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No pain, no gain for the Timberwolves

Wrestling: Motivated Tualatin doesn't let anything get in its way in its 39-28 win at Aloha
by: DAN BROOD, FIRM GRIP — Tualatin senior Chris Porter (top) has Aloha’s Derek Barfus under control during the 160-pound match at last week’s dual meet. Porter won 19-9.

ALOHA - The Timberwolves were motivated.

They were finally getting close to full strength and they were determined.

Wow, were they ever determined.

Dustin Coulson certainly was determined.

Coulson, a senior on the Tualatin High School wrestling team, showing his tenacity, popped a badly dislocated finger back into place - during his 152-pound match with Aloha's Blake Wight - and then went on to win by fall.

'I just knew I had to win,' Coulson said.

Coulson, with his pin, helped Tualatin score a 39-28 win over the Warriors in a non-league dual match held Dec. 12 at Aloha.

With the win, Tualatin improved its non-league dual match record to 2-2 at that point while also getting a bit of revenge over Aloha. The Warriors, the Saturday before, won the championship at the Tualatin Tournament, besting the second-place Timberwolves.

'They won our tournament, so we had a little extra motivation tonight,' Tualatin senior 145-pounder Travis Gamache said. 'I'm proud of how we wrestled.'

Coulson, a first-year wrestler, appeared to give the Wolves plenty to be proud of.

In his match, Coulson battled Wight to a 0-0 deadlock in the first round of their 152-pound bout. Coulson went up 1-0 on an escape coming with 1 minute and 49 seconds left in the second round. With 1:21 left in the round, Coulson scored on a takedown to up the margin to up his lead to 3-0. That's where things got interesting for the Tualatin senior.

'Right when I got on the ground and was about to pin him, my finger twisted,' Coulson said of the ring finger on his left hand. 'I was in a little shock. It was bent to the left, and I twisted it back - I thought it was broken. Adrenaline kicked in. I knew I had to pin him quick because I couldn't go on.'

Coulson did get the pin, putting Wight's shoulders to the mat with 49 seconds to wrestle in the second round, giving the Wolves a 32-10 lead at that point.

Aloha took the first lead of the match, going up 6-0 after getting a pin by Zach McKena in the 103-pound match.

But the Wolves, bolstered by the return of their football players during the week, came storming back.

Tualatin freshman Trey Marquez pinned Sean Murfin in 1:03 in the 112-pound match to tie the team score at 6-6.

Timberwolf sophomore Nathan Andrews won by forfeit at 119 pounds and sophomore Joey Whitaker scored a 14-2 major decision win over Lance Barfus at 125 to give the Wolves a 16-6 advantage.

At 130 pounds, junior Walter Blice, who was one of the Timberwolf football players seeing his first competitive action of the season, scored an 11-0 major decision win over Michael Tyner to give the Wolves a 20-6 lead.

Sophomore Dillon Carbajal upped margin to 23-6 with his 4-0 decision win over Aloha's Isaac Tillotson at 135 pounds. Aloha cut the lead to 23-10 with a major decision victory at 140.

At 145 pounds, Gamache got the Wolves back on the winning track with a 6-2 decision win over Jack Miller.

'I just want to keep helping out the team,' Gamache said.

Coulson, with his fall at 152, upped the Tualatin lead to 32-10.

At 160 pounds, Tualatin senior Chris Porter had five takedowns in the third period on his way to scoring a 19-9 major decision win over Aloha's Derek Barfus, giving the Wolves a 36-10 lead. Junior Robert Kennedy, another returning football play, scored a 4-2 decision win at 171 to give Tualatin a 39-10 advantage.

Aloha, getting pins at 189, 215 and 285, cut the final Tualatin lead to 39-28.

'That wasn't too bad,' Tualatin coach Matt Hamilton said. 'When the football players came back, everyone kicked it up a notch. And we threw the football players right in there. They've been itching to wrestle and they earned that opportunity. I was just really proud of the kids.'

Tualatin continued its strong showing on Saturday as won the team title at the Sandy tournament.

Placing first for Tualatin at the tournament were Andrews at 112, Blice at 125, Carbajal at 130, Gramache at 152, Kennedy at 171 and junior Alek Poti at 215.