Senior Ben Pruitt takes second for a strong start to his season, Indians to take on Gladstone, Astoria, Seaside at Gladstone Double Dual meet Thursday

Molalla's wrestling team saw five wrestlers place at the 2017 Ranger Classic at Estacada High School on Saturday.

Leading the team was senior Ben Pruitt, who took second in the 152-pound weight class after rolling through his first two matches, pinning Scappoose's Riyle Kauffman in 1:03 in the quarterfinal round and heritage's Timmy Carballo in 1:12 in the semifinal match.

"It was good to get the first match jitters out," Pruitt said. "Going into the finals though, I knew it was going to be a tough one from the start. You've got to go into every match the same, and just wrestle hard regardless [of] your opponent."

Pruitt took Sandy's Levi Rotzien all three rounds and eventually lost by a 15-2 decision in the championship match.

"I gave my best that match and lasted all three rounds with him, so there's nothing I can be ashamed of," Pruitt said. "At the end of the day, I'm happy with how I finished, and how the rest of the team did as well."

Pruitt is looking to expand on his success from last season, where he finished in the consolation bracket at the state tournament after taking fourth in districts.

"From how my last season went, there is no doubt I'm looking to make it to state again," he said. "I have my goal set to be in the finals at regionals this year, and to get on the podium at state."

Senior Ryan Mount took third at the tournament in the 160-pound class as he beat La Grande's Hayden Shafer by a 10-5 decision in the quarterfinal round before falling to Washougal's Tanner Lees in the semis. Mount had the beat on Lees several times and nearly secured a pin, but time expired in the first round before Mount could force both shoulder blades to the mat.

Mount then moved on to the third place match, where he pinned Scappoose's Isaac Cook.

Junior Emmett Smyth took fourth in the 182-pound class after pinning Washougal's Korben Modoc 46 seconds into the third round in the quarterfinals, but then fell to La Grande's Elijah Livingston halfway through the third round in the semifinals to put him into the third place match, where he fell to Estacada's Draco Yandell to take fourth.

Senior Wyatt Perkins took fifth in the 170-pound class after dominating Seaside's Gavin Meyer in the first round, pinning him in 24 seconds. Perkins then took on Estacada's Lance Moser in the quarters and was pinned in 42 seconds to put him into the consolation bracket, where he pinned Sandy's Ivan Hall 31 seconds in the third round. He then took on teammate Hunter Beck in the consolation semifinals and pinned him in 3:30 to move on to the fifth place match, where he pinned Washougal's Blake Webb in 2:34.

Wrapping things up for the Indians was senior Justice Davidson, who took fifth place in the 138-pound class. He fell to Washougal's Jason Powell in the quarterfinal round in 42 seconds, and then pinned Estacada's Mara Eakin in 3:41 in the consolation second round to move on the consolation semifinals, where he beat La Grande's Cole Isaacson by a narrow 6-5 decision. He then took on Scappoose's Ashton Kauffman in the fifth place match and pinned him in 2:44.

"I think it was a good first tournament for all of us, like it has been in the previous years," Pruitt said. "It's nice to see how everyone is doing and to get some real competition so we can get a good look at where everyone is at, especially our new guys and what we need to work on individually."

"At the end of the day, I'm happy with how I finished, and how the rest of the team did as well," Pruitt said. "We still have the whole season to improve, and I'm excited to see how we can do in future tournaments from here."

Up next for the Indians is the Double Dual meet at Gladstone High School on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m., which includes Astoria, Gladstone, Seaside, and Molalla schools.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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