Wrestling under a light is just right for Madras.
The White Buffalos silenced crowds at Bend and then Mountain View to improve to 3-2 in Intermountain Conference action.
"It's fun to be wrestling under a light," Madras junior Ryan Brunner said. "It's just like the professionals do. It also make you feel like it's just you and the other guy."
Brunner was one of seven Buffs to go 2-0 in last week's IMC duels. It was part of dominating wins at Bend (50-24) on Wednesday and at Mountain View (63-15) on Thursday.
Madras finishes up its IMC season this week with two matches along with traveling to the Lebanon tournament Saturday. The Buffs host The Dalles-Wahtonka on Wednesday and travel to Crook County on Thursday. The Cowboys' lone IMC loss is to defending state champion Hermiston midway through the league season.
Madras wrestlers James Rodriguez (215 pounds) and Will Wienert (285) can earn the IMC's top district seeds this week. Both are unbeaten in league matches, but face fellow ranked foes (according to the Oregon Wrestling Forum).
Rodriguez is ranked No. 2 at his weight while compiling a 19-2 record. The senior faces unbeaten Howie Mole of Crook County, ranked No. 3 at the same weight. Both seniors are state veterans at 215 last season with Rodriguez finishing eighth while Mole did not place (going 1-2).
Wienert goes into this week ranked fourth in his weight (17-3). Wienert faces defending 5A champ Tyrel Albert.
"Albert is a solid wrestler who doesn't make mistakes," Brown said. "The match will come down to which guy makes a mistake."
The Buffs could use an altered lineup this week, starting with Nathan Monroe going at 119. The junior has racked up a 21-8 record at 130 but is certified to wrestle at the lower weight. Monroe will attempt to move down as 119 starter Robert Rodriguez is out with a back injury with his return is uncertain.
Stephen Scranton will stay at 125 (owning a 24-6 record). However, Brunner will shift down to 130 after a 22-7 mark at 135.
"Dropping to 130 isn't that tough since it's later in the season," Brunner said.
Rodney Smith will move to 135 after going 21-7 at 140 and at 140 will be Justin Brown.
"We'll see if it works next week," the Madras coach said. "Whether it works will depend on if the guys can make the lower weights. It's tough with several good wrestlers at the same weight. We want to get all of them on the mat to give us our strongest possible lineup."
Brown said the plan is to attempt to use the revised lineup in the IMC duels, but go to the former lineup for the Lebanon tourney.
The tourney season starts with the IMC district at Summit on Feb. 8-9 with the top three finishers in each weight class advancing to the 5A state meet (Feb. 14-16).
Madras 50, Bend 24: After an exchange of pins, the Buffs went to work with an altered lineup.
Justin Brown and Quinn, both down a weight class, opened with pins. Brown scored a second-period pin while Quinn followed with a first-period fall.
"That's just how we wanted to start the match," the Madras coach said.
Bend countered with a pair of pins for a 12-all score. Buff senior Jucoby Frank started a Buff win streak at 171. He trailed 4-0 but scored the next 10 points with a combination of takedowns and near falls for the victory.
"Jucoby kept going after the guy (Kyle Brown)," the Madras coach said.
That was the first of five consecutive Buff wins. Trevor Barrett (189), Rodriguez, Wienert, and David Zamora (103), followed with pins. That put Madras up 39-12.
Scranton, Brunner and Smith all scored decisions to close out the match.
Madras 63, Mountain View 15: Smith had the honor of giving the Buffs a quick lead. Again wrestling at 135, the sophomore scored a 19-4 technical fall. He led 9-2 after the first period and 13-3 after the second.
The Cougars were good hosts by awarding a quartet of forfeits with two very early (140 and 145).
The Buffs also scored five pins by Barrett, Wienert, Zamora, Triston Boise (112) and Brunner.
The wrestling rookie Zamora had pins on consecutive nights to even his record at 4-4.
"It's all about David picking up things as quickly as he can," Brown said.