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Tigers push Hawks to the very limit

Wrestling -- Tigard is edged by just one point as the contest comes down to the last match
by: DAN BROOD, NO YOU DON’T – Tigard junior Dylan Gillaspie (left) pulls away from Southridge’s Kelvin King. Gillaspie won the 160-pound match by pin in a time of 3:49.

BEAVERTON - So close.

Just two more points. Maybe only a few more seconds.

That's all that might have stood between the Tigard High School wrestling team and an impressive team victory.

The Tigers were edged 32-31 by Southridge in a non-league dual match held Dec. 6 at Southridge High School

Still, despite the close setback, Tigers were happy with their performance, as well as with their outlook for the rest of the season.

'I think we're going to do pretty good,' said Tigard junior Dylan Gillaspie, who won by fall in the 160-pound match. 'We wrestled pretty well tonight. I think we're going to be a lot better this year.'

'We did a lot of good things tonight,' first-year Tigard coach Jay Butz said. 'The young kids stepped up. It could have gone either way.'

Junior Tyler Mangum got Tigard off to a strong start to the match as he scored a 13-1 major decision victory over Southridge freshman Torin Carver. Mangum had a three-point near fall and a pair of two-point near falls in the victory, which gave Tigard a quick 4-0 lead in the team score.

The Skyhawks, however, came back to win the next four matches, including one by forfeit, to claim a 20-4 advantage. In the 135-pound match, Southridge senior Adam Lee scored a 5-3 decision win over Tigard senior Andy Howe in one of the better matches of the night. Howe scored on a takedown with 16 seconds to go in the third round, but he was unable to get a last-second takedown.

Senior Davis Truong got Tigard back on the winning track as he scored a 14-10 decision win over Jonathan Welling in the 140-pound match. Truong recorded six takedowns in the win, which cut Southridge's lead to 20-7.

Senior Brent Mangum got the Tigers even closer as he posted a 25-10 technical fall win over Skyhawk junior Daniel McRae in the 145-pound match. The Tigard grappler took a 16-7 lead into the third round of the match. He then tacked on four more takedowns in the final round, ending the match with 39 seconds left on the clock.

Mangum's win trimmed the Southridge lead to 20-12.

Steven Coburn, wrestling in his first varsity match, kept Tigard's momentum alive as he scored a 6-3 decision win over Southridge's Brandon O'Brien at 152 pounds.

Gillaspie then gave Tigard a 21-20 lead as he pinned Southridge's Kelvin King in a time of 3 minutes and 49 seconds in the 160-pound match.

'I felt good tonight,' said Gillespie, who had both his freshman and sophomore seasons cut short due to injury. 'I hope to put in a full year and I really want to get to state. That's my goal.'

In his win over King, Gillaspie fell behind early, 3-0, but came back to tie the score at 3-3 by the end of the first round. In the second round, Gillaspie scored on a reversal and a two-point near fall before putting King's shoulders to the mat.

'I wanted to get out there and tear it up,' Gillaspie said. 'We were down by five, so I knew a pin would really help us.'

Southridge got pins from senior Michael McRae at 171 pounds and from junior Sam Evers at 189 to claim a 32-21 lead. Tigard, which knew it would get a forfeit win by Robert Kennedy at 285 pounds, needed a pinfall win by senior Sean Field-Eaton in his 215-pound match with Craigan Fitzgerald in order to win the match by one point.

Field-Eaton took a 5-2 lead into the third round of the 215-pound match. He really turned up the intensity at that point, taking down Fitzgerald over and over again. But he couldn't get the fall against the Skyhawk senior, who seemed intent on not giving up the pin.

Field-Eaton ended up scoring a 16-6 major decision win, leaving Southridge with a 32-31 victory.

'They shouldn't have won,' Gillaspie said.

On Saturday, Tigard competed at the eight-school Lincoln tournament, taking third place in the team standings.

In dual meet results from the tournament, Tigard fell 42-30 to tourney champ Hood River, but the Tigers posted a 48-36 win over Lincoln and they beat Beaverton 48-30.

Tigard was scheduled to host Westview in a non-league dual match on Wednesday. Results from the match weren't available when the Times went to press. The Tigers will next be wrestling at the Clackamas Tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday.