PENDLETON - The Pendleton wrestling team dueled their way to a 45-27 win over The Dalles-Wahtonka on the strength of four pins Thursday.
"We wrestled (The Dalles) three weeks ago and we did a lot better tonight for the most part I thought," Buckaroos coach Fred Phillips said.
"I think we wrestled kind of even in the matches wrestled," Eagle Indians coach Kevin Kramer said. "(Pendleton) has some really strong wrestlers and we competed well. I thought it was a good outing for us."
The Bucks' 215-pounder Miles Moore and 112-pounder Nick Zubiria got them off to a good start in the night's first two matches, pinning The Dalles' Jordan Loftin in 1:49 and Alex Devlaeminck in 2:45, respectively.
The Bucks had two wrestlers competing in a heavier weight class for the next two matches as 119-pounder Tyler Thorne took on The Dalles' Quin Simer in the 125-pound match while 125-pounder Michael Savage moved up to take on The Dalles' 130-pounder Spud Simer.
The Dalles had no 119-pounders and Pendleton had no 130-pounders.
"(Thorne and Savage) weighed in at the lower weights and wrestled up a weight class to try and assure we got the victory in the duel," Phillips said. "I talked to the kids, you know like Tyler Thorne 'You can have a forfeit or you could have a match. It'd be best for the team if you went out and wrestled so we don't have to forfeit 130 pounds.'"
Not only were they outweighed but they were going against two of the Eagle Indians' better wrestlers. Quin and Spud placed 4th and 3rd in the Intermountain Conference in 2006, respectively.
The difference showed as both were pinned early in their matches.
"In hindsight we got pinned; maybe we would have won if we'd kept the kids down but we need to get the kids matches right now," Phillips said.
However, the Bucks' Tyler Brown got things going for them again in one of the night's more exciting bouts when he pinned The Dalles' Peter Chung in the third period of the 135-pound match.
"I knew we needed a pin to make sure we stayed in the lead so I just outwrestled him I guess," Brown said. "I used a lot of arm bars and some stacks."
Chung started out fast with a quick takedown but Brown quickly scored a reversal only to have Chung pull a reversal of his own seconds later as the match reached the 1:00 mark.
Brown countered with a stack but Chung was able to work his way back to a kneeling position to avoid the pin and wait out the first period.
With Brown starting in the down position in the second period the two wrestled their way to a stalemate in the opening seconds.
On the restart, Chung wrapped Brown up in a cradle but Brown once again worked his way free and scored on a reversal, sending Chung to the mat.
Just before he was able to use an arm bar to force Chung to his back the clock ran out, sending the already tired wrestlers into a third round.
Starting in the neutral position, Brown scored the rounds first takedown but Chung once again battled free for the reversal after which the two ended up out of bounds.
With Brown in the down position on the restart, Chung wasted no time in getting him to the mat for takedown but Brown scored another reversal and applied an arm bar while sinking a leg into his mid-section forcing Chung to his back for the pin with only 17 seconds left in the match.
"(Brown) is one of our better performers this year," Phillips said. "I couldn't tell you what his record is right now but it's well above .500 and he's a kid that I count on to get a win most of the time."
In another lively match the Bucks' Drew Berry scored a fall on The Dalles' Stephen Lovewell in the 152-pound match.
"It was all right," Berry said of the win. "I didn't feel like I wrestled as hard as I probably could have."
Berry looked to have Lovewell pinned twice in the first round using an arm bar both times but he was unable to keep him on his back as Lovewell escaped the round.
"I didn't have a tight enough hold on him," Berry said. "(Chung) was pretty good, he got out of (my hold) because he knew I was holding it wrong."
But Berry finally got him with 1:11 left in the second using another arm bar.
"I just figured once I got him down and I got him back in that move I'd have it right again," Berry said. "He wasn't defending (the arm bar) too well so I just kept going back to it."
The Dalles won the final three matches by points but it wasn't enough to overcome the pins giving the Bucks the overall win.