By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
Senior Willie Bennett was the lone Bruin to take home an individual title at the Reedsport Invitational as the Brookings-Harbor High School wrestling team took fourth place overall Saturday.
"We wrestled much better than last time," Coach Dave Freeman said. "I'm proud of the kids and the way they performed."
The Bruins appeared a little rusty in their dual meet last Thursday, but recovered and wrestled much better Saturday.
Bennett won his first tournament championship this season with a come from behind 16-13 victory over Nathan Kelly of North Bend in the 140-pound weight class.
After the first period, Bennett trailed Kelly 8-1 and had some serious ground to make up.
But Bennett used several takedowns and a couple of nearfalls to rack up the points on Kelly, overtaking him and snagging the three-point victory.
In his first two matches, Bennett ended the bouts in the first period, pinning James Deatherage of Cottage Grove in 1:36 and Dylan Armstrong of North Douglas in 46 seconds.
Three Bruins took second place at the invitational, where Ray Mazyck (119 pounds), Joel Mitts (189) and Mike Althof (215) all lost in the championship bout.
Mazyck got pinned in 1:12 by Jake Schneider of North Bend for a second place finish.
To get to the finals, Mazyck beat Tim Spangle of Reedport 15-7 and then pinned Travis Martin of Myrtle Point in 3:49 of the semifinals.
At 189 pounds, Mitts used a 5-0 victory over top-seeded Denver Conrad of Siuslaw in the semifinals to reach the championship match.
"I'm very proud of Joel for wrestling as hard as he did in that match," Freeman said.
In the finals, Mitts got pinned by Jake Rice of North Douglas in 3:59 to take second place.
After a semifinal pin of Weston Strohmeyer of Elmira in 1:39, the Bruins' Althof faced No. 1 seed Jason Rondeau of Glide in the finals.
Althof led for a majority of the match, but couldn't hold on as Rondeau was able to squeeze by and grab the 9-8 win.
A pair of Bruins tied for third place in their respective divisions as Dustin Paradis (135) and Evan Peterson (160) worked their way through the consolation bracket for third.
Paradis won his opening match over Jake Sand of Elmira with a pin in 3:03 before losing his second round match to David Berg of Cottage Grove with a fall in 3:32.
In the consolation bracket, Paradis was able to string together three straight wins before reaching his five-match limit.
Paradis used pins over Tony Hernandez of Reedsport (2:51) and Cody Collins of Toledo (2:35) as well as a 12-4 victory over Don Duey of Myrtle Point to reach the consolation finals.
Peterson used first round pins over Daven Cagley of Myrtle Point (1:57) and Tyler Varga of North Bend (:41) to reach the semis where he lost to eventual champion Thomas O'Conner of Glide by pin in 4:27.
In his consolation semifinal match, Peterson used a 7-3 decision over Robin Bollinger of Glide to reach the third place match where he tied Aaron Bernhardt of Siuslaw, who already wrestled his maximum five matches.
At 112 pounds, Aaron Miller pinned Brandon Lee of Reedsport in 1:38 in his first match of the day before losing to eventual champion Corey Melton of Glide in the semifinals.
Miller was then pinned by Justin Halstead of Reedsport in 2:41 of consolation finals, taking fourth place on the day.
Ian Mjelde had his best tournament performance of the year as he took fourth place in the 125-pound division.
Mjelde pinned Karl Smith of Myrtle Point in 1:51 and beat Bradley McElhose of Emira 10-6 for his two wins of the day.
Earning multiple wins and scoring points for the Bruins were Mike Schabeck (130), Tyler Drafahl (145) and Denny Davis (171) while Erik Olsen (125), Brock Bristow (130) and Kyle Hover (171) each won one match.
Cottage Grove captured the team title with 273 points, followed by Glide in second with 200, Reedsport in third with 183.5 and Brookings-Harbor in fourth with 170.5.
Today (Jan. 9) the Bruins will be in action as they take on Siuslaw in a league dual and Myrtle Point in non-leauge action at Myrtle Point High School.