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Pioneers pin down dramatic victory

Davis fall at 285 gives Sandy a 38-36 win over Sherwood


by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAN BROOD - Sandy wrestlers start celebrating as senior Dalton Davis pins Sherwoods Cameron Beebe in the 285-pound match. Davis win gave the Pioneers a 38-36 team victory.SHERWOOD — Dalton Davis felt a lot of pressure as he stepped onto the mat.

That made sense. After all, the outcome of Davis' match very well could have a big impact on who would eventually emerge as the Northwest Oregon Conference dual meet champion.

And Davis, a senior on the Sandy High School wrestling team, didn't let the Pioneers down.

Davis, in the final bout of the night, the 285-pound match, pinned Sherwood sophomore Cameron Beebe in a time of 38 seconds to wrap up the Pioneers' 38-36 win over the Bowmen in a back-and-forth conference showdown held Jan. 29 in front of a large crowd at Sherwood High School.

“That was very exciting,” Davis said following Sandy's victory celebration. “There was a lot of pressure. But you go out there and do what you know you have to do.”

With the victory, coupled with a 72-6 win over Milwaukie on Thursday, Sandy improved to 5-0 in NWOC dual meets, putting the Pioneers alone in first place in the conference standings. The loss was the first conference setback for Sherwood, which came into last week's match with Sandy boasting a perfect 3-0 league record.

“This win was pretty big for us,” Davis said. “We knew they were tough competition.”

“This was crazy,” Sherwood senior 220-pounder Martin Layna said. “We knew they were a really good team. And we knew that we could do it — and we came close.”

The clash between the two NWOC powerhouses turned out to be a back-and-forth battle all night long.

Sandy took a quick 6-0 lead in the team score when senior Edin Zepeda pinned Sherwood's Rodney Punay in a time of 2:33 in the opening 106-pound match.

Sherwood got a decision win at 113 to cut the Pioneers' lead to 6-3, but Sandy answered back when junior Kyle Grahn notched a 7-1 decision win over Sherwood junior Hayden Koprowski in the 120-pound match.

The Bowmen came back with a decision victory at 126 and a pin at 132 to claim a 12-9 lead in the team score.

But it didn't take the Pioneers long to reclaim the lead.

In the 138-pound match, Sandy sophomore Steven Patton won by fall over Sherwood junior Riley Castillo in 1:47 to give the Pioneers a 15-12 advantage.

Now, it was Sherwood's turn to come back. The Bowmen picked up a pinfall victories from senior Garret Heckenberg, at 145 pounds, and from senior Nic Clarke at 152, giving the home team a 24-15 lead.

Sandy junior C.J. McKinnis stopped the Bowmen run by pinning Stephon Layna in 2:55 in the 160-pound match, trimming the margin to 24-21.

Sherwood answered back with a dramatic overtime pinfall win by senior Andrew Rice at 170 pounds. That victory gave the Bowmen a 30-21 lead with just five matches remaining to be wrestled.

Sandy senior Devin White got things closer for the Pioneers, as he pinned Sherwood senior Corey Keohane in 2:53 in the 182-pound match.

But things didn't look good for the Pioneers soon after, as, in the opening seconds of the 195-pound match, Sherwood senior Ryan Jurgens scored a takedown against Sandy senior Jeremy Funk. But Funk came storming back in a big way.

After Jurgens' opening takedown, Funk scored on an escape, a takedown of his own, a two-point nearfall and a three-point nearfall to claim an 8-2 lead at the end of the first round. Funk then added on a reversal and a three-point nearfall in the second round, to open up a 13-5 advantage.

Funk then started the third round with a takedown and another three-point nearfall. One more three-point nearfall, coming with just nine seconds left in the match, gave Funk a 21-5 technical fall win, giving Sandy a 32-30 lead in the team score.

Now it was Sherwood's turn, again, to rally back. Martin Layna gave his team a 36-32 lead by getting a pin in 3:56 in the 220-pound match.

That set up the dramatic 285-pound finale.

Davis, after grappling back-and-forth with Beebe in the opening seconds of the final match, scored on a takedown at the 35-second mark of the first round. Just three seconds later, he got the fall, igniting Sandy's victory celebration.

“I was relieved,” Davis said of getting the pin. “I wanted to help my team. I knew they'd be tough, and we'd have to work hard.”

In the victory over Milwaukie, Sandy got wins from Zepeda (106 pounds), Donavan Morrell (113), Grahn (120), Dakota Peterson (126), Austin Miller (132), Patton, Garrett Rotzien (152), McKinnis (160), Spencer Barnett (170), White (182), Funk (195), Carlos Deker-Martinez (220) and Davis (285).

The Pioneers will be back in action Thursday when they wrestle at Wilsonville in an NWOC dual meet starting at 7 p.m. On Friday, Sandy will compete at the Clackamas Tournament.