Sherwood battles strong against Newberg
SHERWOOD — No, it wasn't a victory.
Nevertheless, the Sherwood High School wrestling team is looking at it as a positive. And, the Bowmen are ready to build on it.
Sherwood, battling strong, fell 54-16 to state powerhouse Newberg in a Pacific Conference dual match held last Thursday at Sherwood High School.
"It was good," said Sherwood senior Ian Stormont, who won his 160-pound match by decision. "Coming into a dual, against a good team like Newberg, it's important that we respect them, but we don't go in fearing them. There's a difference between the two, and that's the biggest thing about it. That's how we find success in what we do, and any success that we find is good for us."
"You can always do better, but we're a lot better team than last year, and we pushed them," said Bowmen junior Bram Nelson, who won by fall at 145 pounds. "We'll come back to our practice and work hard to keep getting better."
With the win, Newberg improved to 2-0 in conference matches. Sherwood moved to 0-1 in conference bouts with the setback.
"They're not only a real good team in the state, but also in our conference, and that shows what we're looking at for the rest of the year," Stormont said.
The Bowmen took an early 4-0 lead in the team score during last week's match, following freshman Ethan Ritchie's 12-2 major-decision win over Sophia Redwine in the 106-pound match. But Newberg won the next five matches, four by fall, to take a 27-4 lead in the team score.
But that's when Sherwood came battling back.
Nelson got things going for the Bowmen, as he pinned Newberg senior Joey Moody in a time of 1 minute and 30 seconds in the 145-pound match.
"I used to wrestle for Newberg, and that was one of my old practice partners," Nelson said. "I was just hoping to motivate the team, it wasn't for just me."
Nelson, in the match, scored on a takedown, an escape and another takedown to grab a 5-2 lead, before he pinned Moody with 30 seconds remaining in the first round, trimming the Newberg advantage in the team score to 27-10.
"It felt good, but I'm here for the team," Nelson said. "And, coming at district, we'll be pushing Newberg — we might just beat them."
Sherwood sophomore Malachi Tishendorf followed that up by scoring a 7-5 decision win over Newberg's Jonah Worthington in the 152-pound match. With the score tied at 2-2 after the first round, Tishendorf opened the second round with a 3-point nearfall to go up 5-2. A reversal by Worthington cut the lead to 5-3 going into the third round.
In the final period, Tishendorf scored on a reversal to up the margin to 7-3 wth 1:32 left in the match. A reversal by Worthington, coming with 1:05 remaining, made the final score 7-5.
Stormont then got a 7-5 decision win over Gavin Korkeakoski at 160 pounds, cutting the Newberg lead in the team score to 27-16 at that point.
"It's always hard going into these matches, because I haven't been wrestling for very long," Stormont said. "So, coming into these matches, when it gets close, and I get tired, it's all about having something to prove — not to everyone else, but to myself, that I have put in all the hard work that it takes to be a successful wrestler."
In the 160-pound bout, Korkeakoski opened the second round with a reversal to take a 4-3 lead. He then was awarded another point, when Stormont was whistled for stalling, to make the score 5-3 with 11 seconds left in the third round. Stormont came back to get a reversal right before the period ended, cutting the lead to 5-4 going into the final round.
Stormont opened the third round with an escape, tying the match at 5-5. Stormont then got a takedown with 18 seconds left in the contest, giving him a 7-5 decision win.
"It felt good at the end, to hear the cheering, looking at my boys on the chairs next to me, cheering me on. As much as it's an individual sport, scoring points for the team is the biggest thing for me."
Newberg came back to win the final five matches, three by fall and one by forfeit, to make the final score 54-16.
"I love the rivalries like this. It's nice," Nelson said. "We're a good team, and they're a good team. It's always fun with two good teams."
"We learned a lot of things, not only about technique things, but about our grit, long matches and what we need to do to win those, and what we didn't do," Stormont said. "We like to look at the bright side of things. Even in our losses, we look at like we did right. We can always build on things, but this can also make us feel better."
On Saturday, Sherwood finished in second place, out of 23 teams, at the Liberty Invitational, held at Liberty High School. The Bowmen scored 215.5 points. Dallas finished in first place with a score of 289.5.
Ritchie helped lead the way for Sherwood at the tournament, taking second place at 106 pounds. Also for the Bowmen, senior Jackson Barton was third at 220, Stormont was fourth at 160, sophomore Dallen Jolley was fifth at 145, senior Haden Munson was fifth at 120 and junior Nick Hekker was sixth at 113.
The Bowmen will be back in action when they compete at the Reno Tournament of Champions, to be held Friday and Saturday in Reno, Nev.