Moller places 2nd to lead Mac-Hi at state

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PORTLAND — Headlined by Brayden Moller’s second-place finish at 170 pounds, Mac-Hi’s wrestling team placed three individuals at the 4A state tournament here Friday and Saturday at the Memorial Coliseum.

The Pioneers finished in ninth place as a team with 53 points. Crook County won the meet with an overwhelming 290 team points, almost 100 points better than second-place finisher Henley, which scored 196.

Moller, the No. 3 seed, lost a heartbreaker 3-2 in the finals to first seeded Tyler Howe from Cascade.

Moller gave up a two-point takedown in the first round and both wrestlers got an escape in the second round.

Howe led 3-1 going into the final round and Moller got another one-point escape to leave the final score, 3-2.

“Brayden (Moller) has been dominating all the way through regionals and most of state,” Mac-Hi coach Beau Chester said. “We knew his final match against the defending state champion, (Tyler) Howe, would be tough. Moller wrestled well and gave it all he had.”

Moller made his way to the final round by winning three straight matches, one by pin in the first round. He won a 6-3 decision over William Prince of Tillamook in the quarterfinals and 12-3 over the No. 2 seed, Chase Anderson in the semifinals.

Mac-Hi freshman Cole Skramstad took fourth at 120 after finishing with a 4-2 record for the tournament.

“I can’t say enough about Skramstad,” Chester said. “He had an unbelievable two days of wrestling and I think the 4A classification has some of toughest competition around. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Skramstad opened the tournament with a dominating 11-0 decision over Chase Fernlund of Henley. He continued on with a 11-9 overtime decision over Josh Connor of Newport.

Next Skramstad fell to the No. 2 seed Donny Wenlund (Estacada) 4-0 in the quarterfinals. He edged out Jordan Taylor (Stayton) 4-3 in the consolation semifinals before losing to Gladstone senior Wyatt Finch in the consolation finals, 14-5.

Mac-Hi’s Tavis Hodgen, a senior, took fifth at 138 after also posting a 4-2 record for the tournament.

“Tavis (Hodgen) is now a three-time qualifier for state,” Chester said. “Last year he was one match away from placing and he finished fifth this year. I was happy for him.”

Hodgen lost in the first round to Mazama’s Rowdy Wells, 4-2, before battling back in the consolation bracket. He pinned his next opponent (Andres Ibarra, Cottage Grove) and won two 3-1 decisions in a row.

Hodgen then lost in consolation quarterfinals to Ryder Shinkle of Crook County, 8-3. He won in the fifth-sixth place match in a rematch with Wells, 4-3.

Mac-Hi sophomore Jeffrey Jones (145), freshman Alyx Shaw (126) and junior Chandler Fortune (152) each picked up wins but did not place at state.

Freshman Vince Roff (152), senior Jesus Saldana (160) and junior Blake Yensen (145) also attended but weren’t able to pick up a win.

“Looking back on the year, all of our four seniors made it to the state championship, and just getting some our freshman there was good,” Chester said.

Five of Mac-Hi’s state qualifiers will return in 2013-14.

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