REDMOND — Baker wrestling coach Brandon Young described the Bulldogs’ performance at the Oregon Classic as “one of the best in several years.”
Baker won three duals on Friday to finish first in its pool.
On Saturday the Bulldogs beat Philomath in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals.
After falling 57-24 to Sweet Home in the semifinals, Baker lost 52-26 to Tillamook in the third-place match to finish fourth overall with a 4-2 record.
“It was awesome to see the team cohesion and the fire in our boys’ eyes,” Young said.
Baker winners in the quarterfinal dual against Philomath included:
• Gavin Stone at 120 pounds (by fall, 1:17)
• Johnny Niehaus, 126 pounds (by fall, 1:23)
• Casey Vaughan, 138 pounds (by fall, 59 seconds)
• Jake Eskew, 145 pounds (by fall, 3:38)
• Ian Feldmeier, 152 pounds (by fall, 1:40)
• Gauge Bloomer, 160 pounds (by fall, 55 seconds)
• Adrian Allen, 170 pounds (forfeit)
• MaHonri Rushton, 182 pounds (by fall, 1:17)
• Colt Cobb, 220 pounds (forfeit)
• Jaden Martin, 285 pounds (decision, 13-7)
After opening the tournament Friday by beating North Marion 66-9 and the Crook County JVs, 54-27, Baker faced what Young called its “annual grudge match” with the Cascade Cougars.
The Cougars beat Baker 40-37 in last year’s tournament.
Cascade took a quick 18-0 lead, which forced Young to shift his lineup and move Stone to 126 pounds.
Stone defeated Trenton Wymore by fall in just 33 seconds.
Johnny Niehaus followed at 132 pounds and won by technical fall over Cascade’s Zackery Fulgham.
But the Cougars then regained the momentum, along with a 35-11 lead.
“Prior to the dual we expected to be down, and then make a late charge, and the goal was to sweep every match from 160 on,” Young said.
He shifted his lineup again, moving Feldmeier up to 160 pounds and Bloomer to 170.
Both wrestlers responded to the challenge, with Feldmeier pinning Ben Roth in the first round, followed by Bloomer earning the fall over Kayden Lindquist.
Cascade avoided Rushton at 182 pounds, but even after the forfeit the Cougars still lead 35-29.
Baker freshman Colt Cobb then took on Waylon Wymore, who moved up from 182 to 195 pounds.
“The match was back and forth with Colt hitting a nice takedown to his opponent’s back and secured the fall to tie the dual at 35,” Young said.
Alex Ritter lost by decision at 220 pounds, giving Cascade a 38-35 match entering the final match — Baker newcomer Jaden Martin against Ben Fouts at 285 pounds.
Martin was aggressive from the start and won by fall at 2:45 to give Baker its first lead of the dual, and the win, 41-38.
“They believed they could win and they made it happen,” Young said of the Bulldogs.
Baker’s new girls wrestling team competed in its first duals, tying Grant Union 24-24 in the consolation semifinals but losing 25-24 on criteria (officials can use multiple factors, including which team has the largest number of technical falls, major decisions, takedowns and others, to determine the winning team in a tie).
Baker girls who competed were McKaey Anderson, Sydney Keller, Kaci Anderson, Rebby Daniels, Julianna Sandberg and Shayna Ruby. Individual results were not available this morning.
Keller, who is also a starter on the Baker basketball team, competed in wrestling for the first time this season. She will divide her time between the two sports.