The shorthanded Lakers fall short, but score when they can in their TRL matches.
The Lake Oswego wrestling team took its shots.
The Lakers — facing powerful West Linn and crosstown rival Lakeridge in Three Rivers League action at Lake Oswego High School on Wednesday, Jan. 18 — faced challenges throughout the night, including an incomplete lineup and talented opponents, but made sure to take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves.
In the end, the Lakers dropped a painful 78-6 decision to the Lions, then fought through a 54-24 loss to Lakeridge in the Battle of the Lake.
“That’s what’s got to happen in wrestling,” said Lake Oswego junior Dylan Keyser, who posted his team’s lone win against West Linn, then added a forfeit “W” against Lakeridge. “It may not be what you like, but you learn a lot from it and that’s how you get better. You learn from experience.”
“This year is a big, fresh team so we’ve got a lot of people that can really go far the next few years,” added LO senior Liam Dolan, who bounced back from a loss against West Linn to notch a pin against Lakeridge. “In four years, I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team with a full lineup so this is great.”
With its two losses, Lake Oswego fell to 0-4 in Three Rivers League competition, while West Linn won twice and improved to 3-0 in TRL action. Lakeridge added a 60-22 loss to Tigard on Thursday, Jan. 19, and moved to 1-3 in league. Next up, Lake Oswego wrestles in the Tigard Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 21, then returns to TRL action at Oregon City at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26.
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West Linn 78, Lake Oswego 6
The Lions, coming off a 78-6 win over Lakeridge, duplicated their success in the night’s second match, blowing out Lake Oswego by that same 78-6 margin, coupling five forfeits with eight pins to win going away.
The Lakers opened the match with a third-round pin by Keyser over Lion freshman Romeo Daly at 106, with Keyser leading 2-0 after one round, 5-0 after two periods (thanks to an escape and another takedown), then getting a reversal and a pin late in the third.
“I was looking forward to the match,” Keyser said. “I was really excited. I knew that guy was good.”
But West Linn took off from there, starting with forfeits at 113, 120, 126 and 132, then getting pins in eight of the final nine weights and a forfeit in the other.
West Linn senior Josh Abarca kicked off that stretch with a first-round pin of LO junior Carter Craig at 138, and at 145, Lion freshman Jake Walker rallied from a 10-4 deficit midway through the second round to notch a third-round pin of Laker freshman Roham Shariati.
Then, after another West Linn forfeit win at 152, the Lions closed the night with six consecutive pins. Lion sophomore Lucas Gray started that run with a first-round pin of LO freshman Matthew Wang at 160, and WL senior Josh Rubow made it two in a row when he broke open a 3-3 match with a third-round takedown and pin of Laker freshman Tripton Ciupryk at 170.
WL senior Donathan Lewis followed with a first-round stop of LO freshman Jacob Alar at 182, Lion senior Ben Winjum pinned Laker sophomore Lusiano Lopez with 24 seconds left in the first round at 195, West Linn senior Earl Ingle notched three quick takedowns before pinning Lake Oswego sophomore Jagar Shean at 220, and Lion senior Liam Armstrong closed out the match by stopping Dolan 1:08 into the second round at 285.
“It was a hard match against West Linn, but it felt good,” Dolan said. “I’ve wrestled him a few times over the years and we’ve both gotten a lot better since then. I think my first round was good, but second round, he’s really good at riding people on top. It’s hard to get up.”
Lakeridge 54, Lake Oswego 24
In the final match of the night, the Pacers came back strong in the Battle of the Lake against Lake Oswego.
Lakeridge benefited from four forfeits in its “W,” but also won five of the match’s six contested weights, five of those by fall.
With his team already leading 18-6 after forfeits at the first five weight classes (including a double forfeit at 113), Lakeridge junior Nolan Opferman got his team’s first win on the mat by taking down Shiriati 20 seconds into the first round at 138 and pinning him 18 seconds later.
Lakeridge sophomore Ethan Pinilla followed suit at 145, scoring a first-round takedown against Craig, then pinning him with 52 seconds left in the round.
Then, after a Lake Oswego forfeit at 152 extended the Pacer lead to 36-6, Lakeridge recorded three consecutive pins to put the match out of reach. Lakeridge sophomore Alex Sly opened that stretch by pinning Wang with 40 seconds left in the first quarter, Pacer junior Kyle McFarland stepped up next to stop Ciupryk 42 seconds into their match at 170, and Lakeridge freshman Caystin Harral capped that run when he pinned LO freshman Jacob Alar near the end of the first round at 182.
But the Lakers ended the night with three straight victories, getting forfeits at 195 and 220, then closing with a first-round pin from Dolan over Lakeridge junior Joey Massari at 285.
“That was nice,” Dolan said. “I was pretty mad after the first one. … I just had to go out there and put all my anger out there. Probably not the greatest technique, but I was just mad.”