By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
Seven Bruin wrestlers made it to the finals of the 25th annual Battle at the Border wrestling tournament in Crescent City Saturday as the Brookings-Harbor High School wrestling team took second place overall at the 11-team tournament.
Illinois Valley won the tournament with 100 points and six individual champions, while the Bruins were a close second with 90 points, followed by North Medford in third with 84.
"It was a good race," Coach Dave Freeman said. "The kids were excited about it and that's what's important."
Even though the Bruins had seven grapplers reach the finals, only senior Mike Schabeck at, 135 pounds, was able to take home a championship.
"We have to work on finishing strong in the finals," Freeman said. "We just have to keep moving forward."
Schabeck pinned all four of his opponents in the first or second period in a dominating performance in his tournament win.
In the finals, Schabeck, the top seed in his bracket, pinned Cody Wedman of North Medford in 1:20.
To get to the finals, Schabeck pinned Jon Joiner of Eureka in 3:18, Shane Bilandziga of South Fork in 1:26 and Teng Lor of Arcata in 3:42.
At 119 pounds, junior Ray Mazyck was pinned by Larry Ragsdale of Illinois Valley in 3:20 of the finals to take second place overall.
Mazyck made quick work of his opponents on the way to the finals, pinning Alanna Gallaty of Ferndale in 15 seconds and beating Chris Chadwell of Arcata by technical fall (17-0).
In the 140-pound weight class, freshman Dustin Paradis got two byes into the semifinals, where he pinned Michael Bideaux in 54 seconds.
But Paradis was on the other end of a quick pin in the finals as he was pinned by Jesse Hornbrook of North Medford in 56 seconds to take second place.
The Bruins also had all of their upper-weight wrestlers in the finals, but lost all those matches to take second place in the 171-, 189-, 215- and 175-pound weight classes.
Senior Denny Davis lost to Jacob Ellis of Illinois Valley in a 6-2 decision of the 171-pound finals.
Davis used a reversal in the first period to tie the match at 2-2, but Ellis used an escape and three nearfall points in the final two periods to take home the win.
In his first round match, Davis pinned Billy Bartley of Arcata in 4:26, then used a 9-0 decision over Donald Cain of McKinleyville to reach the semis, where he then received a forfeit over an injured Trevor Floyd of Arcata to reach the finals.
At 189 pounds, senior Joel Mitts lost a 13-3 major decision to Lance Tausaga of Illinois Valley in the finals.
Mitts pinned all three of his opponents in his opening matches to reach the championship match. Mitts pinned Jeremy Swisher of North Medford in 28 seconds, Devon Brooks of Fortuna in 2:55 and Carlos Villa of Bandon in 3:30 before falling to Tausaga.
In the 215-pound weight class, junior Mike Althof lost an 11-4 decision to Tim Pope of Illinois Valley.
To reach the finals, Althof pinned Eric Snipes of Eureka in 51 second, Paul Merriam of Bandon in 2:59 and Kit Peterson of Arcata in 57 seconds.
Freshman Favian Fernandez made a splash in the heavyweight division as he pinned his first three opponents in the first round to make it to the finals, where he was pinned by Robert Ross of North Medford in 1:06.
Fernandez pinned Matthew Buckman of Eureka in 1:37, Stephan Vandiau of Arcata in 1:11 and Scott Stewart of Eureka in 53 seconds.
Senior Willie Bennett took third place in the 145-pound weight class, beating Joey Kravitz of Del Norte in a 10-5 decision.
With the score tied 3-3 after two periods, Bennett took over in the third, using a pair of escapes, a takedown and a nearfall to take a commanding lead and the win from Kravitz.
After losing his first round match to Kendall Cobine of Eureka, junior Evan Peterson came back with a vengeance to win his next four matches in the 160-pound weight class, including a 13-1 major decision over Ben Oliver of Del Norte for third place.
In the consolation semifinals, Peterson had a rematch with Cobine and, after trailing 8-2 in third period, slammed Cobine to the mat and pinned him with only 32 seconds left for a dramatic comeback victory.
Teammates and fellow seniors Cody Miller and Tyler Drafahl tied for third place in the 152-pound division because Drafahl had already wrestled the maximum of five matches for the tournament.
Miller beat Eugene Keith of Illinois Valley in a 6-1 decision while Drafahl used a 15-1 major decision over Matt Valdez of Del Norte to reach the consolation finals.
Freshman Brock Bristow, normally a 125-pound wrestler, moved up to the 130-pound division where he took fourth place after falling to Levi Buck of Ferndale in a 19-14 decision.
Also placing for the Bruins was Cody Brooks, who tied for fifth place in the 189-pound division.
Other wrestlers who won matches and earned points for the Bruins were Erik Olsen (125 pounds), Josh Owens (145), Kyle Hover (171) and Jesse Ashley (189).
On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Bruins will be wrestling in a dual meet tournament at Eagle Point High School.