Phoenix’s Josh Warden, left, is congratulated by teammate Eleazar Deluca after Warden won the Class 4A 152-pound state title on Saturday.

Warden locks down title for Phoenix

PORTLAND — Perhaps it was destiny — a Phoenix wrestler in the 152-pound state title match.

After an unfortunate season-ending injury to the projected state favorite, junior Luke Amuchastegui, Phoenix junior Josh Warden made certain the trophy stayed with the Pirates by defeating top-seeded Andy Godfrey of La Grande 9-3 Saturday at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament at Memorial Coliseum.

Amuchastegui suffered a broken ankle the week prior to the district meet.

"I figured, beginning of the season, the 152 state championship belonged to Phoenix High School because of Luke," said Warden, who wrestled most of the season at 160 and 171. "Since he's out of it, I figured I'd drop down and get it back for us."

And he knows somewhere, Amuchastegui is smiling at the results.

"I always think about Luke not being able to wrestle, and that always makes me feel kind of sad," Warden said. "But I'm the one he would have wanted to win."

Warden received little resistance along the way, pinning his first two opponents, including La Grande's Justin Hug in 50 seconds in the quarterfinals.

Warden shook off an early takedown by Godfrey and a 3-1 deficit in the second period by recording a takedown to tie. He earned three back points near the end of the second.

Warden said he sensed Godfrey was becoming tired as the match went on, and Warden scored on an escape and takedown in the third.

"I wanted it more than him," Warden said. "Our coach (John Farmer), he sprints us hard in practice. We probably have the best conditioning. That really pays off in those third-round matches."

Warden's victory secured the only individual title for Phoenix as freshman Eleazar Deluca suffered an all-too familiar result in his title appearance at 140 pounds.

Deluca dropped a 5-0 decision to Illinois Valley senior Sam Winter, a defending state champion. It was Deluca's fourth loss to Winter this season.

"Sam's just got a little bit of an edge on us," Farmer said. "He's a little better, a little bit more experienced. We can wrestle him tough, but when it comes down to it, he's a returning state champion for a reason.

"He wasn't giving up anything easy. Sam wrestled a good match."

Winter never allowed Deluca room to operate, scoring a takedown late in the first period and adding another in the third.

"They know each other so well," Illinois Valley coach Jay Miller said. "You have to come up with a little different twist. This time it was intensity. He's a senior. He realizes he's looking at scholarships. He needs this."

Winter, who is considering Southern Oregon, said the key was being prepared on his feet.

"I was ready for his ground attack," Winter said. "It (the state title) feels great. Nobody can say it was a fluke the first time."

Meanwhile, it's back to work for Deluca. The freshman was dominant until the finals in his first state tournament.

He admitted that the magnitude of Saturday's finals made him, "the most nervous I've been in my life."

"He (Sam) wrestled harder," Deluca said. "I tried to get after him. I respect him. He's a great wrestler, a great person."

Deluca plans to waste no time in returning to the mat.

He's attending tournaments in Reno, Nev., and Fargo, N.D., in the near future.

"Monday, I'll be back in the wrestling room with Josh," Deluca said. "We can't waste any time. We're going to get back in the room and work. We're going to win a state title individually and as a team."

Illinois Valley freshman Jesse Orndoff walked away with the 103-pound title, defeating Skyline Conference foe and fellow freshman Zorg Loustalet of Henley 6-0.

Orndoff earned a takedown in the first, an escape and another takedown in the second, followed by a stalling point in the third.

North Valley senior Paul Gutzman pinned his way to the title in the Class 4A 285-pound division. All four of his matches lasted less than a combined 4:05. His first two wins came in 30 seconds and 38 seconds, respectively. The top-seeded Gutzman pinned McLoughlin's Angel Palacios in 1:20 for the title.

"I was holding nothing back," said Gutzman, who will play football next season at Western Oregon University. "This is my senior year. This is the last time I'll ever wrestle."

Sweet Home won the team title with 142 points.

Phoenix, which took 13th with 86 points, finished with three placers out of the consolation bracket. Ryan Tourville, who lost in the semifinals on Friday, dropped both his matches on Saturday to finish in sixth at 135. Emmet Hettum captured seventh at 160 with a 3-1 overtime victory over Cascade's Devon Harris, and Alex Machado also took seventh at 189 after pinning Sutherlin's Kyle Summers in 1:57.

