The Pioneers put their cross-town rivals away with five wins by fall

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City junior Alex Canchola sticks West Linn junior Tad Handris at 138 to help set the tone in last weeks dual win at West Linn.WEST LINN — The upstart West Linn Lions gave the Oregon City Pioneers a run for their money in a Three Rivers League dual wrestling meet contested here Jan. 10.

Each team won seven matches, but the Pioneers had five wins by fall, earning themselves the 36-30 victory.

“This is always one of our most important matches,” said Oregon City senior co-captain Michael McCoy. “It’s a real pride thing, a great way to finish my senior year, beating them in football and now in wrestling. We’ve beaten them in wrestling all four years now.”

It was the sixth consecutive win by the Pioneers over their cross-river rivals, their last loss coming in a dual meet with the Lions in a 2007 meet at Oregon City. Oregon City won a 39-36 barnburner at West Linn in 2012.

Asked the key to pulling off the win in last week’s dual, McCoy said: “Staying strong where we were supposed to be strong, pinning where we were supposed to get pins.”

McCoy’s fall over West Linn junior Ellis Eaton at 220, in the second to last match of the meet, clinched the win for the Pioneers, as it stretched a 30-24 advantage to 36-24. But McCoy’s fall over Eaton was in no way a given. McCoy and Eaton had been ranked first and third in the state respectively in “The Oregon Grappler” rankings.

Still, McCoy was dominant, going up 4-1 with two first-round takedowns, and 5-1 with an early second-round escape.

“I was thinking patience [heading into the match with Eaton],” McCoy said. “I’m stronger on my feet than he is, so I knew if I was patient, I could get him.”

Other Oregon City wrestlers earning falls included: freshman Ryan Leonard (106) over West Linn freshman Mario Ruiz; junior Devin Poppen (126) over freshman Kane Snap; senior Kyle Sether (132) over senior Michael Mutschler; and junior Alex Canchola (138) over junior Tad Handris.

Leonard was up 10-1 in the third round when he earned his fall; leading 5-0, Poppen earned his fall in the first round; Sether scored four first-round takedowns en route to a first-round fall over Mutschler.

The match was tied at 2-2 in the second round when Canchola turned Handris.

West Linn had only two wins by fall. West Linn senior Eddy Rojas (195) earned a first-round fall over Oregon City junior Grant Hicks; and, with the score tied at 2-2, West Linn junior Noah Bagley took Oregon City senior Jacob Hagler down to his back for a second-round fall at heavyweight.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Senior Kyle Sether and Oregon City coach Roger Rolen celebrate a fall in last weeks hotly contested Three Rivers League dual meet with cross-river rival West Linn.Oregon City junior Michael Griffin earned a pivotal 3-2 decision over West Linn junior Cam Schmitz at 182. With the score tied at 1-1, Griffin scored a takedown near the edge of the mat with just 14 seconds remaining.

“He was trying to evade me the whole match....,” Griffin said. “The key was taking him to the third round, where my endurance paid off and I could work my moves.”

Oregon City also had a winner at 160, where junior Gabe Ellicott earned a 4-0 decision over West Linn senior Adam Roethe, scoring through a takedown, an escape, and when Roethe was dinged for stalling midway through the final round.

One of the more exciting matches of the meet took place at 170, where Oregon City junior Tanner Fischer gave West Linn senior Tyler Chay all in could handle in a 6-2 double overtime loss.

Fischer went up 1-0 late in the second round when Chay was charged with stalling. Chay scored a takedown midway through the third round, but Fischer escaped to send the match into overtime. Neither wrestler scored from the neutral position in a one-minute overtime. Fischer then took the down position for a 30-second extra period but was unable to score; Chay reversed Fischer and got a two-point nearfall in his turn on the bottom.

It was the 16th straight win without a loss for Chay this season. Chay, who is ranked the No. 1 in the state, was state runner-up at 160 a year ago. Fischer qualified for state as a freshman, but missed last season because of a knee injury.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Tanner beat [Chay] next time [they wrestle],” McCoy said. “He gave him a heck of a match.”

The Lions won their share of close matches. West Linn sophomore Tim Harman, who placed second in regional competition last year, earned an escape and a takedown in the third round to score a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Oregon City senior Parker Folliard at 145; West Linn freshman standout Tyler Self defeated Oregon City senior Carter Marshall 4-2 in overtime at 152; and Chay earned his double overtime win over Fischer.

West Linn picked up six points at 113, where junior Joey Donovan accepted a forfeit when Oregon City failed to field an opponent.

The dual win gained the Pioneers (2-0) the inside track for finishing atop the Three Rivers League and going unbeaten in TRL dual meets.

The Pioneers host Clackamas (2-0) tonight.

“It’ll be an interesting match-up,” McCoy said. “I’m not certain, but I think they’re strong where we’re not. I think that just like in every dual meet we wrestle, our stronger kids are going to have to get pins.”

The Pioneers will find out how they stack up with the top dual-meet teams in the state Jan. 18-19, when they travel to the Deschutes County Fairgrounds for the Oregon Wrestling Classic.

Cavs manhandle

the Pacers

Clackamas had an easy time of it in last week’s dual meet at Lakeridge, accepting six wins by forfeit and cruising to a 67-6 dual win.

Clackamas matmen Dane Maben (132), Matt Miller (138), Zach Jett (220) and Cole Johnson (285) all won by fall.

Travis Whittaker (126) won by decision over Adam Bartowski and Sam Riley (145) won by decision over Sam Wortz.

Lakeridge’s only win came at 152, where Jake Oelrich got the best of Grant Gage.

The Cavaliers battled stiff competition last Friday when they competed in an eight-team dual-meet tournament at Century.

Clackamas defeated South Albany 41-30 in its tournament opener. The Cavaliers then came up short, losing dual meets with Century 42-21 and with Glencoe, 61-13.

Three Clackamas matmen went undefeated at the tournament: Brad Pfeifer (160), Kyle Anderegg (195) and Jett (220).

Jett put the Cavaliers over the top in their dual with South Albany, clinching the dual win with a 5-0 decision over Matt Degone.

Clackamas coach Jayson Wullbrandt singled out Will Greer and Austin Brittle for standout performances in the dual with Century. Greer decisioned Blake Steifel 6-3, and Brittle won by 7-1 decision over Danny Salampessy.

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