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Madras grapples way to 2-2 mark during Oregon Classic

Wrestlers ready for Nels Ochs

   
   Sports Editor
   Madras High's wrestling White Buffalos were vengeful Friday at the Oregon Classic tournament. In its second dual match -- after falling to perennial power Molalla in the opening round -- Madras eliminated the same Ontario squad which had knocked it out of the double-elimination dual match format in the 2001 Classic.
   Madras won a tiebreaker against Sherwood, to earn a ticket to Saturday's competition, but could not match La Pine in one of the consolation bracket's semifinals.
   Its 21-51 loss to La Pine ended Madras' run at the Classic after five matches in a matter of less than 40 hours.
   The period that began Thursday evening saw Madras outscored 42-29 by The Dalles in a Tri-Valley League dual before its four duals in the Classic.
   Chad McFarland's victory over the state's second-ranked 130-pound wrestler at the 3A level, in The Dalles' Ian Dimmick, capped Madras' showing in its Jan. 10 home match.
   Tony Hansen got Madras started strongly against The Dalles. Hansen threatened to pin his opponent a couple of times but settled for an 18-2 technical fall, worth five points.
   Jacob Struck, wrestling at 140 after Hansen's performance at 135, fell behind 4-1 before but falling 10-9.
   Cody Oliver's pin at 145 put Madras up 11-3, but the Buffs' lead was still growing.
   An active match saw James Wolfe cash in the chance The Dalles wrestler presented for another pin worth six points to Madras in the middle of the second round.
   While The Dalles followed with its first pin in the 160 match, Madras had Justin Fox winning the 171 match, until a costly series of violations. Fox was called for locking his hands three separate times, which resulted in a disqualification. Instead of leading 20-9, Madras was only ahead 17-15.
    Battles at 215 and 275 went The Dalles way as neither Gordon Scott or Kerry Scott could avoid losing.
   Orrin Beals brought Madras back into contention with a win for at 103 before another series of forfeits or wins left The Dalles out of range, even with McFarland winning.
   Madras rallied from a slow start to trim Ontario in a match with an unusual three-lead changes. Wins in the middle of the match, at its upper weights and lowest weights, ignited Madras against Ontario.
   Like all of Friday's dual matches, the Madras vs. Ontario battle began at 171 pounds. That meant that 215-pound Gordon Scott and 275-pound Kerry Scott, plus Beals, met their foes more in the middle of each of the duals, instead of near the end or beginning of the order of matches.
   Madras assumed a temporary lead over Molalla before the Indians rallied.
   The White Buffalos did make their 3A division presence felt before exiting the Classic's brackets, despite its wrestlers not pinning down the top honor that went to 2A Culver.
   Dropped into the consolation bracket by a Molalla team which went on to give top-ranked Sweet Home its best match of the event, Madras rebounded to win back-to-back competitions late Friday before falling in the consolation semifinals.
   Madras was forced to come back twice after taking a small early lead against Ontario.
   Sherwood and the Buffs tied, 39-39, thanks in large part to the single point Struck prevented in a loss, said Paul Brown, the Madras coach.
   "Jacob not getting pinned was big," Brown explained.
   By not getting pinned by one of the state's top 140-pound wrestlers, Struck helped force the match into a criteria comparison which fell in Madras' advantage.
   McFarland won three times during the Classic, including a fall against Sherwood and a 7-2 win over La Pine, to provide some of the Buffs' highlights. He was in control in his only loss but managed to apply so much leverage as to pin his own shoulder blades against the mat.
   Tony Hansen had a good tournament for Madras too, at 135 pounds, but slipped against La Pine's Darrin Kerr in the semifinals of the consolation bracket. He lost 4-2. That score left the La Pine team ahead 27-3 in the middle of the match. Wolfe added another win for Madras, at 152, but the Buffs never won twice straight against La Pine until the Scotts both won at 215 and 275.
   "It was a surprise, to some degree. I was thankful for the opportunity the boys got to wrestle again Saturday," said Brown.
   The one draw back to advancing the way they did was that the Buffs will be facing a "fired up" Sherwood squad when they meet again in a Tri-Valley League dual match. There were some losses the Buffs had a chance to win but there were as many wins by Madras that fell into the upset category, on paper anyway, Brown noted.