Illinois Valley had five wrestlers place in the consolation bracket with 285-pounder Lance Tausaga leading the charge. The top seed, who lost in overtime 3-2 in the semifinals Friday, finished third. Chris Culver (fifth, 112), Landy Wells (fifth, 171), Quayde Fisher (seventh, 135), Jon Anderson (eighth, 125) also placed for the Cougars, who finished in fourth with 118.5 points.

Two area Class 3A wrestlers placed. Rogue River's Patrick Wiggins went 2-1 in the final day of the tournament, pinning fifth-seeded Kelsey Carl of Gold Beach in 3:51. Cascade Christian's Derek Brite placed sixth at 171.

Burns won the Class 3A title with 149 points.

Class 4A


1, Sweet Home 142; 2, McLoughlin 122.5; 3, La Grande 121.5; 4, Illinois Valley 118.5; 5, Tillamook 118; 6, Henley 116; (tie) Scappoose 116; 8, South Umpqua 114.5; 9, Ontario 99.5; 10, Molalla 99; 11, Pleasant Hill 90.5; 12, Cottage Grove 88; 13, Phoenix 86; 14, Cascade 84; 15, North Marion 67.5; 16, Estacada 60.5; 17, Baker 56; 18, Astoria 40; 19, Philomath 36; 20, North Valley 34; 21, La Pine 33; 22, Douglas 31; 23, North Bend 30.5; 24, Sutherlin 27.5; 25, Central 26; (tie) Newport 26; (tie) Stayton 26; 28, Brookings-Harbor 21; 29, Elmira 18; 30, Junction City 11; 31, Sisters 10; 32, Siuslaw 9; 33, Banks 6; (tie) Gladstone 6; (tie) Taft 6; 36, Seaside 4; 37, Hidden Valley 3; 38, Marist 0; (tie) Yamhill-Carlton 0.


103 — Jesse Orndoff, Illinois Valley, dec. Zorg Loustalet, Henley, 6-0; 112 — Brian Bowers, South Umpqua, dec. Adam Hayner, Molalla, 11-6; 119 — Adam Smith, Tillamook, dec. Lamont Hook, Henley, 4-3; 125 — Vince Morales, Ontario, dec. Zach Clark, Cascade, 7-5; 130 — Drew Erickson, Pleasant Hill, dec. Taylor Tagle, Sweet Home, 12-5.

135 — Cody Randall, North Marion, pinned Adam Sprague, Pleasant Hill, 4:11; 140 — Sam Winter, Illinois Valley, dec. Eleazar Deluca, Phoenix, 5-0; 145 — Jacob Stanley, Cottage Grove, pinned Brady Lee, Molalla, 4:46; 152 — Josh Warden, Phoenix, dec. Andy Godfrey, La Grande, 9-3.

160 — John Tuck, La Grande, maj. dec. Caleb Pendleton, Scappoose, 12-0; 171 — Ryan Spooner, Pleasant Hill, dec. Brett Mathes, Henley, 6-4; 189 — Bo Younker, South Umpqua, tech. fall Tyler Spinas, Molalla, 2:33; 215 — Aaron Barichio, Tillamook, pinned Chance Banta, Astoria, 4:56; 285 — Paul Gutzman, North Valley, pinned Angel Palacios, McLoughlin, 1:20.


103 — Brandon Bowers, South Umpqua, dec. Blake Woosley, Philomath, 9-3; 112 — Matt Grove, Sweet Home, dec. Ryan Bullock, McLoughlin, 7-3; 119 — Dylan McCallum, La Grande, maj. dec. Mitch Grove, Sweet Home, 13-3; 125 — Nico Martinez, Ontario, dec. Tyler Stigall, North Marion, 9-6; 130 — Chase Fields, Ontario, dec. Josh Stanley, Cottage Grove, 9-7 OT.

135 — Seth Honl, Scappoose, maj. dec. Bruce Balcita, 17-4; 140 — Brock Crocker, Sweet Home, dec. Tyler Blythe, Stayton, 2-1; 145 — Frank Lopez, Ontario, dec. Andrew Gettle, Baker, 6-3 ; 152 — Alex Simantel, Scappoose, dec. Tucker Cook, Tillamook, 6-3.

160 — Dillon Davidson, Cascade, dec. Travis Hill, Scappoose, 3-1; 171 — Aaron Aguilera, Scappoose, dec. Victor Toran, North Marion, 4-1; 189 — Cole Banta, Astoria, dec. Cody Hayner, Newport, 4-2; 215 — Lance Tausaga, Illinois Valley, dec. Nick Watts, McLaughlin, 10-3; 285 — Marcus Cuellar, Central dec. Weston Strohmeyer, Elmira, 7-6.


