The Lions have a terrific district tournament edging Canby for second

MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn freshman Sean Harman was dominant at last week's district tournament in Newberg and won the TRL title at 145 pounds.Heading into last week's district tournament, West Linn wrestling coach Doug Samarron figured that, for the first time in his 25 years of coaching with the Lions, his team might very well finish out of the top-two.

With injuries two a pair of returning state place winners, West Linn finished third in dual meets behind Newberg and Canby. However, the Lions still had a few surprises left this season, edging out Canby to take second while sending seven individuals through to the state tournament.

Out of 20 entries, 14 West Linn wrestlers reached the podium, making it a complete team effort.

At 126 pounds, Ian Snapp was the No. 1 seed but, in the semifinals, Snapp was upended in overtime by the No. 4 seed from Canby.

Snapp battled back with a pin in consolation and then outlasted the No. 3 seed from Lake Oswego to earn a return visit to state.

Kane Snapp was the No. 2 seed at 138 pounds and picked up a pair of pins to reach the semifinals. He then scored a 9-2 decision to reach the title match against the No. 1 seed from Newberg and dropped a close 3-2 decision.

Also at 138 pounds, Cameron Broberg reached the semifinals before falling to the No. 1 seed. He would win this fifth place match with a 2-1 decision.

Freshman Sean Harman was the No. 1 seed for the Lions at 145 pounds. With a bye, he needed just one victory to reach the semifinals. In the semis, he scored a technical fall with a 22-7 victory and then completed his dominant showing with a third-round pin in the championship match.

Brett Bell was unseeded at 145 pounds and lost his first match against the No. 6 seed. However, Bell battled back through consolation to win four straight matches, three by fall. Then, in the third place match with a state berth on the line, Bell beat the same wrestler who knocked him off earlier, this time by a 6-4 decision.

Steven Shelofsky scored a fifth place finish for West Linn at 152 pounds and Tristan Waits took sixth at 160.

Also at 160 pounds, Cameron Rockwood was one of the surprises of the tournament. He knocked off the No. 2 seed from Sherwood with a pin and reached the semifinals where he lost a tough 8-5 decision.

After winning in consolation, Rockwood then beat the No. 1 seed from Newberg in the third-place match with a convincing 8-3 victory, earning a trip to state.

At 170 pounds, Tyler Good just missed out on a trip to state, reaching the semifinals before dropping a pair of matches and taking fourth.

Tyler Harmon battled back impressively after a second-round defeat to take fifth at 182 pounds.

West Linn won another district title at 195 pounds. Ethan Long was the top seed and was virtually untested. He won his first three matches all with first-round pins and then, in the championship round, he scored a 15-5 major decision.

Connor Maloney just missed out on a district title in a tough 220-pound weight class. He scored a pair of first-round pins to reach the semifinals where he took on the No. 6 seed from Newberg.

Maloney battled into overtime where he scored a 3-1 victory. Then, in the title match, Maloney dropped a close 3-2 decision to take second.

Also at 220, Ezekiel Montoya lost his first match to the No. 1 seed but then tallied four straight victories to reach the third-place match and would finish in fourth.

Finally, Brandon Ahlgren would finish in a solid fifth at 285 for the Lions.

The state tournament will be this Friday and Saturday at the Memorial Coliseum.

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