Pendleton moved five wrestlers into the finals Friday at the 5A Intermountain Conference district tournament at Pendleton High School, but coach Fred Phillips still was not happy.
“I’m pleased with the young guys who have come through the back door, but I am displeased with some of the seniors who didn’t get the job done,” Phillips said. “It was effort. We lost close matches we shouldn’t have. It was disappointing.”
The tournament continues Saturday, with finals scheduled for noon. The top four in each weight class will advance to the state tournament Feb. 22-23 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Crook County leads the team race by a wide margin with 331 points, while Pendleton is second with 209, and Redmond (197) third.
“We have 20 kids who have a shot to go to state,” Phillips said. “I’m just bitter we lost some close ones to get into the finals.”
Senior Alex Rendon secured his spot in the 126-pound finals against Crook County’s Hunter Mode after pinning Austin Anderson of Redmond in 1 minute, 53 seconds.
Mode (36-3) is ranked No. 1 in the state, while Rendon (48-3) is No. 2. Both will advance to state.
At 138 pounds, senior Chris Chambers (39-13) reached the finals for the Bucks, posting a 17-3 major decision over Daniel Jarmillo of Ridgeview. He will wrestle Junior Downing of Redmond in the title bout.
Blake Davis (27-17), who on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to play football at Western Oregon University, earned a 2-1 decision over Ethyne Reid of Ridgeview to advance. He will meet Brayden Duke of Crook County in the 145-pound championship match.
Isaac Urbina (41-9) reached the 160-pound finals after pinning Steven Preston of The Dalles in the second round. He will take on Clayton Elrod of Redmond for the title.
Aiden Henderson (32-16) rounds out the group, advancing with a 14-3 major decision over Logan Shenk of Ridgeview at 195 pounds. He will wrestle JR Scott of The Dalles in the finals.
The Bucks also have 15 wrestlers still alive on the consolation side of the bracket — Collin Primus (106), Kellen Hanson (113), Gabe Browning (113), Caleb Tremper (120), Shawn Yeager (152), Josh Whaley (152), Kyle Liscom (160), Aiden Patterson (170), Cody Sumerlin (170), Kirk Liscom (182), Ian Bannister (182), Jordan DeGeer (220), Jacob Griffin (220), Will Glover (285) and Travis McGee (285).