Newberg claims Pacific Conference title, locals qualify for state
Newberg is good. In all likelihood they're the best wrestling team in the state, and they proved that last Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, during the Pacific Conference District Wrestling Championships at Forest Grove High School.
The Tigers nearly doubled their nearest competitor (Sherwood) in points, scoring 499.5 to the second place Bowmen's 293.5. Newberg qualified a minimum of 17 kids for this weekend's state tournament, won 10 individual titles, three seconds, and four thirds. Century was third with 191.5, McMinnville fourth (155), Glencoe fifth (149), Liberty sixth (114) and the home Forest Grove Vikings seventh (59).
Century's third place finish was somewhat predictable based on results from the regular season duals. The Jaguars qualified six kids for state and claimed two district championships. Senior Loudyn Reese fought through a perpetual nosebleed to claim the 195 pound title by pinning all four of his opponents, including Newberg's Jordan Beaudry in just 1:18 in the final. In addition to Reese, Ernesto Alvarez won the 152 pound title by defeating Glencoe's Sutton Yazzolino. Alvarez — the top-ranked wrestler at 152 — defeated Yazzolino — ranked second — by a slim 4-3 margin in their final match. Century also got second place finishes from sophomore Va`atausili Tofaeono (220) and fellow sophomore Broderick Reese who lost an 8-7 decision to McMinnvilles' Jacob Barnes —who upset Liberty's Rafael Hinojosa in the semis —in the heavyweight final, along with a third from freshman William Musser at 120 pounds.
Glencoe's fifth place finish included one win, two seconds and a third. Junior Ben Sorenson won the 170 pound title with a 10-7 decision over Newberg's Braden Baxter — who had upset top-ranked Orion Craigmyle of McMinnville in the semis — in the final. Then got seconds from Yazzolino (152) and Bryce Archer (160), and a third from junior Hunter Nakamoto in the 106 pound division. Adrian Archer placed fourth in the 113 pound division and received a wild card bid to state.
Liberty didn't have any automatic qualifiers, but all three of their fourth place finishers: Rafael Hinojosa (285), Adrian Hinojosa (170), and Tanner Santesson (120) all earned wild card entries into the state tournament.
Forest Grove junior Gavin Rice was the Vikings only automatic qualifier, placing second in the 182 pound weight division. Rice defeated Sherwood's Ian Glenn by fall in the semifinals, then lost a 4-2 decision to top-ranked Newberg senior Oliver Myers in the final. In addition to Rice, Forest Grove's Ivan Torres (126) and Erick Ouofre (195) placed fourth and earned wild card entries into the state tournament.
The OSAA State Wrestling Championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
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