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Cowboys hold slim lead after first day, but Post Falls comes back to win the tournament

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Hunter Mode works to turn a wrestler on his back earlier in the year. Mode won the 106-pound weight class at the Rollie Lane Invitational Saturday in Nampa, Idaho.The Crook County Cowboys put themselves in position Friday night to win the Rollie Lane Invitational Wrestling Tournament.

However, Post Falls, Idaho, used a big second day to get past Crook County to win the 60-team tournament, which was held in Nampa, Idaho, while the Cowboys had to settle for second place.

"We had a good day on Friday," Crook County head coach Jake Huffman said. "We put ourselves in position to have a chance to win the tournament, but we ran out of steam a little bit on Saturday, and didn't get it done. Overall, it was still a great tournament. Post Falls was just the better team today."

The Cowboys had 14 wrestlers still alive going into Saturday's final rounds, including seven who qualified for the quarterfinals.

However, one of those seven did not count in the scoring as he was entered in the tournament as part of the Crook County B team.

Still, the Cowboys were in good position to make a run.

But Post Falls, which had 11 wrestlers still alive in the tournament, still had 10 in the championship bracket.

The Cowboys continued to wrestle well early on Saturday, advancing five wrestlers into the semifinal round.

However, the team began to falter in the later consolation rounds, while Post Falls was able to keep most of their 11 wrestlers alive until late in the day.

When just one Cowboy advanced to the finals compared to four from Post Falls, the Cowboys knew that it would be difficult to win the tournament.

Post Falls continued to pull away late in the tournament, as the Idaho powerhouse crowned two individual champions and had an incredible nine placers.

Post Falls finished the tournament with 252.5 points. Crook County finished with 214.5 points, while Columbia High School of Nampa, Idaho, was a distant third with 151 points.

Hunter Mode, who took first at 98 pounds in the 2017 tournament, won again, this time at 106 pounds.

Mode pinned four opponents out of five matches on the way to the finals, and took a 12-3 major decision in the championship as he dominated the weight class.

Six other Cowboys placed, led by third-place finisher Steven Ware, 98, Pacer Quire, 126, and Kyle Knudtson, 170.

Heavyweight Caleb Parrott came away with a fourth-place finish, while Cole Morgan, 132, and Zachary Mauras, 126, placed fifth.

Mauras, who was in the same weight class as Quire, was the Cowboy who did not count in the scoring as he was part of a solid Crook County B team. He might have placed even higher, but he had the misfortune of wrestling Quire in the consolation semifinals where Quire won 7-2.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Pacer Quire lifts a wrestlers in a match earlier this year. Quire went 6-1 in the Rollie Lane Invitational as he finished third at 126 pounds. Quire's high finish helped the Cowboys to a second place finish in the team scoring.Other Cowboys to win matches at the tournament included Tannon Joyner, 120, who went 2-2; Tyler Fioravanti, 138, finished with a 4-2 record; Gage Perry, 132, went 1-2; Turner Austin, 145, was 4-2; Colton Burkhardt, 160, was 4-2; Wyatt Parker, 170, was 1-2; Garrett Bond, 182, finished 1-2; Jaxson Rhoden, 182, was 2-2; Hayden Hilderbrand, 220, finished with a 2-2 record; and Mario Hansen, 220, went 3-2.

Although the Crook County B team had a successful tournament, they were not figured into the team scoring.

"I don't know why they didn't score our B team," Huffman said. "But what's important is that everyone got to wrestle a lot of matches. That's one of the reasons that we go to this tournament because everyone gets to wrestle. Even the guys that don't make it through Friday get some more matches because they get to wrestle in the second chance tournament."

Members of both the Crook County A team and B team wrestled in the second chance tourney, and all figured into the scoring, where the Cowboys were 11th overall with 56 points.

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which was 21st in the regular tournament, won the second chance tournament with 124 points.

For the Cowboys individually, Trevor Martin, 113 finished second, while Sage Harris, 160, and Wyatt Parker, 170, both reached the semifinals.

"We had a lot of guys who battled and really competed, but there are still some things where we can get better," Huffman said. "We won some matches that maybe we shouldn't have, but there were also some matches that we thought we should have won that we didn't, and there were people that we thought could get on the podium that for whatever reason didn't get it done. We are going to go back to the mat room and work on correcting a few things."

Crook County has another busy week ahead as they host the Clash Before the Classic Thursday evening beginning at 5:30 p.m., then travel to Redmond Friday and Saturday for the Oregon Wrestling Classic.

Thursday's event in Crook County has Marshfield, Sweet Home, Madras, Molalla and Corbett all scheduled to attend.

The Cowboys will wrestle against Marshfield and will compete in two other duals against teams to be determined later.

However, Sweet Home, the defending state champions, and Crook County will not meet. That meeting will have to wait until the Classic, if it happens at all.

"Thursday, we are at home, and we will wrestle Marshfield and probably two other teams. Then, Friday and Saturday we have the Classic and that will give us a lot of information about where we stand with the other Class 4A schools."

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