The Bowmen now are getting set for the NWOC tourney

by: DAN BROOD - LOCKED DOWN -- Sherwood junior Michael Coulter (left) keeps control of Liberty's Adan Abdi in their 132-pound match. Coulter won by fall.SHERWOOD — New that was close.

How close? Well, to decide who came out the winner in the Northwest Oregon Conference dual match between Sherwood and Liberty, officials had to go all the way down to the eighth step of the tiebreaker criteria.

And, looking at it another way, the Bowmen came just a mere couple of inches away from victory.

But, as it turned out, Liberty got the nod by virtue of scoring more initial takedowns (the eighth step in the tiebreaker criteria), 7-5, as the teams battled to a 37-37 deadlock in an NWOC regular season finale held last Thursday at Sherwood High School.

“We wanted the win,” said Sherwood junior Michael Coulter, who won his 132-pound match by fall. “But we feel good about how we performed.”

The Bowmen will now take those good feelings to the NWOC district tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Wilsonville High School.

“We're ready,” Sherwood senior 195-pounder Ryan Jurgens said. “We're all anxious for district.”

“We've worked hard all year for this,” said Coulter, who will wrestle at 126 pounds at the district event.

Action at the district tournament is slated to start at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, wrestling begins with the championship semifinals at 10 a.m. The district title matches are slated to start at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The top four finishers in each weight class at the district tournament will advance to wrestle at the Class 5A state tournament, which will be held Feb. 28-March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Bowmen will be taking high hopes with them to the district tournament.

“The ultimate goal is first place,” Coulter said, referring to both himself in individual competition as well as to the Bowmen in the team standings. “We want the trophy.”

“We're going into district strong,” Jurgens said. “We're all looking real good. I'm looking to take first place. I want to follow up from last year.”

Senior Andrew Rice looks to be another top Sherwood grappler at district. He's been wrestling at 170 pounds most of the season, but he'll drop to 160 for the upcoming NWOC DAN BROOD - A LEG UP -- Sherwood senior Cory Keohane (top) looks to get away from Liberty's Kaelin Himphill in their 182-pound match. Keohane got a decision win.

“He's going to be a beast at 160,” Sherwood coach William Taylor said. “Our guys are ready. Practice time is over.”

In last week's match with Liberty, the Bowmen trailed the Falcons by a 31-27 margin going into Jurgens' 195-pound match with Jose Alaguna.

But, in front of a Senior Night crowd at Sherwood High School, Jurgens wasted no time giving the Bowmen a 33-31 lead, as he pinned Alaguna in a time of 26 seconds.

“I knew I had to get a win to help the team,” Jurgens said.

That set up a crucial 220-pound match between Sherwood senior Martin Layna and Liberty's Alexio Martinez. With Sherwood forfeiting to Liberty at 285, Layna needed to win by fall, or technical fall, to clinch at team victory for the Bowmen. A major decision win would knot up the final score at 37-37.

Layna scored on both a takedown and a three-point nearfall in the opening round of the match. He then got a two-point nearfall in the second round, but Martinez rallied with a reversal and a two-point nearfall of his own in the final seconds of the round, cutting Layna's lead to 7-4 going into the final round.

In the third round, Layna scored on a takedown with 1:05 left in the match. For about the final 20 seconds of the round, Layna looked to be only inches, or, maybe just an inch away from getting a pin. He had a settle for a three-point nearfall at the buzzer, and a 12-4 major decision win — leaving the teams tied at 37-37.

Liberty opened the night with wins by fall at both 106 and 113 pounds. Sherwood came back to get a pinfall victory from sophomore Halen Jolley at 120 pounds, as he bested Liberty's Rigo Garcia in a time of 0:45.

by: DAN BROOD - QUICK PIN -- Sherwood senior Ryan Jurgens (top) wasted no time in pinning Liberty's Jose Alaguna in their 195-pound match.In the 126-pound match, Sherwood sophomore Jess Hatfield pinned Gage Vanderhoff in 0:50 to tie the team score at 12-12.

The Bowmen then took their first lead of the night, at 18-12, when Coulter pinned Adan Abdi in 1:12 in the 132-pound match.

“That went well,” Coulter said. “It was nice to wrestle up a weight and get a win.”

The Falcons were victorious in the next four matches to claim a 31-18 lead in the team score.

Rice won by forfeit at 170 to cut the margin to 31-24. Sherwood senior Cory Keohane, scoring on back-to-back three-point nearfalls in the third round, then scored a 10-4 decision win over Kaelin Himphill in the 182-pound match to held set up the final dramatic bouts.

Sherwood, at the upcoming district tournament, will be without standout senior 152-pounder Nic Clarke, who will be out of action due to a broken hand.

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