David Douglas looks to hold off Hillsboro and Roseburg when the tournament concludes Saturday.
PORTLAND The David Douglas wrestling team is in prime position to chase down the 6A trophy heading into the semifinals Saturday morning at Memorial Coliseum.
The Scots finished Day One with 70 points, leading runner-up Hillsboro by 3.5 points and reigning 6A champ Roseburg by nine.
The Scots moved to the top of the ladder by going 7-2 in Fridays quarterfinals, advancing more wrestlers into the final four than any other school.
Thomas Ayala provided the highlight with a 6-3 win over Hillsboros T.J. Cavender the only head-to-head quarterfinal matchup between the two top teams. Ayala took the lead with a near-fall late in the second round only to see Cavender pull even with a takedown near the edge of the mat with 1:01 on the clock.
Needing to keep his opponent under wraps, Cavender aggressively slammed Ayala down on his shoulder in the center circle forcing the Douglas junior to spend some injury time before deciding to continue.
I felt this stinging all the way down my arm, but if I default they get the points and our team is further away from that first-place trophy, Ayala said.
A trainer spent a couple minutes checking him out before the bout continued.
Ayala scored the winning escape point 20 seconds later, putting his opponent into desperation mode down the stretch. Cavender attempted a throw with :06 on the clock, but Ayala antipated the move, shifted his weight and fell on top for the clinching takedown.
Ayalas 6-3 decision caused a 10-point shift in the team score, allowing David Douglas to finish the opening day with the lead.
The Scots also won two of three showdowns with Roseburg in the quarterfinals.
Jeremiah Baker (126) scored a takedown with 10 seconds left to beat the Indians No. 2 seed Cole Van Anrooy 3-1, while teammate Vagif Afrasov (138) overcame a late 1-0 deficit to beat Roseburgs Brody Faas in overtime.
Also advancing to the semis for David Douglas are Ricky Molinari (145), Elijah Taylor (160), Quincy Clarkson (182) and Ihoghama Odighizuwa (195).
The semis begin at 9:45 a.m. Saturday are each victory in that round is worth 11 team points.
The tournament finishes with the parade of champions at 6 p.m., followed by the championship bouts.
Look for expanded state tournament coverage in the Tuesday, Feb. 26, print edition.
View a photo gallery from Fridays opening action at