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WRESTLING: A pile of forfeits and a pack of early pins lift the Eagles to a road win in Sandy

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Centennials Gabe Steen finishes off his winning takedown for a 6-4 overtime win at 220 pounds.

Mount Hood Conference dual

Team Score

SANDY — The Centennial wrestling team made its case for a repeat run at the Mount Hood Conference crown after dispatching a contender from last season with a convincing 63-16 win in Sandy on Thursday night.

The Eagles had the dual all but wrapped up before the team's even took the mat with Sandy forfeiting six varsity weights, which pushed Centennial out to a 36-point head start.

Centennial made it official with Mason Belles (113 pounds), Jake Angelovic (120) and Jeremiah Van Cleve (126) picking up back-to-back-to-back pins to begin the night — none of them being pushed past the second round. Van Cleve had the quickest fall of the night, needing less than a minute to flatten his opponent.

After seeing Sandy win consecutive weights, Centennial's Riley Salazar turned the momentum back to Centennial's side with a first-round pin at 152 pounds. He took his opponent down on his initial move and earned back points, only to see Sandy's Malik Treanor tumble out of trouble. But Salazar would not let him off the hook a second time, scoring a takedown a the one-minute mark and quickly finishing off the fall.

"Other teammates had wrestled him before and called him a fish for the way he moves around a lot," Salazar said. "I don't shoot a lot, but I had to trust myself and use my body awareness to lock it in."

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Centennials Jake Angelovic closes in on a pin during his win at 120 pounds.

The most competitive bout came at the end of the night when Centennial's Gabe Steen and Sandy's Nate Shea battled into overtime at 220 pounds.

After leading most of the way, Steen needed to spin loose for an escape point to tie the score with 24 seconds left in regulation.

Shea went for the win on his first move of the bonus minute, sweeping down low only to see Steen step back out of reach, regaining his balance before Shea could mount another attack.

Steen made his move with 20 seconds left, shifting his body in a counter attack and going low to trip out Shea's legs. Steen fell on top to complete the winning takedown and claim the 6-4 decision.

"I knew I had to go to the lets to score those two points," Steen said. "I usually wrestle at 190, so I had to fight his strength and not let him throw me."

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This story is slated for our Tuesday, Dec. 17, print edition.

— - MHC wrestling

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