Local teams find success in Redmond at Classic
The McMinnville Grizzlies finished 2-2, earning two wins vs. ranked opponents. The No. 3-ranked Willamina Bulldogs went 5-1 and finished in third place, and the No. 6-ranked Dayton Pirates finished 2-3.
In the 6A division, the Grizzlies were put in a division with No. 5-ranked Crater, No. 7-ranked Canby and No. 8-ranked Barlow. The Grizzlies beat Canby 41-24 to start pool play.
“We did wrestle really well,” McMinnville coach Shawn Keinonen said. “I feel good about how well we did. We saw some good teams.”
Mac lost a close match to Crater 42-31 but rebounded with a 45-26 win vs. Barlow to make it to quarterfinals. The Grizzlies lost 40-27 to Hillsboro. Keinonen said the Crater and Hillsboro matches had moments that could have changed the outcome. Aspen Nelson led 4-1 and 6-2 in his two matches vs. Hillsboro and Crater but ended up being pinned in both. Bryce Branson almost had a pin vs. Crater but ended up being pinned instead.
The Grizzlies return to regional wrestling Thursday. They visit county rival Newberg, with the varsity dual meet scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Newberg High School.
Mac is 7-0 in dual meets vs. regional opponents after beating Sprague 43-28 and South Salem 58-9 last week. Keinonen said he fully expects to finish the dual-meet schedule 9-0, though Thursday’s match vs. Newberg isn’t the easiest.
“They’re not as strong as they have been traditionally,” Keinonen said. “But that being said, those kids know wrestling. You can never count them out. Nothing is certain, and we can’t count that just yet.”
Bulldogs place third
In the 3A division, the Bulldogs wrestled three competitive duals vs. Rainier, No. 9-ranked Coquille and No. 7-ranked Burns. Willamina beat Rainier 43-33 and followed that up with 45-31 and 45-36 wins vs. Coquille and Burns respectively.
“All very solid teams with complete rosters,” Willamina coach Ariah Fasana said. “We had three tough duals there.”
The Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinals and easily dispatched of regional opponent, No. 13-ranked Gervais 58-9. In the semifinals, Willamina ran up against No. 2-ranked Vale. The Vikings beat Willamina 40-30, but the Bulldogs responded with a 35-21 win to finish third vs. Coquille.
“There were a couple of matches that could have went the other way (vs. Vale) and changed the outcome,” Fasana said, “but we just didn’t perform to the best of our ability.”
Fasana said the rematch with Coquille featured some different matchups because of injuries, which gave some second-string wrestlers chances to step up.
Coty Brown and Skyler Voigt each went 6-0 for Willamina, and Michael Reyes went 4-0. Doug Steere was 3-0. David Bridges was 5-1, and Keegan Davis was 3-1.
Willamina wrestles this weekend to the Reser’s Cup at Liberty High School this weekend.
The Dayton Pirates also made it out of pool play but were bounced in the quarterfinals. Dayton beat No. 12-ranked Lakeview 58-24 but lost 60-15 vs. Vale. Dayton beat Scio 57-21 in the final dual of pool wrestling.
The Pirates lost 48-7 in the quarterfinals vs. No. 1-ranked Glide. In a bonus match vs. Illinois Valley, the Pirates lost 45-30.