It's go, go and go for IMC wrestlers
It's a quick turnaround, with back-to-back matches. The White Buffalos are at Bend on Wednesday at Mountain View on Thursday. Next week, Madras finishes up its home season by hosting The Dalles-Wahtonka on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Then the Buffs travel to Crook County on Thursday, Jan. 31.
"Since the IMC wanted to have all of its league duels after the holiday break, there's not much time," Madras coach Paul Brown said. "That means everyone has a time crunch."
The schedule also simulates the tournament season. Both the IMC district and state meets are consecutive days (Feb. 8-9 at Mountain View for district and Feb. 15-16 for state).
"It duplicates the mindset of district," Brown said. "The guys have to make weight both days and wrestle both days. It can be rough, but it's the same as district."
The Buffs are coming off an IMC split. Madras won at Summit 57-20 on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and then lost to IMC leader Hermiston 54-19 on Saturday.
Hermiston was coming off its own double back, having beaten rival Crook County 36-27 on Friday to realistically clinch the IMC title. Hermiston is the defending 5A champ and Crook County second with both teams in position to repeat as Hermiston has 11 ranked wrestlers and Crook County 10 (according to Oregon Wrestling Forum).
Hermiston 51, Madras 19: The Bulldogs quickly took control, winning the first six matches in the duel starting at 140 pounds. That included three pins and a technical fall for a 30-0 lead.
Madras went on its own winning streak, starting at the heaviest weights. James Rodriguez, ranked No. 2 at 215, took control of his match. The Buff senior executed a five-point move a minute into the first period and led 7-1 when that period ended.
Rodriguez added five more near-fall points in the second period and eventually won 13-4.
Will Wienert followed with a third-period pin, after a bit of drama. He was almost thrown to his back twice in a scoreless first period. The moves by Bulldog Paco Arenas (who lost to Rodriguez a week earlier at the Oregon Classic) were near the edge of the circle.
"I knew I was near the out of bounds, so he (Arenas) wasn't going to take me on my back," Wienert said.
The search for a takedown continued halfway through the second period. Wienert did score a takedown but no back points. He added a reversal in the third and scored a pin with 11 seconds left in the match.
"It'll be good for me later on to be wrestling into the third period," Wienert said. "We've been working hard in practice and it's paying off."
The Buffs added another pin at 103 by newcomer David Zamora against a fellow varsity rookie. Zamora's pin came with 21 seconds left in the second period.
"This was just David's fourth match, so he's learning," Brown said. "He's picking things up quickly, but has a fast growth curve."
The Buffs could have a full lineup, if 119-pounder Robert Rodriguez returns from a back injury. He competed in all five matches at the Oregon Classic the previous weekend, but was out for the IMC matches.
Madras added a 7-6 victory by Stephen Scranton at 125. Scranton went ahead with two takedowns in the first period and clinched the victory with another takedown in the third.
Madras 57, Summit 20: The Buffs scored eight pins, including a stretch of four consecutive from 125 to 140. Scranton, Nathan Monroe, Ryan Brunner and Rodney Smith.
Zack Quinn (152), Keegan O'Brien (171), Rodriguez and Wienert also scored pins.