Lakeridge wrestlers fall to powerful Newberg, Tualatin
It isn't easy climbing the ladder of success in Three Rivers League wrestling.
The Lakeridge wrestling team has known that for a long time, but got another unpleasant reminder last week.
Wrestling in a TRL double dual at West Linn High School on Jan. 4, the Pacers faced two of the league's best teams and got a look at just how much work is left to be done on their climb, falling to league-leading Newberg 63-12 and to Tualatin by a 60-15 margin.
"Overall, I think we came out pretty flat," said Lakeridge coach Brandon McDonald. "I don't think we did a very good job of carrying our momentum through the holiday break, and we just weren't ready to go."
With the losses, Lakeridge fell to 0-4 in TRL action, while Newberg improved to 4-0 and Tualatin to 2-2.
In the match against Tualatin, the Pacers' three wins came from junior Quinn Brink — a reigning Class 6A state champion — at 152 pounds, freshman Ryan Boucher at 138 and junior Jonas Crowder at 182.
Boucher's win — a pin against Jakob Beelar — broke a streak of five straight Tualatin wins and cut the Pacers' deficit to 30-6. Brink came through two weights later, notching a pin against Tualatin's Jake Reser to make it 36-12 and Crowder followed with a 5-3 decision against Justin DiCola that kept Lakeridge's deficit to 45-15.
"Ryan Boucher wrestled really well, and Quinn wrestled well, like we are accustomed to," McDonald said.
Things were even tougher against perennial power Newberg, with the Pacers again recording just three wins against the Tigers, those from Boucher, Brink and junior Nolan Russell at 195.
Boucher came through to beat Ryan Frey with a 7-1 decision, Brink battled to a 5-3 decision over Jack Evans, while Russell scored the Pacers' lone pin, taking out Newberg's Avian Mendoza in the second round.
While Newberg and Tualatin are among the TRL's better teams, McDonald knows his team can — and must — compete better.
"We are really going to need to pick up the pace if we want to make any noise this year at district," McDonald added.
Up next, the Pacers host Canby (2-2 in TRL action) at 7 p.m. Thursday night.