Wrestling: North Marion heads into state qualifer on high note
By Phil Hawkins
With the Special District 2 regional tournament on the horizon, the North Marion wrestling team showed it will be one of the top teams to beat after handily defeating four league opponents at the OWC Duals on Saturday.
The Huskies went 4-1 on the day, losing their lone match on a tie-breaker to the hosting Cascade Cougars after the two teams wrestled to a 36-36 tie on the mat.
The Huskies' other four victories came 54-18 against Stayton, 51-18 over Newport, 52-27 against Yamhill-Carlton and 54-24 over Philomath.
North Marion outwrestled Cascade on the mat, but gave up 18 points to forfeited matches, giving the win to the Cougars.
Despite the loss, the Huskies took home the biggest victory of the dual in a match between state championship contenders Russel Stigall and Kane Nixon.
The defending 120-pound state champion, Stigall edged out Nixon by 7-6 decision.
The Huskies also saw victories against Cascade from state placement hopefuls Brandon Gibson, Saul Tarula, Alec Roberts, Matt Carrillo and Ramon Organiz.
Together, the six wrestlers combined to go undefeated in their matches.
Avidan Sanchez and Justin McConkey were just behind, sporting 4-1 records in their duals, while Ulises Maldonado went 3-2.
The Special District 2 regional tournament will be hosted at Sweet Home High School on Friday and Saturday.
The 2018 Wrestling State Championships will take place at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland on Feb. 16-17.