Despite drawing a tough pool filled with state-ranked wrestlers, the Creswell Bulldogs fought hard during the Oregon Classics: A large, two-day annual wrestling tournament in Redmond.
”It was a fun tournament for the team and a great bonding experience,” said Creswell Head Coach Wayne Roberts. ”We didn't fare as well as we'd hoped, but it was good for us to see true varsity wrestlers in every match and how 3A stacks up in state.”
A highlight for Creswell came as freshman Brielle Brick went 4-1 to place second at 138 pounds in the Classics' Girls' Tournament.
”She was just dominant; she's really strong, athletically gifted, she's got great balance and she's aggressive on the mat,” Roberts said. Brick's only loss came by just two points against a more experienced wrestler from Scappoose.
That wrestler ”could well be someone Brielle sees again at state, and I think she has the ability to beat her,” Roberts said.
On day one of the Varsity Tournament, Creswell's pool included defending state champion Willamina, Irrigon and Yamhill-Carlton.
Against tournament first seed Willamina, Creswell fell 6-69. The Dawgs' only win came when Logan Johnson - who went undefeated at the Classics - pinned Kaleb Reid in 2:45 at 145 pounds.
”Kaleb is third-ranked in state, so after beating him Logan should now be number 2,” Roberts noted.
Against Irrigon, which fields eight state-ranked wrestlers, Creswell fell 28-54.
Earning wins, Nick Kubishta pinned Roberto Ayala in 2:54 at 160 pounds and Carlie Prosser pinned Xander Flagg in 55 seconds at 138.
Drawing forfeits were Johnson at 152 and Giovanni Vazquez at 113.
Creswell also fell to Yamhill-Carlton, 24-54.
”We took some losses we didn't expect there,” Roberts said.
Jaxson Wilkerson pinned Cole Norwood in 3:59 at 132 pounds, Johnson pinned Chase Couch in 1:41 at 152 and Rogelio Legorreta pinned Carson Bennett in 2:45 at 182.
Corbin Allison drew a forfeit at 220.
On day two, in the Consolation bracket, Creswell bested Santiam Christian, 43-42.
The match ended in a 42-42 tie, so the winner was determined using tie-breaking criteria that included coaches' penalties, number of first takedowns, etc., but the two teams remained tied as officials went down that list.
”We had to go all the way down to Criteria I – the team with the most points on near-falls,” Roberts said. Each near fall during a match is awarded either two or three points by the official, and on near-fall points Creswell finally edged SC, 16-9.
”It was a good lesson that every point matters in a match,” Roberts said.
Winning against SC, Miguel Lopez pinned Levi Jansen in 2:57 at 132 pounds, Wilkerson pinned Joshua Chapin in 1:33 at 138, Johnson pinned Vandon Haugen in 1:52 at 152 and Kubishta pinned Trevor Oxenrider in 2:59 at 160.
Drawing forfeits were Prosser at 145, Legorreta at 182 and Allison at 220.
Against Douglas, Creswell fell 33-47. ”We knew it would be close; we didn't pick up points where we needed to and that took the wind out of us,” Roberts said.
Lopez earned an 8-7 decision over Elexis Walker at 126. Drawing forfeits were Julianne Kersgaard at 106, Alex Metteer at 120, Johnson at 145, Kubishta at 152 and Jack Padilla at 160.
Creswell wrapped the tournament with a 30-52 loss to Harrisburg, which has eight state-ranked wrestlers in a 10-person roster.
”Harrisburg is very, very, very tough - but
they're a small team,” Roberts said. ”The only reason they were on the Consolation side was that they could not fill a lineup.”
Johnson pinned Dominic Martin in 2:55 at 152 pounds. Drawing forfeits were Hannah Bettis at 113, Jurny Halvorson at 120, Ayden Stubbs at 138 and Allison at 285.
Friday and Saturday, the Bulldogs will test their mettle at the annual Cottage Grove Invitational. ”It's probably the biggest tournament we attend besides the Classics,” Roberts said.