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Vikings crown two champs at Tigard tournament

Matthew Johnson and Lucas Higginbotham bring home titles from the Tigard tourney

The Forest Grove wrestling team had a strong showing over the weekend, crowning two individual champions and taking second place overall at a nine-team tournament at Tigard High School on Saturday.

Senior Matthew Johnson walked away with a title at 132 pounds and junior Lucas Higginbotham was crowned at 126 to highlight an excellent day for the Vikings, who sent 11 wrestlers total to the podium.

Forest Grove scored 228 points to finish second behind Aloha, which had seven individual champions and blew away the field with 385 points. Southridge finished third (225) and Milwaukie was fourth (210½).

Higginbotham stormed to his title with a dominant performance on Saturday, pinning his first three opponents and then earning a 6-3 decision against Forest Grove teammate Jose Lucas Lucas in the 126-pound final.

Johnson had only moderately more difficulty in the 132 bracket, pinning Andy Aguirre of Oregon City in the first round, then following that with a 9-1 major decision over Jose Silva of St. Helens and an 8-0 decision against Aloha’s Manual Alvarez in the semifinals. Johnson won his title by default when Michael Bowen of St. Helens forfeited due to injury.

Bowen had defeated Forest Grove junior Maya Guerra in the other 132-pound semifinal, sending Guerra to the consolation bracket, where he rebounded to finish third with a 5-1 decision over Alvarez.

Elsewhere, Forest Grove got a runner-up performance from Alex Vanderkin at 182. The senior won his first two matches by pin, then squeaked out a 12-8 decision over Lane Marshall of Oregon City in the semifinals. Vanderkin eventually lost by decision in the final against Kyle McCalpin of Aloha.

Forest Grove’s other top-six finishers were Isaac Graham (third, 195), Leonard Blix (fourth, 220), Griffin Crabtree (fifth, 113), Quentin Oppenlander (fifth, 145), Rolando Orozco (sixth, 106) and Sky Mora Lopez (sixth, 145).