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Wrestling: Three Indians in state finals, Tribe fighting for second place

Ben Gadbois (152), Isaiah Goodrich (182) and Devin Ray (220) have all wrestled their way to the state championship bouts


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Head coach Jim Jones and the Scappoose wrestling program are breathing down the necks of second-place Henley at the 2014 OSAA wrestling state championships.PORTLAND – Just as head coach Jim Jones predicted, the Indians' wrestling program is almost guaranteed a position on the team podium with the conclusion of the semifinal matches. There are still plenty of matches yet to be wrestled, including the remainder of the consolation bracket, but Scappoose has opened up a 70.5 point lead fourth-place North Marion, and is only 15.5 points behind Henley for second place in the team standings.

And the Indians still have yet to see some of their biggest guns get to work. Three Scappoose wrestlers have reached the finals: Ben Gadbois at 170 pounds, Isaiah Goodrich at 182 pounds and top-seeded Devin Ray at 220 pounds.

Senior Hunter Hoyt reached the 145 semifinal as well, but lost by fall to top-seeded Collbran Meeker of Crook County in the second period. Meeker will wrestle Astoria's Josh Long, who Hoyt beat in the Cowapa League final, for the state title. Hoyt lost his first match in the consolation bracket, and won his fifth place bout with an 11-3 major decision.

While Goodrich cleaned up during his first two matches and escaped in the semifinal with a 7-6 decision over Klamath Union's Chase Anderson, few wrestlers have had as nail-biting an experience as Gadbois.

First he won a 4-3 decision over McLoughlin's Blake Yensen. Then it was a 3-2 decision over third-seeded Tanner Swineheart of Central, and then the kicker: a 3-1 sudden victory in the 152 semifinals over North Marion's Tyler Saucedo, a major upset of the second-ranked wrestler in the 152-pound bracket. Now he'll go for three upsets in a row in the finals, taking on Crook County's Tyler Berger, who has yet to lose a match this season and is now an intimidating 45-0.

Ray will also have a chance to take down a highly ranked Crook County Cowboy, and for the second match in a row. He got a 6-1 decision in his first round match, and it's been far more difficult ever since. Central's David Vidal, who was 39-4 heading into the quarterfinals, gave a Ray a run for his money, but the Indian 220-pounder won a 3-2 decision to advance into the semifinals.

That's where the strength and depth of the Crook County program started to really flex some of its muscle. The Cowboys brought 23 wrestlers to the tournament, and out of those 23 wrestlers, ten were ranked in the top four of their weight class. Nearly every division had more than one Crook County athlete, meaning that the only reason the Cowboys didn't have more seeded wrestlers is because they had to beat some of their own teammates in the District finals.

Cowboy senior Curtis Crouch hadn't allowed much of anything in his first two matches, getting a 9-0 major decision and a first-round pin to advance to the semifinals with Ray, and he made life difficult for those six minutes. Ray took a 2-0 lead late in the first period, but they entered the second period tied at a pair. Ray got a one-point escape at the beginning of the second, but Crouch tied it seconds later.

With less than a minute left, Ray finally scored and was able to hold out for the final few seconds to make the state championship bout.

In addition, the Indians also had four wrestlers fighting for third place. Sophomore Braxton Sue lost a tough 9-6 decision in the quarterfinals to South Umpqua's Derrick Hargraves, and won his next three matches to set up a rematch with Hargraves in the third-place match. Sue got a takedown early in the first period, and was able to hang on for the 3-1 decision and take the consolation championship.

Taylor Walden is also in a battle for a consolation championship at 126 pounds. Walden won by major decision in his first match, but was pinned in the second period by Newport's Joshua Connor. Walden responded with a 10-0 major decision in the second round of consolations, and made it three in a row to set up a match with formerly top-seeded Donald Wenlund of Estacada, who beat Walden 3-0 in the regional final a week ago. Walden lost the match 4-3 to take fourth place over all.

Tyson Broadbent, who got a late start on the season, had a fairly thrilling showing at the state championships to finish third place in the 195 pound bracket. He got a first-round pin in his first match, but was pinned himself in the quarterfinals. He picked up a tiebreaker to beat Banks' Evan King 5-4, beat Austin Mitchell of Douglas by 5-1 decision, and got an ultimate tie breaker to beat Rafael Gomez of Tillamook 3-2. That's about where the magic ran out, and Broadbent was pinned by Newport's Daniel Regan in the first round, giving Broadbent a fourth-place finish.

Junior Johnathan Tardif wrestled for third place at 160 pounds. He won by technical fall in his first match, but was pinned by Cascade's Spencer Crawford in just 38 seconds in the championship quarterfinal. Tardif made up for the loss by winning straight – twice by fall, once by technical fall – and then taking the third place match by a 3-2 decision over Hidden Valley's Chance Anderson.

Team score update: Crook County 379.5, Henley 149, Scappoose 133.5, North Marion 63

Full results of the state finals will be posted later tonight. Follow the live results by going to www.trackwrestling.com, or by following John on twitter @JowardHoward.