By Logan Brandon • Sports Editor • 

Y-C Tiger wrestlers overcome losses, qualify for 4A state meet


PHILOMATH – “After a loss, it’s all about getting ready to go for the next match. You can’t think about the losses too much.”

Yamhill-Carlton’s Tabor Magnuson voices a mantra which applied to each of the Tigers’ top wrestlers at the recent OSAA 4A Special District 2 regional tournament held in Philomath Feb. 11th. Magnuson, along with Cole Facchini and Derek Blake, all suffered agonizing losses on their quest for a first place title. But digging deep, they proved their mettle by sweeping the consolation bracket, achieving third place, thus booking a trip to the state tourney later this month.

Magnuson, competing at 145 pounds, faced Asa Alexander of Cascade in the semifinal of their bracket in the first match of the day. The local snatched the first score of the contest with a takedown of Alexander at the 1:06 mark of the first round. Magnuson narrowly avoided a reversal by his foe to end the initial stage up 2-0.

Some controversy surrounded the second round. With 1:29 left, officials debated over a possible near-fall for Alexander. Several minutes passed before the referees awarded the Cougar two points. Up to this point, Magnuson appeared to hold advantage and momentum, but the late tallies signified a shift in the match. Alexander earned three points as the round ended on another near-fall, and Magnuson continued to lose his footing in the third.

Y-C’s grappler managed only two points in the final period against Alexander’s six. Magnuson succumbed to a fall with 37 seconds remaining.

The local wouldn’t let the defeat weigh on him. Over his final two matches, Magnuson pinned a pair of opponents to earn third place.

“I’m a little disappointed (getting third), because I was hoping to get first. But I’m happy; I still get to go to state. This is my first year qualifying for state, so it feels really good,” noted Magnuson.

If Magnuson’s loss was tough to swallow, Blake’s was suffocating. In the semifinals of the 113-weight class, Blake squared off with Robert Watkins of Sweet Home. The Husky earned a takedown with 1:15 remaining in the first round. As soon as Watkins gained the lead, he transitioned to defensive wrestling. Blake did everything in his power to secure tallies, but his opponent went to lockdown mode.

The second round passed without a score, as Blake couldn’t notch an escape from his starting position. As the third period arrived, Watkins doubled down on his defensive attitude and the Tiger was left to claw at him futilely. Blake finally earned a stalling point with 10 seconds remaining, but Watkins held on for the 2-1 result.

Much like his teammate, Blake would tear through the left side of the bracket following the heartbreaking defeat to Watkins. He first gained revenge on Sweet Home by crushing the Huskies’ Bryce Porter by a 15-1 major decision. Next, in the third place match, Blake pinned Joe Baxter of Cascade in 1:52.

Regarding his semifinal loss, Blake noted, “I knew he was pretty good, number-one in state, but I thought I was going to beat him. He took me down, and rode me out. He stalled out the whole match and I just got one stalling point. I wanted to do better than third, but that’s the way it goes.”

Facchini’s situation was unique to his fellow Tigers in that he controlled most of his match before allowing his foe to steal the win in the closing moments. Facing North Marion’s Matt Carrillo in the 182-pound division’s semifinals, Facchini seized command with five points in the first two minutes and 30 seconds.

Y-C’s grappler remained aggressive throughout, but Carrillo netted an escape and takedown in the last 10 seconds of the second round. Holding a 5-4 lead entering the final period, Facchini appeared to have the result in hand. However, the Husky evaded the Tiger’s grasp with only 56 seconds left to score a reversal.

As precious ticks wasted away, Facchini couldn’t regain his advantage, and dropped the contest, 6-5.

“It was a good match, he’s a great wrestler. He got the best of me because he is a little better conditioned. It came down to who was in better condition, and he won. He’s great, but I think I’ll get him at state,” said Facchini.

With his father and assistant coach, J.R., watching from the coaching chair, Facchini destroyed his two consolation opponents with two pins to achieve third place.

“My dad pushes me to get past losses, to leave them behind. It’s great to have him on the sidelines; I won’t wrestle without him there. He’s been there for every tournament since I was five,” noted Facchini.

Y-C head coach Sean Nonamaker, remarking on his enduring athletes, said, “After each match, win or lose, we talk about the things they could do better, and what they did well. They all respond well to praise and criticism and they take that criticism and think about it for the next match. They will always come out in the next match with tons of firepower.”

Other results for the Tigers include Jacob Jarvis (1-2, 106-weight class), Ethan Tindall (1-2, one pin, 106-weight class), Jesse Spence (2-2, 126-weight class), Nathaniel Cable (1-2, one pin, 126-weight class), Owen Amerson (2-3, sixth place, two pins, 138-weight class), Luke Nauman (3-3, fifth place, two pins, 152-weight class), Zachary Culver (0-1, suffered injury, 170-weight class) and Zackary Rodriguez (3-3, sixth place, two pins, 195-weight class).


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