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Huskies place fourth at state

Lane Stigall finishes his stellar freshman season with a loss in the 138-pound title match


by: PHIL HAWKINS - Freshman Lane Stigall finished the 2013-14 season with a 39-1 record after losing 7-3 in the title match to top-seeded Henley sophomore Conner Noonan.by: PHIL HAWKINS - Stigall was one of three North Marion wrestlers to place at the state tournament, lifting the Huskies to a fourth-place finish.As impressive as Lane Stigall’s season was, he couldn’t help feeling unhappy about its conclusion.

The star North Marion freshman had stormed onto the high school wrestling scene, taking the mat for the 138-pound state finals with an undefeated record.

But his perfect campaign came crashing down in a 7-3 loss to top-seeded Henley sophomore Conner Noonan at the Class 4A championships March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

“It just kind of (stinks) it had to end with a big disappointment like that,” Stigall said. “The whole season, my goal was to win a state title.”

Despite his dissatisfaction, Stigall helped the Huskies take fourth place in the team standings with 63 points as Crook County (406.5) dominated the field to win a team championship.

Stigall was one of eight state qualifiers for North Marion under first-year coach Jared Wilson. All three regional champions — Stigall, senior Brennan Patterson and junior Tyler Saucedo — earned state medals.

“It’s been a great year,” Wilson said. “I’m really proud of the kids. This was a great experience. We’ll continue to build for the future — and we’ve got a lot to build on.”

Stigall finished his year with a 44-1 record, including 31 victories by fall. But he was unable to extend the Huskies’ streak of six seasons in a row with at least one state champion.

A title also would have made him the fourth member of his family at North Marion to take first place at the OSAA meet. He father, Ford, who is now an assistant coach for the Huskies, won it all at 136 pounds in 1991. His older brothers, Tyler and Jake, combined to win three individual titles in 2011 and 2012.

Stigall, who received the No. 3 seed in his state bracket, powered his way into the title bout with relative ease.

He pinned Henley sophomore Jeremiah Leonard in 1 minute 13 seconds in the opening round, topped Crook County junior Michael Seyl with a 16-7 major decision in the quarterfinals and defeated second-seeded La Grande junior Ryan Middleton by 20-12 major decision in the semifinals.

That victory vaulted him into the championship match against Noonan, who won a state title at 126 pounds last year.

Stigall led 3-1 at the end of the second round but was outscored 6-0 in the final two minutes.

“I just didn’t wrestle my best,” he said. “I should’ve kept the pressure on and kept scoring instead of trying to win on points. I got too conservative.”

Stigall shook hands with Noonan and the Henley coaches before storming off the arena floor. Wilson “It breaks my heart,” Wilson said. “But anybody who knows him well will tell you he’ll come back bigger and stronger. He’ll be a better wrestler because of it. I have absolute faith in him.”

***

by: JEFF GOODMAN - Brennan Patterson caps his wrestling career with a fourth-place finish in the 285-pound bracket, his second medal at state after finishing sixth overall as a junior.Brennan Patterson looked like a completely different wrestler. He felt like one, too.

The third-seeded North Marion senior, who took sixth place at last year’s state tournament, finished his high school career with another trip to the podium after taking fourth place in the heavyweight division.

“I lost like 80 pounds,” he said of his transformation, which included being named the Tri-Valley Conference lineman of the year in football this past fall. “It’s made me a lot stronger, a lot faster.”

Patterson, who entered the state tournament on the heels of winning a regional championship, guaranteed himself a medal by winning his first two matches. He pinned Klamath Union senior Michael Donarski in 5:42 in the opening round, and he clinched a spot in the semifinals with a pin of Ridgeview sophomore Cruz Christiansen in 4:51.

Patterson fell into the consolation bracket with his ensuing 7-3 loss to second-seeded Elmira junior Zane Wardwell, the eventual state champion.

He then edged Tillamook senior Rich Roberts 3-2 to reach the third-place match, where he lost a 1-0 decision to fourth-seeded Henley senior Stephan Noonan. Patterson had defeated Noonan 3-1 in last year’s quarterfinals.

“With a point here or there, (Patterson) would’ve had an opportunity to get into the finals,” Wilson said. “But he’s done a lot of great things for North Marion wrestling and North Marion athletics. We’re proud of him.”

Wardwell pinned top-seeded Crook County senior Jason Williams in 4:49 to grab first place.

***

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Junior Tyler Saucedo placed fourth in the 152-pound bracket.Even though he didn’t win his last match, Tyler Saucedo was encouraged by his performance at this year’s state tournament.

A season after going 1-2 in the 160-pound bracket, the third-seeded junior claimed a spot on the podium with his fourth-place finish at 152 pounds.

“It feels great — much better than last year,” he said. “Last year, I was kind of sluggish. I’m a hundred times better than I was.”

