After the first day of wrestling at the OSAA State Wrestling Championships, only two members of the Brookings-Harbor High School wrestling team remain in the tournament.
Junior Ray Mazyck and senior Willie Bennett are the last two Bruin representatives vying for a spot on the podium.
The other five Bruins lost both of their matches Thursday and were eliminated from the tournament. For all the photos from the first day of the state tournament, visit www.hatchphotosports.com.
Junior Ray Mazyck, the No. 6 seed at 112 pounds, needed a take down and nearfall in the third period to secure a come-from-behind victory over Nick Ough of Elmira in the first round of the championship bracket.
Mazyck started out the match as the aggressor, powering Ough down to the mat with a double leg takedown.
But Ough was able to flip Mazyck for the reversal and then turned him onto his back for a 5-2 lead after the first period.
In the second period, Mazyck started on the bottom, but couldn't manage to get loose as Ough held him to the mat for the entire second period.
Mazyck began the final period on top, but let Ough up so he could take him down again.
Trailing 6-2, Mazyck landed a deep double leg takedown that he was able to use to dump Ough to the mat.
Mazyck then quickly hooked a head and arm and put Ough on his back.
Although he wasn't able to pin him, Mazyck earned the three nearfall points and held Ough down for the remainder of the period to pull out the 7-6 victory.
Friday morning, Mazyck will be in for a big test as he faces Zach Clark of Cascade, the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
Freshman Dustin Paradis' first state tournament experience came to end Thursday night as he lost his first consolation match and went two and out for the tournament.
Paradis was pinned by Nick Head of Sisters in 4:04 of their consolation pigtail bout.
At the start of the second period, Paradis escaped and pulled with two points, 4-2, of Head.
But Paradis could not control the strength and experience of the Sisters' wrestler as Head took him down and pinned him midway through the final period.
In his first match of the tournament, Paradis came close to upsetting No. 2 seed Brock Crocker of Sweet Home.
Paradis used an excellent sprawl to defend numerous takedown attempts by Crocker in the opening period as the first round ended without a score.
In the second period, Paradis started on top, but Crocker was able to squirm away to take a 1-0 lead.
The two continued to jockey for position on their feet and Crocker registered the first takedown of the match with just 15 seconds left in the period.
But Paradis continued to fight, almost reversing Crocker and escaping at the buzzer, cutting the lead to 3-1 by the end of the period.
Paradis started the final period on the bottom and Crocker was able to take advantage. Paradis nearly rolled out from under Crocker for a reversal, but Crocker was able to hold on and pinned Paradis in 4:56.
In a do-or-die situation for senior Willie Bennett, the four-time state qualifier rose to the occasion and pulled out a 4-2 decision victory over Phillip Henneman of Elmira to stay alive in the 140-pound weight class.
Trailing 0-1 midway through the second period, Bennett used an excellent sprawl and good takedown defense to stuff Henneman's shot and then used his quickness to circle around Henneman and record the takedown for the 2-1 lead.
Bennett started the third period on the bottom and, with less than a minute remaining in the match, pulled a beautiful switch on Henneman for the reversal and the 4-1 advantage. Henneman escaped in the waning moments of the match, but Bennett held on for the two-point victory.
Although Bennett was the more aggressive wrestler in his first round bout with Steven Westerlund of Yamhill-Carlton, it was Westerlund who came out on top with a 9-4 victory.
Bennett took multiple quality shots throughout the match, but was unable to finish any of them.
Westerlund took advantage of those shots and stepped behind Bennett to record the takedown on four different occasions.
The only points that Bennett was able to score was on three escapes to go along with one point received for a stalling call on Westerlund.
Bennett's first match on Friday will be against the loser of the match between John Garcia of Tillamook and Cody Anders of Estacada.
In his second state tournament appearance, senior Tyler Drafahl didn't make it past the first day of wrestling as he was pinned in 2:58 by Ryder Willmarth of LaGrande in his consolation match.
After a first period where neither wrestler scored, Drafahl was close to surviving a second round spent entirely on the bottom.
But with just two seconds left in the period, Willmarth stuck Drafahl's shoulders to the mat and kept the match from going to a third period.
Drafahl got shut out in his first match of the state tournament in a 7-0 decision loss to Tommy Wyatt of Yamhill-Carlton.
Drafahl was unable to beat Wyatt on his feet, and once Drafahl was on the mat, Wyatt did a good job of keeping him there and not letting him scramble for the escape.
In the consolation pigtails, Drafahl will take on Ryder Willmarth of La Grande.
An early 3-1 lead quickly dwindled away for senior Denny Davis as he lost an 11-4 decision to Brett Carder of Phoenix that knocked him out of the state tournament.
Davis used an ankle pick to take Carder to the mat early in the first period.
With a 2-1 lead at the start of the second, Davis exploded from the bottom for an escape to take a two-point lead.
But midway through the second period, Davis went for a switch but ended up on his back as Carder racked up three back points.
From that point on, Carder controlled the match and lenghthened his lead for the 11-4 victory.
In his first round match, Davis got caught in a front headlock that turned into a cradle as J.R. Gates of Cascade pinned Davis in 1:02.
The two wrestlers tied up while on their feet and Gates secured the head and one arm of Davis.
As Gates turned Davis to drop him to the mat, he hooked one of Davis' legs and had him in a cradle by the time they hit the mat.
The first tournament appearance for senior Cody Brooks was a short one as he exited the state tournament with an 8-0 loss to Chance Banta of Astoria.
After a scoreless first period, Brooks started the second period on top but quickly got reversed by Banta.
For the remainder of the second period and the entire third period, Banta neutralized Brooks on the mat and held him down, turning him for three nearfall points on two different occasions.
In his first bout of the tournament, Brooks had a difficult match as he was pinned in 3:53 by Heath Honeycutt of Philomath.
At the start of the second period, Brooks only trailed 2-0 and nearly reversed Honeycutt early in the round, but Honeycutt was able to hold on and keep Brooks on the mat.
Brooks escaped from one pinning combination, but could not get free of the second one as Honeycutt pinned him late in the second round.
A double leg takedown in the first period gave junior Mike Althof a quick 2-0 edge, but he could not sustain that lead as Alex Machado won the second and third periods to take an 8-6 decision victory.
Althof used an escape at the beginning of the second period to take a 3-1 lead, but Machado took control of the match and built a 5-3 lead by the end of the second period.
After butting the lead to four, 8-4, with an escape in the third period, Althof took Machado to the mat, but the takedown came too late as the referee blew the whistle and Althof fell by two points.
Althof received a very tough draw in his opening match and lost to No. 2 seed Mike Furrer of Junction City in a 15-2 majority decision.
In the first round, Althof scored his only points of the bout with a reversal to cut the lead to 5-2.
Although Althof did an excellent job of squirming and avoiding the pin, he was unable to get out from under Furrer.