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Eagle Point's Gage Baumer, left, wrestles in the 171-pound title match on Saturday. - Angie Walters

Eagles snag third place at 5A state

PORTLAND — Eagle Point may not have been able to put an exclamation mark on the end of its two-day run at the Class 5A wrestling state tournament, but that didn't take away from a long-awaited moment of clutching a state trophy late Saturday night.

Senior Gage Baumer and junior Aaron Lorenz each placed second to highlight a strong showing here at the Memorial Coliseum by the Eagles, who shook off years of frustration by placing third in the team competition.

The trophy marked the first won by Eagle Point since a third-place showing in 2001, and only the fourth for the school in the past 20 years. The Eagles, who placed third in 1995 and second in '96, had finished just outside of trophy consideration in fifth place during the past three state tournaments.

"It feels good to finally get over fifth place," said Baumer, echoing the sentiments of the EP faithful on hand. "I've taken fifth three years in a row and it feels good to get above that and kinda end all that frustration."

Eagle Point finished with six state-placers among its 12 qualifiers and totaled 109 points to trail only Hermiston (198) and Dallas (138). The win was a fifth straight in the team race for Hermiston, which advanced five wrestlers into the finals.

"The kids did really well," EP coach Kacey McNulty said of his team. "Overall they all wrestled well and really made it happen. It's been a lot of years of frustration."

Senior Ben Zomerdyk (130) and sophomore Johnny Wilkerson (160) each placed fourth, while junior Travis Woods (140) was fifth and sophomore Orlando DeLaCruz (103) placed sixth.

Baumer, ranked first but seeded second, offered up EP's best chance at landing a state champion for the second straight year but he couldn't seal the deal in a 5-4 loss to Lebanon's Tance Privratsky in the finals.

The EP senior was charged with a technical violation 32 seconds into the final for a figure four on the head of Privratsky, and that seemed to shake things up for the Eagle.

"It kinda threw my mindset off a little bit there right off the bat," said Baumer, who respected the call but believed — like McNulty — that he was in the clear during the maneuver.

Thrown off his game, Baumer gave up a late takedown that could've turned into back points had it not come in the final second of the first round. Privratsky's lead ballooned to 5-0 before Baumer finally got his legs back under him and closed the gap to one point with 1:34 to go.

"I went down quite a bit right off the bat and didn't have enough time to work my way back up to winning that match," he said.

Baumer earned his shot at a title with a fifth victory this season over Ashland's Jake Scarminach, the No. 3 seed. Baumer scored a third-round reversal to take a 2-1 lead, then went up 5-1 on a near fall with 50 seconds to go and finished the deal with a fall in 5:25.

Lorenz was forced to settle for second place after Pendleton's Roman Holcomb scored a fall in 5:22 of their championship match at 112. The top-ranked Holcomb led 2-0 through the first round and built that advantage to 4-0 when he denied a shot by Lorenz and answered with a takedown of his own. In the third round, Holcomb caught Lorenz in a bad position and went up 6-0 before closing out the match with a pin.

Lorenz advanced to the finals with a 4-2 overtime win over Silverton's Izaak Tobin.

"It took a lot of hard work and I had to beat some kids that had beaten me earlier in the season," Lorenz said of reaching the finals. "I knew Holcomb was a tough kid, he beat me earlier in the season. It seemed like everything I did I got real close to scoring but he ended up turning it around and scoring on all my moves."

Zomerdyk nearly rallied for a win in the championship semis Saturday morning, pulling even at 7-all in his match against Marshfield's Tyler Nixon. Zomerdyk tantalizingly had Nixon in pinning position for a half-second on his final takedown before Nixon twisted out of danger. An escape with 50 seconds to go in the match gave Nixon an 8-7 win. Zomerdyk eventually lost 5-2 to Churchill's Joe Potts, seeded second, in the third-place final.

Ashland had its hopes for a state champion dashed earlier Saturday in the morning semifinals, with heavyweight Sam Cowan suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Andrew Vandetta of Lebanon and Scarminach (171) failing to overcome Baumer.

Cowan's loss was especially tough to swallow given that both points earned by the top-seeded Vandetta came via stalling points assessed against Cowan.

The previously undefeated Ashland senior earned a second-round escape to take a 1-0 lead, but the match became tied with 10 seconds to go in the round on a one-point penalty. Cowan held Vandetta on the mat for the bulk of the match and appeared to be looking for an opening against his defensive-minded foe before being tagged with another stalling penalty with 36 seconds left in the match.

"He was working his turns and driving him but the ref said he was staying on his hips," said Ashland head coach Bill Bowers. "Sam was making all the action and (the referee) pretty much decided that match."

Cowan regrouped to place third, while Scarminach finished sixth.

Class 5A

TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — Hermiston 198, Dallas 138, Eagle Point 109, West Albany 104, Pendleton 101, Lebanon 100, Churchill 98.5, Marshfield 94, Sherwood 88.5, Hood River 83.5.

OTHER LOCAL SCORES — 19, Ashland 25.5.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

103 — Jason Holley, West Albany, dec. Ian Hockett, Sherwood, 4-3; 112 — Roman Holcomb, Pendleton, pinned Aaron Lorenz, Eagle Point, 5:22; 119 — Dylan Holcomb, Pendleton, dec. Max Freund, Cleveland, 4-0; 125 — Tyler Berger, Hermiston, dec. Housten Ezell, Churchill, 10-2; 130 — Tyler Nixon, Marshfield, dec. Daniel Leonard, Sherwood, 8-6.

135 — Joey Delgado, Hermiston, pinned Wyatt Passantino, Dallas, 4:35; 140 — Fabian Scotto, Hermiston, dec. Paul Dodson, Sherwood, 8-2; 145 — Robert Frasier, Hood River, pinned Garrett Urrutia, Lebanon, 2:39; 152 — Chase Kearney, Churchill, dec. Bryce McMahon, Hermiston, 6-4; 160 — Zac Brunson, Churchill, pinned Ryker Smith, West Albany, 3:29.

171 — Tance Privratsky, Lebanon, dec. Gage Baumer, Eagle Point, 5-4; 189 — Curtis Berger, Hermiston, dec. Hayden Kloss, West Albany, 9-2; 215 — Nick Garren, Milwaukie, dec. Jake Browning, Marshfield, 7-5; 285 — Jarod Bookey, Dallas, dec. Andrew Vandetta, Lebanon, 3-2.

THIRD-FOURTH FINALS

130 — Joe Potts, Churchill, dec. Ben Zomerdyk, Eagle Point, 5-2; 160 — Jordy Mallon, Hood River, dec. Johnny Wilkerson, Eagle Point, 6-3; 285 — Sam Cowan, Ashland, dec. Neil Ochs, Wilsonville, 1-0.

FIFTH-SIXTH FINALS

103 — Isaac Aguilar, Hermiston, dec. Orlando DeLaCruz, Eagle Point, 14-3; 140 — Travis Woods, Eagle Point, dec. Yadnel Ayala, 16-2; 171 — Marcus Dickinson, Sandy, pinned Jake Scarminach, Ashland, 1:14.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Kris_Henry

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