Forfeits leave wrestlers with impossible task
Mount Hood Conference
SANDY — Sandy's wrestling team found itself buried on the scoreboard before team introductions Thursday night, as six forfeits gave Centennial a 36-point head start on its way to a 63-16 dual win.
While the team decision went to the Eagles, Sandy's Isaiah Shideler dominated the premier bout of the night at 138 pounds with a 17-3 major decision over Centennial's Tui Laithang. Both wrestlers were state qualifiers last year, combining for a 58-20 (74.4%) record.
Laithang was hit with a warning for stalling 30 seconds into the match after backing out of the circle three consecutive times.
With action forced to engage, Shideler thrived scoring a quick takedown and a near-fall at the edge of the mat. He kept his opponent on his belly through the final minute of the opening round.
Shideler tumbled out of the bottom position for a reversal and added more back points to push his lead to 9-0 early in the second round. He continued on the attack searching for a technical fall before time expired with him one short of that mark.
"I don't think about the time," Shideler said. "I know I have six minutes out there, and I just wrestle until I hear the whistle."
Laithang scored three points — two of them coming on escapes given by Shideler.
"It feels pretty good, and if I want to get ready for state and district, I need all the tough matches I can get," Shideler said. "I just focused on the things that I needed to do, and what I could work on to get better."
Sandy also got first-round pins from Caleb Hawkes (132) and Mikey Platz (170).
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.
Trailing by two points heading into the final two-minute session, Shea got to his feet for an escape point as the clock ticked under a minute. He scored a takedown for a 4-3 lead with 0:31 left.
Steen responded by spinning 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 Dec. 18, print edition.
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