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Middle School wrestlers shine
BOARDMAN — Three Baker and Powder Valley Middle School wrestlers earned first-place honors in their weight class Saturday at the regional tournament in Boardman.
Korey Grende (90 pounds), Jon Gonzalez (110) and Damien Polley (275) all placed first.
Taking second were Tanner Eubanks (85) and TJ Guilliams (275).Jace Hays (80) and Juan Diaz (150) took fourth.
Other Baker/Powder wrestlers competing were Noah Allen, James AhHee, Cade Browne, Marco Vela and Damien Colvin-Rice.
“Korey Grende dominated his division winning all his matches by tech fall or pin to make it to the finals,” said Baker coach Brandon Young.
There he faced Morgan Holcomb of Pendleton.
“The two have squared off several times over the past seven or eight years,” Young said.
“Grende was losing 5-4 giong into the third period when he took a chance. Korey shot. Holcomb stuffed his shot with a whizzer and Grende threw Holcomb directly to his back for the fall.”
Young said Grende is the first middle school champion at Powder Valley.
Gonzalez also dominated his division, winning all his matches by tech fall to reach the final. There he won by decision over Cole Skramstad of Milton-Freewater.
Polley and Guiliams both reached the final at 275. Young said it was the first time Baker has had two teammates wrestle off for the regional title.
Polley pinned his opponentn to reach the final. Guilliams had to go triple overtime to earn a decision to get there. Polley won the title with a 3-1 decision.
Eubanks came from behind in the semis to reach the finals in his division.
In the final he lost a 2-1 decision, but still is the only local sixth-grader to qualify for state and is the highest placer the team has had in sixth grade.
The state tournament is next weekend at Woodburn.