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Tigard falls just short in league opener

Wrestling: The Tigers say they'll be even more motivated now following the 1-point loss
by: DAN BROOD, TURNED OVER — Tigard junior Jacob Engle (top) has control of McMinnville’s Enoch Humlie in a 160-pound match. Engle rallied to score a 4-3 decision victory.

TIGARD - The Tigard High School wrestling team was already motivated and working hard.

But after their Pacific Conference opening dual match, the Tigers say they're now even more motivated and their going to work harder.

The Tigers opened their league schedule with a heart-breaking setback as they were edged 30-29 by McMinnville in a match held last Thursday at Tigard High School.

'This is going to add fuel to the fire,' Tigard senior Jake Harbolt said after the match. 'I need to work harder. This is going to make us all work harder.'

'This will help us get more motivated,' Tiger junior Steven Coburn said. 'We've already had a lot of close losses.'

Tigard found itself in a quick 6-0 hole in last Thursday's match as McMinnville freshman Taylor Pfohl gained a forfeit victory at 103 pounds.

'We've been forfeiting six points at the beginning of every match,' Harbolt said. 'It's tough to get out of that hole. But we'll fill that spot and we'll be OK.'

Tiger senior Ty Mangum made up almost that entire 6-0 deficit right away as he scored an 18-2 technical fall victory over McMinnville's TJ Knight in the 112-pound match.

'Ty was phenomenal,' Harbolt said.

Tigard junior Steven Kim followed up with a 21-10 major decision win over McMinnville's Jeff Mullin at 119 pounds. Kim's victory gave the Tigers a 9-6 lead in the team score.

Tigard senior Mike Homma upped the lead to 13-6 by scoring a 9-0 major decision win over McMinnville sophomore Colton O'Halloran at 125.

McMinnville came back to win the next three matches to regain the lead at 18-13.

Harbolt, at 145 pounds, then took the mat against McMinnville senior David Hall, who pinned Harbolt at last year's Pacific Conference district tournament.

'Before the match, the coaches asked me `what are you going to do,'' Harbolt said.

He answered that question by scoring a 7-2 decision win over Hall, who was whistled three times for stalling penalties, for backing off the mat, during the match.

'That was very frustrating,' Harbolt said. 'I was really motivated for this match.'

Colburn, at 152 pounds, then scored a 10-2 major decision win over Ryan Robles to give the Tigers a 20-18 lead. Coburn scored on a takedown with 12 seconds remaining in the third round to get the eight-point winning margin, and the major decision win.

'He was tough,' Coburn said. 'I was glad I got the major decision, but I couldn't quite get the pin.'

Junior Jacob Engle kept the momentum on Tigard's side as he came from behind to score a 4-3 decision win over Enoch Humlie at 160 pounds, upping the Tiger lead to 23-18. Engle trailed 3-1 going into the third round before recording an escape and takedown to get the one-point victory.

McMinnville picked up a decision win at 171 pounds to cut the margin to 23-21. The teams then traded forfeits at 189 and 215, leaving Tigard with a 29-27 advantage going into the final match, the 285-pound bout.

Tigard senior Seth Rose, in that match, grabbed a 2-0 lead over McMinnville Marcus Orozco with a takedown with 13 seconds to go in the first round. Rose still held his 2-0 lead going into the third round. With a minute to go in the match, Rose looked to be throwing Orozco down again, but he flew too far over his opponent, letting Orozco get a takedown and two-point nearfall to go up 4-2 with 54 seconds left in the match.

Rose scored on an escape with 17 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 4-3. He tried to get a go-ahead takedown in the final seconds, but wasn't quite able to get Orozco down, leaving Orozco, and the Grizzlies, with a narrow victory.

'That was as close as can be,' Harbolt said. 'But we showed we can compete.'

On Saturday, the Tigers placed third in the team standings, with 201 points, at the Oregon City Tournament.

The Tigers are scheduled to wrestle at Forest Grove tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m.