103 — Pete Peterson, Brookings-Harbor, maj. dec. Steven Pinto, 12-0; 112 — Chris Culver, Illinois Valley, dec. Jesse Sargent, McLoughlin, 4-2 OT; 119 — Jake Marshall, Molalla, pinned Nick Chester, North Bend, 2:29; 125 — David Converse, Newport, dec. Trinity Castner, Douglas, 12-9; 130 — Dustin Woosley, Tillamook won by forfeit over Aaron David, Henley.

135 — Matt Nicholson, La Grande, pinned Tyan Tourville, 2:35; 140 — Trent Hardwick, La Grande, pinned Taelor Hess, Molalla, 4:52; 145 — Jace Sargent, McLoughlin, maj. dec. Jack Perry, Sweet Home, 13-0; 152 — Robbie Federico, Cascade, pinned Bryce Dryden, Philomath, 3:38.

160 — Cody Anders, Estacada, maj. dec. Brandon Kralman, McLoughlin, 11-2; 171 — Landy Wells, Illinois Valley, dec. J.R. Gates, Cascade, 7-5; 189 — Ted Shaw, Baker dec. Anthony Albright, Sweet Home, 10-4; 215 — Marc Callagan, Sweet Home, dec. Eric Haney, Junction City, 3-2; 285 — R.J. Harter, Henley, dec. J.T. Strang, Tillamook, 4-1.


103 — Jake Stigall, North Marion, pinned Robbie Hogge, LaPine, 2:31; 112 — Moe Brison, LaPine, dec. Tyler Holly, Sweet Home, 5-1; 119 — Gabe Goodrich, Scappoose, dec. John Weaver, Estacada, 8-2; 125 — David Yecha, Douglas, pinned Jon Anderson, Illinois Valley, 3:45; 130 — Andrew Porter, Baker, pinned Dylan Weitman, Stayton, 4:48.

135 — Quayde Fisher, Illinois Valley, maj. dec. Dalton Sheets, McLoughlin, 12-4; 140 — Andy Hardenbrook, La Grande, dec. Wyatt Law, McLoughlin, 10-5; 145 — Dan Mickelson, Tillamook, dec. Nathan Teel, Estacada, 4-2; 152 — Triton Crane, South Umpqua, dec. Harmon Heater, Henley, 4-0.

160 — Emmet Hettum, Phoenix, dec. Devon Harris, Cascade, 3-1 OT; 171 — Max Nicholson, La Grande, dec. Brian Philpott, Sutherlin, 9-6; 189 — Alex Machado, Phoenix, pinned Kyle Summers, Sutherlin, 1:57; 215 — Grant Thompson, Cottage Grove, pinned Jake Shukle, Baker, :41; 285 — Josiah Vassallo, Pleasant Hill, pinned Jacob Rush, Cascade, 2:23.

Class 3A


1, Burns 149; 2, Nyssa 146.5; 3, Reedsport 130; 4, Myrtle Point 115; 5, Gold Beach 102.5; 6, Sheridan 81; 7, Clatskanie 76; 8, Glide 75; 9, Rainier 73; 10, Willamina 72; 11, Grant Union 54; 12, Riverside 52; 13, Colton 50.5; 14, Harrisburg 43; 15, Vale 39; (tie) Vernonia 39; 17, Coquille 33; 18, Dayton 29; 19, Amity 22.5; 20, Bandon 19.5; (tie) Rogue River 19.5; 22, Santiam Christian 19; 23, Neah-Kah-Nie 17.5; 24, Jefferson 13; (tie) Waldport 13; 26, Warrenton 11; 27, Gervais 7; 28, Cascade Christian 6; 29, Toledo 0; (tie) Umatilla 0.

Area Results



119 — Patrick Wiggins, Rogue River, dec. James Town, Riverside, 5-0; 171 — Derek Brite, Cascade Christian, dec. Alex Chase, Gold Beach, 13-6; 215 — Michael Martin, Burns, maj. dec. John Jessee, Rogue River, 14-6.


119 — Tyler Strenke, Rainier, pinned Patrick Wiggins, Rogue River, 2:10; 171 — Cesar Lira, Reedsport, pinned Derek Brite, Cascade Christian, 2:21.


119 — Patrick Wiggins, Rogue River, pinned Kelsey Carl, Gold Beach, 3:51; 171 — Kirby Wemmer, Clatskanie, dec. Derek Brite, Cascade Christian, 10-6.

Reach reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail

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