by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Madras wrestler Jarred Dupont tries to get out of a hold by McMinnville's Dalton Donaldson during a 132-pound match at the Free-Berry Classic on Saturday at Pendleton High School. Madras finishes 10th at Free-Berry Classic

The Madras High School wrestling team finished 10th in the 15-team Free-Berry Classic on Saturday in Pendleton.

The White Buffalos scored 90.5 points to finish ahead of Riverside’s 75.5 and sneak into the top 10. McLoughlin of Milton-Freewater finished ninth with 98 points.

The Buffs were led by the second-place finish of senior Ian Oppenlander at 106 pounds. He pinned all three of his opponents en route to the finals, but met Riverside’s fantastic freshman A.J. Rockwell in the title bout. Oppenlander lost the bout 7-6, but Madras head coach Ron Oliver said Oppenlander wrestled a great tournament.

“Ian is wrestling really great right now,” Oliver said. “His moves are good and his timing is down, and he just didn’t finish on top in that last match.”

Oppenlander pinned Ridgeview’s Tanner Boatman in the middle of the second round to start the day, and then took care of Walla Walla’s Josh Camacho with a first-round pin in the quarterfinals. Oppenlander earned a spot against Rockwell for all the marbles after he pinned Burns’ Dalton Higgins in the second round of the semifinals.

Bryce Vincent also earned a second-place finish for the Buffs. At 120 pounds, Vincent squared off with Pendleton’s Morgan Holcomb for the tournament title, but was pinned early in the second round. Vincent won four matches before the final, and all were by fall. He pinned Riverside’s Ivan Escobedo in 36 seconds, and then turned The Dalles’ Cole Davis on his back in 56 seconds.

Vincent was the top point producer for the Buffs with 28, and Oppenlander scored 26.

“Bryce wasn’t quite at the top of his game in the final, but he was there, so we are gaining with him,” Oliver said. “He wrestled some great matches earlier in the day.”

Heavyweight Miguel Sevilla finished fifth in his class, capping the day with a second-round pin of Ridgeview’s Brian Chavez. The only match Sevilla lost was to Pendleton’s P.J. Schubert, the No. 2 heavyweight in Class 5A, in the quarterfinals.

Sevilla beat McMinnville’s Ethan Chappell twice in the tournament, and both times took less than a minute. The first bout between the two big fellas, Sevilla dispatched Chappell in :37. The next time around came in the consolation semifinals, and it took just :45 for Sevilla to win.

Jarred Dupont placed seventh at 132 pounds, but was battling some sickness that kept him out of last week’s Adrian Irwin Memorial tournament.

Dupont, who is more comfortable wrestling at 126 pounds, should be able to get back to that weight class by the Riddle Invitational on Saturday, Oliver said.

Dupont beat Riverside’s Caleb Delfs with a 35-second pin in his first match, but then lost to McMinnville’s Dalton Donaldson by fall in the quarterfinals. Dupont then scored a technical fall against Ridgeview’s Carson Dedmon in the consolation bracket. In the consolation semifinals, Dupont lost to Burns’ Thomas Cain 7-4, but then dispatched Walla Walla’s Keanu Biagi to claim seventh place.

Freshman Jace Oppenlander finished eighth at 120 pounds with a 3-3 record, and Bryan Renteria won a match at 138 pounds to round out the Buffs who won at least one match.

Oliver said his wrestlers are improving every weekend, and with a few more numbers on the mats in the Free-Berry Classic, that is starting to show.

“The kids are working hard and doing everything they need to,” Oliver said. “We have been working on our reshots and being aggressive while we have top position, and we just have to keep chugging along.”

Oliver said there’s a little less than two months left until the Buffs really have to wrestle well (the district tournament is Feb. 21-22 in La Pine, and state is in Portland the following weekend), and he thinks he should have a decent group make it through to state competition.

“We’re getting better and better every week,” Oliver said. “We should be able to send a good chunk of kids to state if we keep at it.”

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