BULLDOG GRAPPLERS TOP BUCKS

Brent Parks of Hermiston, left, locks in on his opponent, Kenny Melton of Pendleton, during their 135-pound contest. Top-ranked Parks defeated second-ranked Melton, 5-1.

By David Bashore

Herald sports reporter

A note to any 160-pound wrestlers left on Hermiston's schedule: Don't make Kevin Verwey mad.

Although Micah Olivera's off-mat slam of Verwey appeared unintentional, it served as the fire Verwey utilized to put his match with Olivera out of reach.

Verwey's 16-4 romp punctuated the Bulldogs' second blowout of Pendleton in less than a week, this one coming by a 49-16 count.

"It's great to see kids come into this rivalry match and get after it," Hermiston head coach Curt Berger said. "To win a match in the conference is a big deal; to win one on the road is a bigger deal. To win one here, well, it's huge."

Epitomizing the effort put out was heavyweight Josh Barraza, who fell victim to a late reversal and near-fall to lose his match against Guy Hamm. Barraza spent the final 40 seconds on his back but amazingly averted the pin.

130-pounder Brent Parks (25-1, #1 130 lb.) also delivered a strong performance in wrestling up a class, defeating Kenny Melton (14-4, #2) on points in the featured match.

The Bulldogs started in a strong position, with Darrin White (12-4, #6 171 lb.) leading off. White won his hotly-contested match on decision, but it was Cody Britt who scored the winning points for Hermiston, pinning Pendleton's Tyler Thorne.

Hermiston looks to continue its success on Tuesday as the Bulldogs play host to The Dalles-Wahtonka/Dufur co-op team at 7 p.m.

Results:

103 lb. - Casey Davis (Pend.) dec. Ben Jorgensen, 5-1

112 lb. - Chase Winters (Herm.) pins Nick Zuberia, 3:14

119 lb. - Cody Britt (Herm.) pins Tyler Thorne, 3:18

125 lb. - Kyle Saucillo (Herm.) pins Sam Stewart, 4:34

130 lb. - Drew Guthmiller (Pend.) maj. dec. A.J. Almaguer, 11-3

135 lb. - Brent Parks (Herm.) dec. Kenny Melton, 5-1

140 lb. - Marty Britt (Herm.) pins Jared Long, 1:40

145 lb. - Ryan Barton (Herm.) pins J.J. Rosenberg, 1:37

152 lb. - Randy Larson (Herm.) pins Drew Berry, 5:40

160 lb. - Kevin Verwey (Herm.) maj. dec. Micah Olivera, 16-4

171 lb. - Darrin White (Herm.) dec. Eric Palmer, 8-5

189 lb. - Troy Kessell (Herm.) dec. Justin Williams, 5-1

215 lb. Joe Williams (Pend.) pins Garrett Later, 1:43

275 lb. - Guy Hamm (Pend.) dec. Josh Barraza, 7-4

Hermiston 63, HRV 6

Hermiston was nearly perfect Tuesday evening in posting a resounding 63-6 dual victory over Hood River Valley, a lesser opponent sandwiched between the Oregon Wrestling Classic and the rivalry match against the Buckaroos.

The 189 lb. weight-class was drawn to start, which enabled the Bulldogs to start with their second-highest rated wrestler, Troy Kessell (16-2, #4 189 lb.), who pinned Lucas Mondragon of Hood River Valley at the 1:05 mark of the second period. "I went out there and was a little rough with them, and some wrestlers don't like that," Kessell said. "It's important to not wrestle to the level of your opponents, and I tried to set the tone for the team."

All told, Hermiston registered five pins and 12 wins overall out of a possible 14 matches in the dual. Perhaps more astonishing is Berger's assertion that the Bulldogs came out flat against the Eagles.

"Maybe we weren't as excited to wrestle Hood River as we were to wrestle Roseburg or Crater," Berger said. "But there's a couple of places that we could start at to make us look really good, and Troy set the tone."

The showcase match of the night was at the 135 lb. weight-class, two top-10 130 lb. wrestlers tangled. Top-ranked Brent Parks topped Leo Gonzalez (13-1, #8) by a major decision, 17-3.

Hermiston-HRV Results:

103 lb. - Gage Morris (HRV) dec. Ben Jorgensen, 7-2

112 lb. - Jose Ramirez (HRV) dec. Chase Winters, 6-2

119 lb. - Cody Britt (Herm.) wins by forfeit

125 lb. - Kyle Saucillo (Herm.) pins Aaron Mallon, 4:34

130 lb. - A.J. Almaguer (Herm.) wins by forfeit

135 lb. - Brent Parks (Herm.) maj. dec. Leo Gonzalez, 17-3

140 lb. - Ethan Parks (Herm.) maj. dec. Ben Eddy, 14-1

145 lb. - Ryan Barton (Herm.) pins Bill Hunter, 3:11

152 lb. - Randy Larson (Herm.) maj. dec. Justin Tolentino, 18-4

160 lb. - Kevin Verwey (Herm.) dec. Erick Lujano, 8-3

171 lb. - Darrin White (Herm.) wins by forfeit

189 lb. - Troy Kessell (Herm.) pins Lucas Mondragon, 2:55

215 lb. Garrett Later (Herm.) pins Alex Titus, 2:36

275 lb. - Josh Barraza (Herm.) pins Hector Gonzalez, 1:26

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