Mac sacks Royal Scots
With a busy week behind it and one of the biggest tournaments in the state of Oregon on the horizon, the McMinnville wrestling team is in the midst of one of its toughest stretches of the season.
Class 6A Special District 3 opponent McKay come to The Furnace Wednesday at the wrong time but found the Grizzlies in the right mind frame.
“With the Oregon Classic coming up, it’s easy to overlook things,” Mac coach Shawn Keinonen said. “We did not overlook McKay. We feel good about tonight.”
McMinnville won nine straight matches to open the meet and recorded nine wins by fall in a 60-15 dual meet triumph over the Royal Scots.
Both teams fielded full lineups – the first such instance of the season for the Grizzlies – and Keinonen moved wrestlers up or down in weight classes to fill certain spots with an eye on the Oregon Classic (held today and Saturday in Redmond).
Mac’s performance across the board was strong. J.T. Barnes (152 pounds), Alex Kiess (160 pounds) and Alvaro Flores (106 pounds) each won by fall in the first round; Flores, filling in at a weight class the Grizzlies have struggled to fill this season, pinned McKay’s Shane Tennis in 44 seconds.
Zach Silver (182 pounds), Vince Williams (285 pounds) and Aspen Nelson (113 pounds) each pinned their opponent in the second period. Brian Barnes (220 pounds) and Bobby Crowston (145 pounds) recorded wins by fall in the third period, and Jake Potter – moved down to the 195-pound class and recovering from a shoulder injury – pinned Cristian Garibay of the Royal Scots at the 6-minute, 23-second mark in overtime.
Junior Dalton Donaldson missed the McKay dual due to injury recovery, but freshman Max Morton ably stepped into his place. Bryce Clifton of the Royal Scots took Morton down late to force overtime in the 138-pound match, but Morton took Clifton down early in overtime for a 10-8 victory.
“Max is not really a varsity guy, per se,” Keinonen said. “He’s wrestled for six weeks in his life. Everything he did out there was stuff we’re teaching. It actually works.”
Josh Blanchard was the only other Grizzly wrestler to win by decision, defeating Karl Emmrich of McKay in the 170-pound match, 3-1. Steven Weant (120 pounds), Bailey Young (126 pounds) and Manny Humlie (132 pounds) also competed for the Grizzlies.
Keinonen figures his team to be close to full health as McMinnville heads to Redmond.
“We’re all getting up over 20 matches,” Keinonen said. “We’re starting to wrestle like it. We’re proving that our conditioning is pretty good.”
Mac wrestling at Hillsboro Tourn.
The Grizzlies finished seventh out of 11 teams at the Hilhi-Bretthauer Tournament, held Jan. 11 at Hillsboro High School.
Hillsboro, the tournament host, won the tournament with 348 points, followed by Thurston (235), Lebanon (232), and Henley of Klamath Falls (213). McMinnville scored 153.5 team points.
Bobby Crowston (145 pounds), J.T. Barnes (152 pounds) and Brian Barnes (195 pounds) each finished second in their respective weight classes. Also placing for the Grizzlies were Manny Humlie (third, 138 pounds), Alex Kiess (fourth, 160 pounds), Vince Williams (fifth, 220 pounds), Alvaro Flores (sixth, 113 pounds) and Zach Silver (sixth, 182 pounds).
McMinnville 39, Sprague 33
The Grizzlies eked out a win over the Olympians in a Class 6A Special District 3 dual meet in Salem on Jan. 8.
Mac won each match from 145 pounds to 195 pounds, including pins by Bobby Crowston, J.T. Barnes, Alex Kiess and Josh Blanchard. The Grizzlies also won two matches by forfeit.