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Braves stumble at tourney

Banks battled injuries and a number of forfeits to win one of its three dual team matches at the Hank Schmidlin Memorial Tournament on Friday afternoon.

The Braves got some solid individual performances, but ultimately suffered from a lack of numbers. Banks lost 47-32 to Vernonia in the first round and 39-27 to Willamina in the second round before rebounding with a 56-14 triumph over Dayton in round three.

Gabe Goodrich went undefeated over three matches at 112 pounds, as did teammates Logan Grady at 130, Mitchell Engeseth at 140 and Chris Mettee at 189. Ken Sutter and Shawn Vanderzanden each went 2-1 at the tournament.

'We had to forfeit several weight classes in the dual, and any time you start out the dual by giving another team 18 to 24 points, you are going to be fighting an uphill battle,' said Banks head coach Jacob Pence.

The Hank Schmidlin tournament featured eight teams with three rounds of wrestling. In addition to the hosts from Banks, the tourney featured Vernonia, Willamina, Toledo, Dayton, Rainier, St. Helens and a renegade team consisting of extra wrestlers from each of the other seven schools.

In the first round, Vernonia, Toledo, St. Helens and Rainier all advanced. Vernonia then edged Toledo 39-37 in the best dual of the night to move into the championship match, where the Loggers dispatched Rainier 54-24 to take the tournament title.

'I was impressed at how well Vernonia did,' said Pence. 'All their guys came out to wrestle hard. They were in your face and didn't give up for the whole six minutes.'

The Braves will travel to Willamina on Friday for a rematch with the Bulldogs, then it's back to the gym at Banks High School for the Pat Ball Classic next Wednesday.

'In the next few weeks we will have some of our injured wrestlers back and our lineup will be shifting to fill all of the weight classes,' said Pence.