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Wolves turn up the intensity in win over Tigard

Tualatin wrestles `Crazy Hard' on its way to getting a victory over the Tigers
by: DAN BROOD, THINGS ARE LOOKING UP — Tualatin High School junior Walter Blice takes a quick look at the scoreboard clock during his match against Tigard senior Mike Homma.

TUALATIN - Intensity.

The Tigard High School wrestling team is looking to develop an increased level of it.

Meanwhile, the Tualatin High School wrestling team is already enjoying the benefits of a high intensity level.

And the Timberwolves showed just how intense they could be when they took on the rival Tigers.

Tualatin, showing its determination, and its ferocity, match after match, scored a 47-15 win over Tigard in a Pacific Conference dual match held Jan. 16 at Tualatin High School.

'We were really fired up. They're our rivals,' Tualatin junior 215-pounder Jason GrosJacques said after the match. 'Our motto this week is `Crazy Hard.' We went out there and worked crazy hard.'

With the victory, the Wolves improved to 2-1 in league matches at that point.

'Oh yeah, this is a great win - it's Tigard,' said Tualatin junior Robert Kennedy, who picked up a win in the 160-pound match. 'We wanted to wrestle `Crazy Hard.' We talked about really picking things up. We've got some big challenges ahead. We not only want to get ready for district, but we're looking ahead to state.'

Tigard moved to 1-2 in league matches at that point with the setback.

'Things didn't go our way and they're pretty tough this year,' Tigard senior 112-pounder Ty Mangum said. 'We have a lot of room to improve. I hope we learned from tonight. We're going to work hard to get better.'

Tualatin took a quick 6-0 lead at the match when Trey Marquez received a forfeit victory at 103 pounds.

But Mangum got the Tigers right back in the contest as he edged Tualatin's Joe Whitaker to score a 6-4 decision victory at 112 pounds.

Mangum, with a pair of takedowns, held a 4-1 lead at the end of the first round. He led 4-2 going into the third round and upped the margin to 6-2 with a reversal. However, Whitaker got within two points with a reversal of his own, coming with 9 seconds left in the match.

'I had fun in the first round. I did what I wanted to do,' Mangum said. 'But in the second and third rounds, I didn't wrestle like myself. I don't know why.'

Sophomore Nathan Andrews got Tualatin back on track as he scored a 5-1 decision win over Tigard's Steven Kim in the 119-pound match.

Junior Walter Blice upped the Timberwolf lead to 13-3 by scoring an 11-0 major decision in the 125-pound bout. Blice had two takedowns, two two-point nearfalls and one three-point nearfall on his way to getting the victory.

In the 130-pound match, Tualatin sophomore Dillon Carbajal pulled out a dramatic 7-6 decision win over Will McLellarn. The match was tied at 4-4 going into the third round. Carbajal grabbed a 5-4 lead with an escape coming 12 seconds into the final round. But McLellarn claimed a 6-5 lead with a takedown coming with 1:19 left in the match.

Carbajal then took a 7-6 lead in the back-and-forth match with a reversal coming with 48 seconds left to wrestle. He then fought off McLellarn's last-second escape attempts to get the one-point decision victory.

A.J. Peaslee, at 135 pounds, and Fletcher Parker, at 140, scored back-to-back pins, with Parker getting his victory in a time of 1:46, to up the Tualatin lead to 28-3.

Senior Jake Harbolt then picked up another win for Tigard by scoring a hard-fought 4-3 decision victory over Travis Gamache in the 145-pound match. Harbolt trailed 2-1 going into the third round, but he rallied to get an escape and a takedown to grab a 4-2 lead. Gamache scored on a last-second escape to make the final 4-3.

In the 152-pound match, Tualatin senior Chris Porter edged Steven Coburn 2-1, giving the Wolves a 31-6 lead at that point.

Kennedy followed with a 17-6 major decision victory over Tigard junior Jacob Engle at 160.

'I just tried to keep the tempo up,' Kennedy said. 'We've been working on our cardio.'

The 171-pound match saw Tigard's Jake Moriniti score a dramatic 11-9 decision win over Charlie Maze. Moriniti trailed 9-7, but he scored both a takedown and a two-point nearfall in the final three seconds of the match to get the come-from-behind victory.

Tualatin junior Alek Poti won by fall in a time of 2:30 in the 189-pound match, upping the Timberwolf lead to 41-9. GrosJacques followed by pinning Tigard junior Tim Beckman in 2:48 in the 215-pound match.

'It was just chain wrestling,' GrosJacques said. 'And I tried some new moves.'

Senior Andrew Cox ended the night with a positive note for Tigard as he won by fall in a time of 4:50 in the 285-pound match.

'We had a real good practice on Monday,' Tualatin coach Matt Hamilton said. 'We went `Crazy Hard' in practice and it carried over. We were setting the tempo and always tried to be moving forward.'

Last Thursday, Tualatin gave perennial state power Newberg a battle before falling 39-21 in a league match held at Tualatin High School.

The Wolves, getting wins from Marquez, Andrews, Blice, Carbajal, Porter and Kennedy, held a 21-20 lead before Newberg rallied, getting wins in the final four matches.

The Wolves then claimed the championship in the team standings at the Cleveland Tournament held Friday and Saturday at Cleveland High School.

The Timberwolf junior varsity placed 13th in the team standings at the tourney.

'It seemed like everyone scored some points,' Hamilton said.

Blice won a tournament championship at 119 pounds, beating teammate Tim Sampson in the finals. Andrews, at 112, and Porter, at 152, also had second-place finishes. Carbajal, Kennedy and GrosJacques each finished third.

Tigard, last Thursday, fell 58-10 to league-leading Canby in a Pacific Conference dual match. Coburn and Cox had wins for the Tigers, with Cox getting his victory by fall.

On Saturday, the Tigers finished second at a four-team tournament it hosted.

Mangum, senior Mike Homma at 119 pounds, and Coburn each won individual tourney titles.

Tigard and Tualatin will both be back in action tonight (Thursday). Tigard wrestles at Newberg and Tualatin travels to McMinnville for league matches starting at 7 p.m.