Grizzlies pin Tigard 57-18
McMinnville rolled up 57 straight points vs. Tigard in a regional dual meet and beat the Tigers 57-18 to improve to 5-0 in meets vs. district opponents.
The Grizzlies followed that up with a seventh place finish Saturday at the HilHi-Bretthauer Tournament in Hillsboro.
Thursday vs. the Tigers, McMinnville turned down the lights to spotlight the mat in the center of the gym, and 106-pound wrestler Aspen Nelson got it going. Nelson led 7-0 after the first period and then pinned Brad Williams with 22 seconds left in the second period, giving the Grizzlies a 6-0 advantage.
“Aspen is a fire plug,” McMinnville coach Shawn Keinonen said. “He gets us going.”
The rest of the Grizzlies responded, and Mac won every match from 113 to 182.
“The guys feed off that,” Keinonen said. “They don’t want to be the first to lose.”
Steven Weant won by pin at 113, and Bryce Branson followed with a pin late in the first period at 120 on Jason Alton. Dalton Donaldson pinned Kali Pabro 33 seconds into their 126-pound match, and Manny Humlie pinned his opponent 31 seconds into his match at 132.
Jared Sublet pinned Gavin Roche at 138, upping Mac’s score to 38-0. Finally, the Tigers managed to go a full three rounds with the Grizzlies at 145. Bobby Crowston beat Trevor Ellinson at 145 pounds 5-1, and J.T. Barnes battled to a 3-0 win at 152 vs. Mark Hall.
“Those are what you’re looking at regionals,” Keinonen said of the close wins. “That’s a good seeding win for J.T.
“We’re winning a lot of close matches this year. You can attribute that to hard work. If it’s going to come down to a close ending, we’ll be there with you.”
Rylan Blair pinned Eli Neely at 160, and Cameron Strybing pulled out a 4-3 win at 170 to keep Mac’s streak alive. Tiger Paasch put the punctuation on it at 182, pinning Brian Baker in 54 seconds to give Mac a 57-0 lead.
Chris Cerda was pinned in his match at 195, and McMinnville forfeited at 220. Victor Ceja beat Vincent Williams with a pin in the third round for Tigard for the final score.
Saturday, Paasch and Barnes won their weight classes. Keinonen said the two upperclassmen have been good leaders this season, but he still has been surprised how well the younger wrestlers have done.
“We knew we would have a good group of senior leaders,” he said. “We did not know that the freshmen and sophomores would elevate their levels as well.”