Crook county defeats the first and second-ranked teams in the state, but falls to league rival Hermiston in the finals fo the Oregon Wrestling Classic 37-27

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Dustin Champan picks up Hermiston's Ben Mallard during his 6-4 victory.

For the second year in a row the Crook County High School wrestling team finished second to conference rival Hermiston in the Oregon Wrestling Classic over the weekend.
   "You know I'm pleased," said Head Coach Mike Shinkle. "I'm very proud of these kids. They work hard, they compete and with the exception of one letdown at the end, they wrestled well. It's kind of tough to get back to the finals of the Oregon Classic two years in a row and lose to the same dang team again."
   Crook County rolled through the first two matches of pool play on Friday, defeating Glencoe 61-4 and Mountain View 78-0. The match against Mountain View also counted as a league dual meet win, making the Cowboys 2-0 in league.
   Then Friday evening in the final round of pool play Crook County got off to a slow start losing their first two bouts, and trailing 19-6 halfway through the match before the Cowboys reeled off six consecutive wins by either fall or forfeit to defeat the state's second-ranked 5A school 41-19.
   The win earned Crook County a No. 1 seed for Saturday's bracket portion of the tournament. In the quarterfinal match on Saturday the Cowboys continued their dominant wrestling form, defeating Cleveland 50-12.
   In the semifinals the going got a little tougher, but the Cowboys defeated No. 1 ranked Crater 38-24 setting up the showdown with Hermiston for the finals.
   In the finals the Cowboys got off to a slow start losing the first five matches of the match falling behind 15-0. Crook County clawed their way back into contention with pins by Micah Perry at 160-pounds, and Howie Mole at 215-pounds and a forfeit win in the heavyweight division to take a 24-21 lead midway through the match. But Hermiston got pins of their own at 103 and 112-pounds securing a 37-27 victory.
   "We had a lot of great things happen this weekend," said Shinkle. "We beat a lot of great teams and did a lot of great wrestling, but it's disappointing. We had a goal in mind and it just didn't happen."
   Brett Gast, Howie Mole and Tyrel Albert went 6-0 on the weekend, while Perry, and Dustin Chapman went 5-1. Overall, the Cowboys were 60-24 over the course of the tournament while juggling their lineup and using 18 different wrestlers.
   "We rested some kids here and there to keep them healthy and also get different kids some matches," said Shinkle. "The more matches we get, the better we get so we had kids going in and out and doing different things."
   As the Cowboys get ready for district the added experience may become important as teams are allowed to enter two individuals in each weight at the district meet.
   Crook County has a busy week coming up, wrestling Summit on Thursday, Hermiston on Friday, and Pendleton on Saturday. It looks like the Friday rematch with Hermiston will likely decide the league dual meet title.
   "You know we definitely have got some work to do," Shinkle said. "We've got 11 or 12 points to make up before Friday, but overall I'm definitely pleased."
   Oregon Wrestling Classic
   At Deschutes County Fairgrounds
   Crook County results
   103/112 - Jared George 3-2
   103/112 - Rylie Omlid 5-1
   112 - Brent Forseth 1-0
   119 - Tylor Pierce 3-3
   125 - Brett Gast 6-0
   130/135 - Brad Brock 2-4
   130 - Trevor Wilson 1-0
   135 - Kody Dixon 3-1
   135 - Jared Dixon 0-1
   140 - Taylor Coyle 3-3
   145 - Cameron Anderson 4-2
   152/160 - Dustin Chapman 5-1
   152/160 - Jake Shinkle 1-2
   160/171 - Micah Perry 5-1
   171 - R.J. Driege 2-1
   189 - Levi Roan 4-2
   215 - Howie Mole 6-0
   275 - Tyrel Albert 6-0
   Crook County Hermiston Championship Finals
   130 - Dylan Olsen Hermiston dec. Brad Brock CC 8-2. 135 - Bryce McMahon Hermiston dec. Kody Dixon CC 4-0. 140 - A.J. Almaquer Hermiston dec. Taylor Coyle CC 6-1. 145 - Frankie Perez Hermiston dec. Cameron Anderson CC 6-0. 152 - Dustin Chapman CC dec. Ben Mallard Hermiston 6-4. 160 - Micah Perry CC pin Roberto Madera Hermiston. 171 - Randy Larson Hermiston pin R.J. Driege CC. 189 - Levi Roan CC dec. Nick Ecblad Hermiston 7-5. 215 - Howie Mole CC pin Paca Arenas Hermiston. 275 - Tyrel Albert CC win by forfeit. 103 - Ben Jorgensen Hermiston pin Rylie Omlid CC. 112 - Jaylee Britt Hermiston pin Jared George CC. 119 - Chase Winters Hermiston major dec. Tyler Pierce CC 12-4. 125 Brett Gast CC dec. Brandon Adolf Hermiston 8-3.
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