Saucedo, who won a regional title, clinched a state medal by winning his first two matches. He defeated Ridgeview junior Luke Huntington by fall in just 29 seconds in the opening round, and he earned a 7-3 victory over Klamath Union junior Delbert Williams in the quarterfinals.

The win vaulted Saucedo into the semifinals, where Scappoose junior Ben Gadbois prevailed 3-1 in sudden victory.

“Tyler’s been wrestling really well the last six weeks, so we knew he had a good shot at having a good tournament,” Wilson said. “He was a few points away from getting to the finals. He had a great tournament.”

Saucedo responded with a 37-second pin of Crook County senior John Crites in the consolation semifinals before losing to Henley sophomore Austin Tillery in the third-place match by fall in 4:57.

Saucedo, a second-team all-league running back in football this past fall, said his improvements on the mat will show up on the gridiron next year.

“Football helps me with wrestling, but wrestling helps me even more with football,” he said. “It gets me stronger. It helps me take more punishment.”

Saucedo watched Saturday evening as Crook County senior Tyler Berger won his fourth-straight state title by pinning Gadbois in 3:34.

“Hopefully, I’ll be a state champ next year,” Saucedo said. “That’s my goal.”

***

One North Marion wrestler would advance. The other would be finished.

Such was the predicament facing sophomore teammates Casey Roberts and Conner Lader, who crossed paths in the 113-pound state consolation bracket after placing second and third, respectively, at the regional tournament.

Lader dropped his first OSAA match to Marshfield junior Tyler Campbell, 10-1, but avoided elimination with a 4-0 win over Baker freshman James Ahhee in a consolation match.

Roberts, meanwhile, pinned Marshfield freshman Cade Hite in 3:57 in the opening round to reach the quarterfinals. A loss to top-seeded Crook County junior Trayton Libolt by fall in 1:33 sent Roberts to the consolation bracket.

Roberts ended up one win away from reaching the podium. He defeated Lader by technical fall in 3:40, but he was pinned by fourth-seeded Sweet Home sophomore Tyrel Miller in 3:49 in his next match.

Libolt edged No. 2 Banks junior Collin Purinton 4-3 to win the state title.

***

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Damian Chavez lost his first-round match to Daine Taylor of Henley, but went on to score his first victory at state in the consolation bracket before being eliminated.Damian Chavez (145) finished his season after picking up the first state-meet victory of his career.

After losing 12-2 to Henley sophomore Daine Taylor, the sophomore earned a 7-5 triumph over Philomath junior Carson Calder in the consolation match.

Chavez, who placed third at the regional tournament, was eliminated in his next state consolation bout with a 10-1 defeat at the hands of Crook County sophomore Cole Ovens.

Top-seeded Crook County junior Collbran Meeker captured a state title with a pin of Astoria junior Joshua Long in 3:27.

***

Triston Rostocil (106) earned his first trip to the state meet after taking third place at the regional tournament.

In his opening-round match, the sophomore lost to unranked La Grande sophomore Cole Rohan — the eventual state champion by fall in 1:25.

Rostocil was eliminated in the first consolation round, where he dropped an 8-2 decision to third-seeded Sweet Home freshman Kobe Olson.

Rohan defeated fourth-seeded Ontario junior Francisco Barrera in the title bout.

***

Ulises Vargas (126) capped his freshman campaign with an appearance at the state championships.

A fourth-place finisher at the regional tournament, Vargas lost to third-seeded Siuslaw sophomore Isaiah Burkhalter in 3:10 in his first match Feb. 28.

Vargas was unable to advance in the consolation bracket, falling 6-0 to La Grande freshman Jonathan Gonzalez.

Marshfield senior Thaddeus Nelson won his third-consecutive state championship with a 58-second pin of No. 2 Crook County sophomore Brent Bannon in the finals.

***

OSAA Class 4A State Wrestling Championships

Feb. 28-March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland)

1. Crook County, 406.5; 2. Henley, 159; 3. Scappoose, 139.5; 4. North Marion, 63; 5. Marshfield, 60.5; 6. Elmira, 59; 7. La Grande, 57; 8. Cascade, 55; 8. Newport, 55; 10. Tillamook, 53; 11. Phoenix, 51; 12. Ridgeview, 48; 13. Sweet Home, 47.5; 14. Central, 46; 14. Estacada, 46; 16. Gladstone, 44.5; 17. McLoughlin, 43.5; 18. Banks, 41.5; 19. Klamath Union, 41; 20. Astoria, 37; 20. Ontario, 37; 22. Cottage Grove, 22; 23. Hidden Valley, 19; 24. Douglas, 16; 25. Junction City, 14; 25. Taft, 14; 27. South Umpqua, 13.5; 28. Siuslaw, 11; 29. Philomath, 8; 30 Mazama, 7.5; 31. North Bend, 3; 31. North Valley, 3; 31. Stayton, 3; 34. La Pine, 1; 34. Madras, 1; 34. Molalla, 1; 34. Sutherlin, 1; 38. Baker, 0.




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