By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

Kings, rooks take Bishop

A pair of reigning state champions squared off, and a pair of Class 3A Special District 2 contenders got their first looks at one another at the Bob Bishop Invitational wrestling tournament, held all day Saturday in Willamina.

The 19-team tournament included Special District 2 members Amity, Dayton, Sheridan and Willamina and Class 4A Special District 1 foe Yamhill-Carlton, all at the same tournament for the first time this season. The host Bulldogs were able to draw teams from four of the state’s five wrestling classifications, including Class 5A Mountain View of Bend and Class 2A/1A Vernonia.

Tillamook won the Bob Bishop team title with 191.5 points as two Cheesemakers won individual titles and nine more placed in the top six in their respective weight classes. Dayton, boasting two tournament champions of its own, finished second with 160 points.

“All of the kids wrestled pretty hard,” Pirates coach Rob Henry said. “To finish second, that means that everybody’s staying in the tournament and placing. It’s really the kind of performance we need for districts and state.”

Mountain View (153 points) earned third-place honors, and Willamina’s 134.5 points were good enough for fourth. The Bulldogs sent four wrestlers to the championship match in their respective weight classes but went 1-3 in those matches.

“I think we did all right,” Willamina coach Ariah Fasana said. “We lost a handful of matches I think we could’ve and should’ve won. You get away with some sometimes and give some away.”

Sheridan (53.5 points) finished 11th among the 19 teams. Amity scored 46 points for 14th place, and Yamhill-Carlton finished 18th with 25.5 points.

Justin Acuff of the Spartans and Coty Brown of the Bulldogs faced off in a crowd-pleaser of a 138-pound final. Acuff, a junior, is the reigning Class 3A state champion at 132 pounds; the senior Brown in the reigning 3A state champion at 126 pounds. Both wrestlers are good friends but had not faced off in high school.

After a tentative first period, Acuff scored two points with a takedown of Brown. Brown exacted a measure of revenge with a takedown in the third period but it was insufficient, as Acuff won a 3-2 decision.

“They wrestled a lot differently than when they practice with each other,” Fasana said. “It was one of the top matches in 3A. When you get two No. 1-ranked guys (matched up), it’s pretty cool. It was good for the fans and they both knew that.”

The 182-pound final, another Yamhill County affair, was settled with a blink-and-you-will-miss-it flourish.

Willamina senior Tyler Heidt had controlled the action against Dayton senior Jarred Montgomery from the start. Heidt held a 4-3 lead with five seconds remaining in the match, but a last-ditch effort from Montgomery resulted in a two-point takedown and shortly thereafter a 5-4 decision.

“Jarred was maybe a little bit sloppy for a while but he just kept at it,” Henry said. “He knew what he had to do to win. It was a big win for him. He had a big tournament. I expect him to contend for a state championship.”

“For Tyler, it’s definitely a lesson learned,” Fasana said. “That’s a match you win 99 out of 100 times right there. There comes a point with 15, 20 seconds left in a match where you just avoid any risk. You’ve done the work for the win; go ahead and take it.”

Montgomery took one of two weight-class titles for the Pirates Saturday, as Micah Cisneroes continued his strong season. The reigning 3A state champion at 138 pounds pinned his first three opponents in the 145-pound weight classes, then defeated Kaleb Winebarger of Mountain View in an 8-0 major decision.

“Micah’s at a level above most high school kids,” Henry said. “He wrestles like a college wrestler. Especially on top, his ability to ride people and turn people. It’s not usually something you see from a high school kid.”

Pirates wrestlers Jared Tompkins (152 pounds), Cade Stahl (160 pounds) and Andres Gonzalez (220 pounds) each came in fourth place in their respective divisions; Jake Brown won the fifth-place match at 126 pounds. Oscar Rosas (132 pounds) and Jared Henry (138 pounds) were also listed as fourth-place finishers; Rosas and Henry, both freshmen, wrestled the maximum five matches at the tournament and could not participate in the third-place match.

“Oscar’s only been wrestling for a year and he’s really come on,” Henry said. “We expect really big things from him. This group of freshmen that we’ve got are really tough kids.”

Austin Howard was Willamina’s fourth weight-class finalist, at 160 pounds. Howard struggled early against Nikita Kalugin of Gervais and could not mount a comeback as Kalugin won a 6-3 decision.

Keegan Davis (fourth place, 145 pounds), Justin Combs (sixth place, 120 pounds) and Mark Mayes (sixth place, 195 pounds) also placed for the Bulldogs.

Loui Arroyo of Amity tied with Rosas for fourth place at 132 pounds. The Warriors also had two sixth-place finishers in Ryan Kraemer (145 pounds) and Kory Reynolds (220 pounds).

Sheridan’s Remy Tapia-Bravo won the fifth-place match at 113 pounds, and Vince Ruiz placed sixth at 170 pounds.

Yamhill-Carlton got on the board with a pair of sixth-place finishes from Trask Van Arsdale (152 pounds) and Derek Blake (106 pounds).

“Trask has really stepped up as far as being a team leader, being a senior,” Tigers coach Kris Brunner said. “This is the best I’ve seen him wrestle. Derek – as a freshman coming into 106 (pounds), he’s a pretty physically strong kid.”

Amity, Dayton, Sheridan and Willamina are slated to compete at a tournament in Dallas on Saturday. Yamhill-Carlton heads to Seaside on Friday for a two-day tournament.

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