to dominate where we could to make up for those forfeits.”by: MILES VANCE - UP HE GOES - Beaverton's Jeremy Olsen hoists Southridge's Kyle Koch into the air during his 8-3 victory at 126 pounds at Beaverton High School on Jan. 24.

“We all knew we had to get pins as a group, especially the heavy guys,” said Beaverton’s Isaiah McGatha, a winner by fall at 195 pounds. “That didn’t come through in the end, but we worked hard.”

The Skyhawks opened the night with forfeit victories by Caleb Johnen, Calvin McAnulty and Jack Chimenti at 106, 113 and 120 pounds to push ahead 18-0 before Beaverton got on the board with back-to-back decisions by Jeremy Olsen and Billow. Olsen beat Kyle Koch 8-3 at 126, and Billow followed with a 5-0 victory over Emery Shandil at 132 to cut his team’s deficit to 18-6.

“I was a little slow out there because I haven’t wrestled in a week but I thought I did well,” Billow said. “That kid was strong and it’s always tough to wrestle somebody who’s strong.”

The Skyhawks made sure the Beavers got no additional momentum from those two wins, though. They came back with back-to-back pins by Collin Pautz at 138 pounds and Piwonka at 145 to extend their team’s lead to 30-6. Pautz stopped Brayan Gonzalez midway through the second round at 138, while Piwonka broke open a 7-6 match against Bailey Berg when he notched a takedown with 49 seconds to go and pinned Berg six seconds later.

“I knew he was a good competitor,” Piwonka said. “I knew I had to take it to him and get the win for us.”

Justin Wakem answered with a 12-3 victory over Ryan Maza at 152 pounds, but Southridge came back with three straight wins to extend its lead to 45-10 and put the match on ice. Marlow kicked off that crucial stretch by beating Gordon Smith 8-2 at 160 pounds, and teammates Ben Young and Matt McRae followed with consecutive pins, Young stopping Robby Valentine in the second round at 170, and McRae beating August Vranizan with 44 seconds to go in the first round of their match at 182.

We know “that regionals are coming up so I just went out and gave it my all,” Marlow said. “I wanted to win.”

While the team score had already been decided, the Beavers responded with two more wins, with McGatha pinning Nathan Buell at the end of round two at 195 pounds, and Anibal Gonzales beating Travis Johnson 6-2 at 220. The Skyhawks won the day’s final weight when Joseph Rutheford pinned John O’Reilly midway through round one of their match at 285.

“I’m pretty happy with the way I wrestled,” McGatha said. “I need to work on getting up faster, but I’m pretty happy with my performance.”

In upcoming matches, Southridge hosts Aloha at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday), while Beaverton hosts Century at 7 p.m. tonight.

To see a complete photo gallery from this match, please visit

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