>Bulldogs finish second to Nyssa in team wrestling battle
Mark Coy turned the Culver High wrestling team's desire into reality Saturday night in Portland. Unfortunately for Culver, their desires were only partially realized.
The 171-pound senior gave Culver a state championship, but the Bulldogs settled for having an individual instead of a team championship.
Other teammates couldn't quite pull off some of the higher finishes needed to nip Nyssa in the team standings. The Bulldogs from Eastern Oregon nipped the Bulldogs from Central Oregon, 135-122.
Still, Culver proudly hoisted the second-place team trophy Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum, thanks to many more wins than just Coy's over his District I rival Kyle Umbenhower of Dayton.
Three of the four semi-finalists in Coy's 171 division were from Culver's district. Umbenhower trimmed Neah-Kah-Nie's Chris Kidby to advance to the final at about the same time Coy was collecting a second-period fall over Riddle's Shane Hartzell during Friday's evening session.
"I just did the best I could," Coy said. He could have echoed the Friday sentiments even more readily Saturday.
Rather than cruise to a title when leading comfortably in the third two-minute period of the finals, Coy helped the team. By getting to and maintaining a 10-point difference, at 15-5, Coy gave Culver an extra point in the standings.
"He heard us and he did it. That's the kind of wrestler he is," assistant coach Lorne Stills said of Coach J.D. Alley and himself compelling Coy to get a few more when ahead 11-3 late in the second period.
James Moyses, at 103 pounds, was Culver's other wrestler in Saturday night's finals. A freshman, Moyses was pinned by a sophomore from Nyssa, Monte Nicholes, in the title match.
"He just had some good moves. I would try to shoot more and keep moving (if there was another chance)," Moyses said.
Wrestlers from other districts cost the Bulldogs some points Friday in the battle for the team title, but just as many losses were to fellow district members such as Dayton, Neah-Kah-Nie, Willamina or Amity. Other wins let Culver contend into the finals round.
Culver belongs to made putting enough wrestlers in the tournament, as well as the advanced rounds, a challenge note by Alley.
"The numbers pretty well tell how tough our district is," said Alley. Dayton and Neah-Kah-Nie, two of Culver's cohorts from District One, took third and fourth. Besides the title combatants, they were the only teams scoring more than 70 points.
Ross McWilliams and Bryce Miller, Culver's two other seniors, came up with two and three wins respectively.
Because of the timing of his wins, McWilliams finished fourth at 215 while Miller had to settle for fifth at 152.
McWilliams proved a pleasant surprise for Culver. He took fourth in the district but was called and invited to Portland on Wednesday, when one of the top three from the district at his weight took sick.
Adding in McWilliams, Culver began the tournament with 12 competitors.
Byes boosted eight Bulldogs into the round of eight. Yet, Moyses, Adam Kinley at 112, Junior Baltazar at 119, Danny Loredo and Brian Stills at 130, John Urbach at 140, Coy, and McWilliams, each were put in a situation in which they had to win to earn Culver the points some teams scored with a first round win.
In each bracket of 16, eight wrestled for the right to meet one of four wrestlers with byes. For Culver, Travis Kinley dropped a 125 battle to Pat Lynn of Joseph, Miller was nipped 5-4 by Nyssa's Luis Cisneros at 152, Lance Roberts pinned Gervais' Ivan Kartal at 189 and Zach Henson lost 5-1 to Alsea's Josh Stanwood.
Joining Coy and Moyses in reaching the semi-finals for Culver were Baltazar, Roberts and McWilliams.
Among the dozen who went, seven Bulldogs worked their way onto the podium, which was dedicated to the top six placers in each of the different weights.
Besides the win by Coy and second by Moyses, who pulled out a 6-5 win over Neah-Kah-Nie rival Ryan Vandecoevering in the semi-final, the top placings for Culver were: a fourth by Baltazar; a sixth by Travis Kinley; a third by Urbach; a fifth by Miller; a fifth by Roberts and a fourth by McWilliams.
Moyses established a precident at 103 that unfortunately hit Urbach negatively. Mitchell Brenden of Glendale was the top seed at 103 before being pinned by Moyses in the middle of the third round. It was part of a series of upset losses by top seeds in different weights in all divisions (3A and 4A besides 2A-1A).
Top-seeded, Urbach lost to Jake Howell of Monroe after two overtimes that couldn't break a 3-3 tie. Because Urbach started on the bottom in the second overtime and couldn't escape the win went to Howell. A flip of the green-and-red sided chip used to determine which wrestler gets to choose their position or defer for the second round also decided how could have the up position for a second overtime.
Urbach gained revenge. A semi-final loss sent Howell back to the consolation bracket, where Urbach was thriving. A pin and a forfeit had propelled Urbach to the third-place match, and a rematch with Howell.
"After that first time, I wanted to beat him bad," Urbach said after not just winning third, but pinning Howell for that victory.
Losing twice was frustrating, yet educational, for some younger Bulldogs who didn't advance to the placement.
"I'll feel more ready next time," noted Brian Stills. He lost to Eric Bert of Harrisburg before beating Lucas Skordahl of Oakridge, 9-2, to earn a shot at Dayton's Joe Silva. A sophomore, Silva eliminated Stills one round after Loredo had lost to McNichols of Lowell
Culver might have caught Nyssa with a few more wins in the consolation bracket but Adam Kinley, Stills and Loredo fell short in bids to battle on Saturday.
Some returning members showed their readiness to battle again, asking Alley if he thought maybe they could come back and get a first to go with the fourth and second they have won in the past two seasons.