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The Cavaliers won eight of 11 contested weights with six pins, scoring first league win over the Scots since joining the Mt. Hood Conference in 2014

PMG PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - Clackamas 160-pounder Chris Lynch (right) pinned David Douglas' Devon Simmons with 12 seconds remaining, highlighting the Cavaliers' 49-27 Mt. Hood Conference dual win Thursday.Clackamas High School's wrestling team showed up at David Douglas with a "can-do" attitude and the muscle to back it up Thursday night.

Clackamas 220-pounder Kage Casey pinned Anthony Linares with 31 seconds remaining the first round, putting the exclamation point on the Cavaliers' stunning 49-27 Mt. Hood Conference dual meet win over the Scotsmen.

The Cavaliers won eight of 11 contested weight classes, scoring additional pins with Trent Ewry at 120 pounds, Brody Ross at 126, Johnny Ryan at 152, Chris Lynch at 160, and Tyler Sims at 170 that helped lock up not only their first dual win of the season, but also their first league dual win against David Douglas since joining the Mt. Hood six years ago.

"I didn't see the score being like that," Clackamas coach Jayson Wullbrandt said. "I knew if we could win the swing matches, we'd give ourselves a chance to beat a really solid team. And we if didn't win those swing matches, then we probably weren't going to win.

"I think in that sense, you have a general idea, but you don't know until you're in those matches and your kids perform like they should perform."

David Douglas' Hayden Narruhn and Steve Ramos won by fall at 113 and 195, respectively, Maximos Garcia won a 5-3 decision at 138, and the Scots also picked up a pair of forfeit wins at 106 and 285. But that was the extent of the highlights for the Scots (2-1) on a night when Clackamas not only won almost every swing match, but also put most of those matches away with pins.

"Most definitely a shocker," said Narruhn, the Scots' senior co-captain. "Even before our match, we were thinking we were going to come out here and do what we usually do, but things didn't work out our way.

"I just feel like we have a really young team and we didn't perform to the best our ability. I know we can do better. We've just got to keep our heads in the game and keep moving forward."

Sneaky good

This also was the same Clackamas team that surrendered eight forfeits in a 48-30 loss in the league opener against Reynolds on Dec. 12, and then won only four of 12 contested weight classes in a 46-21 loss to Centennial on Dec. 19 — two matches that make what happened Thursday at David Douglas all that more astonishing.

"It's awesome," said Lynch, the Cavaliers' 160-pound junior. "A couple of weeks ago, we had the Centennial dual and we weren't really where we needed to be. I think this one, we really put the hammer down and did what we needed to do. It's a great feeling."

So, what changed over the Christmas holiday?

"We've just been missing so many guys that it's hard to score enough points to win a dual," said Ryan, the 152-pound senior. "But tonight, everyone wrestled great. I think it shows how hard we've all been working."

After the forfeit at 106, Narruhn used a double-leg takedown to knock Jackson Wilcoxen off his feet and then put the Cavaliers' sophomore on his back with 27 seconds left in the first round at 113, givng the Scots a 12-0 lead.

"I got an arm bar and tried to get him in a stack, but he wasn't going," Narruhn said. "So, I just went out to the side and got him with a regular arm bar and pinned him there."

Momentum started to swing in Clackamas' direction when Ewry bounced back from an early 4-0 deficit to pin Anthony Kulyak in the second round at 120, and Ross opened a 7-0 lead before putting Jermaine Uehara on his back in the third round at 126.

The Cavaliers then won by forfeit at 132 to take an 18-12 lead, but Garcia answered for David Douglas when he scored a two-point near fall with 30 seconds remaining for a 5-3 decision over Casey McCall at 138, making the score 18-15.

Next, Clackamas' Andrew Talavera scored a 21-6 technical fall over Jaden Poulshock at 145, and Ryan used a head-and-arm hold move to pin Luis Ramirez in 2:47 at 152, extending the Cavs' lead to 29-15.

Key swing points

Lynch kept the momentum rolling in one of the key swing matches of the night against Devon Simmons at 160, breaking out of a cradle hold to score a reversal and then put Simmons on his back with 12 seconds remaining in the third round.

Simmons, who normally wrestles at 152, trailed 6-2 in the third round when he scored a takedown with 30 seconds left, grabbed Lynch in a cradle, and was on the verge of scoring near-fall points before Lynch responded.

"He locked in that cradle, but I realized that he was riding way high," Lynch said. "His hold was really loose, I popped it off, and then turned around right on top of him and ended it with an over-under finish."

Said Wullbrandt: "I got a little nervous when Simmons got that cradle," Wullbrandt said. "Chris got out of it, but that was a spot where we could have easily ended up getting put on our back and now it's a 12-point swing with time left."

The Cavs' lead was 35-15 when Sims scored a first-round pin against McCromic Sananap at 170 to make it 41-15, putting the match out of reach with four bouts remaining.

With the team race settled, Clackamas' Danny Pacheco waged an epic battle with Josiah Green at 182, scoring a reversal and a two-point near fall in the final 10 seconds to earn an 11-9 decision.

Finally, Ramos of David Douglas opened a 13-0 lead before finishing off Cole Wronski with a third-round pin at 192, Casey of the Cavaliers pinned Anthony Linares in 1:29 at 220, and the Scots added the forfeit at 285 to end it.

"Nope, didn't expect that outcome, but it happens," Scots coach Anthony Weerheim said. "Anything can happen, depending on who shows up to wrestle.

"I thought we were going to pull out a win. I knew that there were going to be some good match-ups in there at 113, 145, 152, and 182, and it just didn't go our way tonight. It's not the end of the world. We've just go to keep our heads up and get ready to go back to work."

Trust the process

Wullbrandt, the Clackamas coach, saw the potential for a Cavs' win going into the dual, but knew it wouldn't be easy.

"David Douglas doesn't have the elite kids that they've had in years past, so you're thinking, 'We've got a shot,'" Wullbrandt said. "For years, you lose a match that you shouldn't lose and you're not beating them. And that's tough psychologically to go into a dual meet against a team of that caliber.

"Not that David Douglas is down in terms of numbers or anything like that , but we went in thinking, 'We have 12 guys, and in those 12 matches, we feel pretty good that we can win this.' So, we were confident."

The Cavaliers also are benefitting from improved depth at several weights — the kind of depth that is forcing some of the varsity starters to work that much harder to maintain their first-line status.

"That's David Douglas' philosophy, where you're three or four guys deep and the be the varsity guy, you've got to earn it," Wullbrandt said. "We're getting to that point. It's been a slow process for 10 or so years to build it up where you have a good JV team and you're competitive.

"There are a lot of things that go into that process and we're making sure that those are happening."

By Jim Beseda
Sports editor
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