When JR Scott has that look in his eyes, opposing wrestlers take notice.
Scott ran his season record to 14-1 after pulling off four consecutive wins, three of the four in the first minute of action, to pick up first-place honors at the Rollin Schimmel Memorial Tournament ending Saturday in Pendleton.
Out of four tournaments, Scott placed sixth in La Grande and Redmond, and added a title run earlier this season in Oregon City.
Of his 10 pins, nine have come in the first round, and he also has three decisions and a major decision for his No. 9 ranking in the 182-pound division.
“When he is well-rested and confident he has been unstoppable,” TD head coach Paul Beasley said of Scott. “Given that he has only wrestled one year at the high school level, his improvement is remarkable.”
Ready to hit the mats, Scott breezed through his first two bouts with first-round pins against Grant Smotherman (Liberty) at 42 seconds, and Juan Salgado (Riverside) just 32 seconds in, to move into the semifinals.
Pendleton’s Kirk Liscom presented one of the biggest challenges of the tournament for Scott, but the Riverhawk standout slammed down Liscom for a second-round pin at the 3:45 mark for a finals berth.
Facing Irrigon’s Cristian Michaels, Scott only needed 48 seconds to send his message, scoring a pinfall triumph.
Added to Scott’s efforts, Andrew Richman racked up four wins to secure fifth place at 138 pounds, and Mauricio Carrera locked up a pair of wins to take sixth place as the Riverhawks totaled 14 wins, 12 by pin, for 67 points and 11th place in the team standings.
In four tournaments, The Dalles wrestlers have won 56 matches, 44 by pin.
“We have improved our team score at every tournament and our number of pins and major decisions have increased at each meet,” Beasley said. “This is a direct result of the confidence and toughness we are gaining with each tournament.”
Richman (138 pounds) entered action with two wins on the year and doubled that in Pendleton, going 4-1, three by pinfall.
In his first match, Richman won by fall over Anthony Giannetti (Liberty) at the 1:07 mark, but then lost his quarterfinal bout to Alex Rendon (Pendleton) by first-round pin.
From the consolation side, Richman dispatched Isaac Lee (Liberty) at the 3:27 mark of the second round, and he waited until the third round to finally drop Riverside’s Jacob Harris (5:26).
With a chance to earn a tournament placing, Richman battled Zack Jacoby (Ridgeview) for three rounds, before picking up a 12-5 decision.
Scott and Richman set TD’s winning trend and Carrera followed suit with two wins to grab sixth place in the 182-pound class.
Carrera was pinned in his first match at 1:55 against Alejandro Saldana (Mac-Hi) and after a consolation bye, he secured a 10-6 decision victory opposite Juan Salgado (Riverside).
In his consolation semifinal tussle with Eathen Hatfield (Baker), Carrera managed a first-round pin at 43 seconds.
If Carrera was going to get fifth place, he needed to do so versus Saldana in a revenge match, but the Mac-Hi product scored a 14-7 decision.
Starting action at 160 pounds, Ophath Silaphath hit the ground running for a pin win over Zachariah Koekemoer (Irrigon) at the 1:01 mark.
Silaphath lost his quarterfinal match on a pin against Cole Jackson (Ridgeview HS), so the goal was to wrestle well and burn through the consolation side of the bracket for a top-6 placing.
Locking up against William Gibson (Liberty), Silaphath got a second-round pin in 3:04 and moved into the consolation semifinals against Mac-Hi’s Kyler Kelly.
Kelly wound up winning by fall over Silaphath with 17 seconds left in the first round (Fall 1:43).
Dakota Schofield had his first foray on the mat in Pendleton, and started with a pinfall win versus Irrigon’s Luis Cardenas (2:43) for a quarterfinal bid.
The Riverhawk newcomer had his tournament run cut short in his next two matches, a pin loss to Riverside’s Andrew Barker (1:45) and Danny Cornejo, of Ridgeview (2:36).
Aaron Pyles (145 pounds) went 1-2 in three matches, the lone victory coming at the 1:35 mark of the consolation rounds versus Kailee Doak (Liberty).
He was pinned by Elijah Banister (Baker) and Jake Eskew (Baker), both in the opening round.
Also at 145 pounds, Anna Gailbrath lost to Blake Davis (Pendleton) and Zachary MacPherson (Mac-Hi), both on first-round pins.
Austin Greene was defeated twice in two matches, the first coming at 4:59 of the third round against Josh Whaley (Pendleton), and the second one was against Gannon Jeter (Ridgeview HS) at 1:08.
Levi Krueger (182) wound up losing both his bouts by pinfall to Stone Arnce (Ridgeview HS) and Hatfield (Baker), with the tournament-ending consolation loss versus Hatfield coming in the second round (3:44).
Pendleton claimed a team title with 247 points, besting Baker City (184.5), Liberty (181), Mac-Hi (139) and Ridgeview (123).
The Riverhawks eye even more top finishes ahead of this weekend’s two-day Don York Invitational starting at 4 p.m. Friday at Cleveland High School in Portland.
“We continue to improve in each practice and each match, which is the ultimate goal for our program,” Beasley said. “We knew we had to be physically stronger to get both physically and mentally tougher, and so far, they are meeting those expectations.”