Baker mat quartet heads to state
By GERRY STEELE
Four Baker wrestlers are headed to the Class 4A state tournament at Memorial Coliseum in Portland next weekend.
The Baker quartet qualified for state after placing in the top four of their weight class at the regional tournament Friday and Saturday at Crook County High School at Prineville.
Sam Pearson placed second at 170 pounds, Brandon Zunino third at 170, Chaz Lowry fourth at 152 and Tyler Hertel fourth at 160.
Baker coach Brandon Young said the Bulldogs received plenty of parental support and had a couple of extra supporters with Baker ties.
"We even had support of two Fathers of Baker wrestling," Young said.
"Bill Pickens, who started the junior high team in 1972, and Chuck Holiday, who was the head coach for the high school in 1976 into the early 1980s. Pickens coached wrestling for nearly 30 years in Baker," Young said.
Young said the Bulldogs are wrestling well at just the right time.
"The team really came together the final two weeks of the season," he said.
"We peaked just at the right time and were able to meet our goals set at the beginning of the season."
Young said those goals were to score more points at regionals and send more wrestlers to state. He said the Bulldogs scored one more point at this year's regionals and will send one more wretsler to the state tournament.
"Chaz Lowry was our wild card," Young said.
"We knew he had a shot. To put it simple, he's just as tough as they come and it came in pretty handy this weekend as he picked up several wins in some hard fought battles.
"Tyler Hertel came around the last two weekends. It all started when he finished third at Pine-Eagle. He kept the momentum going as he battled his way into the championship semis by defeating fourth seed Payden Robison of Crook County 12-10 in a barn burner," Young said.
Hertel then won his consolation semifinal by fall to earn the trip to state.
"Sam and Brandon did waht they have done all season long — win matches," Young said.
Zunino advanced to the semifinals by defeating the No. 4 seed then topped the No. 3 seed in the consolation semis.
Pearson pinned his first to opponent to reach the championship match.
Young said other Baker wrestlers Colton Eubanks, Peter Baker and Lane Zacharias also wrestled well at regionals.
The state tournament runs Friday and Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
Individual session ticket prices Friday are $15 adults and $10 students. Individual ticket prices for each session Saturday are $10 adults and $8 students.
Season passes good for both days are $35 adults and $25 students.
Wrestling begins each day at 8:30 a.m.
113 — Larsen, 0-2. 120 — 6. Valentine, 1-3. 138 — Poe, 0-2. 145 — Browne, 0-2. 152 — 4. Lowry, 4-2. 160 — 4. Hertel, 2-2. 5. Eubanks, 4-2. 170 — 2. Pearson, 2-1. 3. Zunino, 3-1. 182 — 6. Baker, 2-3. 195 — 5. Zacharias, 2-2; Shaw, 1-2. 285 —Walton, 1-1.