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Buffs edge host at Culver Tourney

by: Photo By Gary Lindberg - After Culver's Miguel Baltazar locked up Tanner Conner of Colton in the second period, he looked to referee MIke Hawkins to see how close he was to a fall. Baltazar won the 130-pound title at the Culver Tournament, scoring pins in three of his matches.

Madras and Culver wrestlers had plenty to celebrate after all the hardware was handed out at the Culver Invitational Saturday.
   Both teams hoisted trophies to go along with plenty of individual medals after two long days in the 20-team meet.
   The visiting White Buffalos won a second consecutive title, edging the host Bulldogs 212-210.
   Appropriately, the outstanding wrestler of the tourney clinched the team title for Madras. Cameron Rosenfield won the 135-pound title with a 4-3 decision in the championship. A takedown with 10 seconds left clinched Rosenfield's victory against last season's 2A/1A 130-pound champion (Casey Walker of Glide). The Madras senior defeated a fellow 2006 finalist 11-6 (Jeremy Thompson of Culver who was in the 125 division while Rosenfield was at 135).
   "They recognized how tough of a draw I had," Rosenfield said. "You want to wrestle good wrestlers in tournaments like this to prepare for state. Still, it's tough."
   Especially when dealing with a sore knee. Rosenfield was hurt in Thursday's practice.
   "I told the doc I wanted to go this weekend," Rosenfield said. "It's sore, but I was able to go."
   The Madras senior found himself locked in a 2-2 match for most of the third period. He gained an escape 10 seconds into the final period, setting up 100 seconds of stalking for a takedown before Rosenfield scored one, then letting Walker up with three seconds left for the final 4-3 margin.
   Culver presented three outstanding wrestler candidates, all scoring dominate wins.
   Jake Nelson won the 112 title with an 18-3 technical fall. Nelson took control quickly with a five-point move, eventually scoring 11 near fall points.
   "I took what he gave me," said Nelson who finished fourth at state last season. "I'll be moving down to 103 next week. I thought I might be there this week."
   Instead, Nelson had two first-period pins plus a 17-1 technical fall to advance into the finals.
   Teammate Miguel Baltazar gave Culver fans a few seconds of concern in the 130 title match. Baltazar is seeking a third consecutive state 2A/1A title.
   He was taken down by Chris Eggleston of LaPine, a 3A quarterfinalist at 125 last year. Baltazar scored a reversal five seconds later for a 2-all tie as the first period ended. The Bulldog junior then built up a 9-2 lead at the end of the second period and scored a pin with 18 seconds left in the match. It was Baltazar's third pin in the tourney.
   "The guy made a good move on me," Baltazar said. "When that happens, I make sure I stay with what's worked for me. I don't want to get made because that's when something bad happens."
   Culver teammate Kyle Fisher had a similar match at 285. He was taken down by Madras junior Will Wienert 30 seconds into the match in a match of state veterans. Fisher was sixth at the 2A/1A tourney while Wienert was at the 3A tourney last season.
   "I was caught off guard," said Fisher who gained an escape 19 seconds later. "Later, I was able to catch his head and turn him."
   Fisher's pin came halfway through the second period. It was his third pin along with a 3-1 decision against Redmond's Jake Klein.
   The area teams had three other finalists.
   For Madras, Spud Smith was pinned in the 160 final. The Buff junior had three pins and a 7-5 semifinal win. James Rodriguez at 215 had a 6-4 overtime loss to Andrew Hennings of Lakeview (fourth in 2A/1A last season). Rodriguez trailed 3-1 going into the third period but scored an escape and takedown for a 4-3 lead. He was penalized a point for locking hands to force the overtime, ending with Hennings' takedown 30 seconds into overtime.
   "In this tourney, we're going to face some quality kids," Madras coach Paul Brown said. "A state champion or state medalist is still a champion or medalist, no matter what class they earned it in. When we go to Culver, we know we'll be facing good wrestlers."
   Culver senior Levi Roberts had his own tough task at 152, going against two-time state finalist (Trevor Hess of Colton). Hess won 7-2 in the finals after Roberts edged Madras' Jeremy DuPont 5-1 in a semifinal match of 145 state medalists last season (Roberts third and DuPont seventh).
   "That was a big win for Levi, beating DuPont," Culver coach J.D. Alley said. "That came after a very good Friday for Levi."
   DuPont went on to finish third with a pin. He was part of Madras' remarkable consolation finals run. The Buffs won all seven third- and fifth-place matches.
   "We've never had that kind of run before," the Madras coach said. "Going into that round, I emphasized that every match counts. We needed every win and every pin (worth two team points)."
   Stephen Scranton at 112, Nathan Monroe at 135, Ryan Brunner at 130 and Woody Williams at 285 all finished third while Robert Rodriguez at 112 and Justin Brown at 125 were fifth. Madras had 12 wrestlers win matches (only one designated competitor in each weight class could score team points).
   All those medalists helped Madras expand its lead over Culver. The Buffs led by seven (166.5-159.5) after the semifinals and built that margin into a 15.5 margin (208-195.5) going into the championship matches.
   Culver had four medalists with Matt Zachary third at 189, both Thompson at 135 and Austin Alley at 171 taking fourth plus Nick Barany sixth at 215. Culver had 13 wrestlers earn wins.
   "Not all of those guys could score points, but they kept the other guy from scoring points," Alley said. "It was a great couple of days for Jefferson County wrestlers."
   Notes: Anibal Vasquez of Henley (at 189) was the Travis Kinley memorial Mr. Takedown winner by scoring the most takedowns in the semifinals and finals. ... R.O. Gamez of Oakridge (103) received the John Urbach memorial Fastest Fall award for his 58-second fall in the finals. ... Rosenfield and Fisher called the Culver Invite their favorite tourney for different reasons. "This is so close for us, a lot of my family and friends can see me wrestle," Rosenfield said. "Plus they have a great ceremony before the finals." Fisher likes the tourney as "we don't have to travel. I can sleep in my own bed on Friday night."