NORTH BEND — The day was supposed to be a little longer, but North Bend will take it all the same.
The Bulldogs beat North Eugene in a Midwestern League dual 43-34, but they didn’t get a chance to try their luck against Churchill, as the Lancers elected to forgo their trip to the South Coast due to extremely low numbers.
“We came out and started off really well,” North Bend coach Garrett Caldwell said. “Some guys stepped up and wrestled really hard. I felt like toward the end there were maybe a couple matches we could’ve won.”
North Bend’s upper weights buoyed the Bulldogs on Wednesday, giving North Bend 24 points on four pins.
Sam Cisneros got a pin in just over a minute at 285 pounds, Cutter Woodworth got a pin in just under a minute at 195, Anthony Derrick secured a second-round pin at 182 and Jesus Saldivar got a third-round pin at 170.
Cisneros is the lone senior in the group, wrestling the last time at the Dawg Pound.
“It’s just another day,” the forward-looking senior said. “I mean, go in with confidence, not overconfidence. Just carrying myself out there to the point where I’m going in with the mindset of winning.”
There were some other highlights, as well.
Ethan Ingram scored a major decision with a 14-4 win at 120 pounds. And in arguably the most entertaining match of the evening, freshman Sebastian Montenero scored a 13-11 win in overtime at 138 pounds.
With Montenero appearing to have the match won after a back-and-forth third round, North Eugene’s Jeffery Nguyen was awarded a point after the referee ruled that Montenero had Nguyen’s arm in a potentially dangerous position, forcing the final sudden victory period.
Montenero nearly got the win shortly into the overtime period, but the takedown sprawled out of bounds. It was no matter, as Montenero secured the final takedown anyway and won the three points for the team.
“They definitely came out with a new energy tonight,” Caldwell said. “And maybe it’s because we were doing the whole music and showy. I don’t know, but I was really proud of ‘em.”
With the district tournament looming, Wednesday’s dual was a good bounce back from the Bay City Duals where several of the Bulldogs were sick and, the team therefore, undermanned.
It was also a solid dual in which its roster with just one senior won six matches with four pins, in addition to a pair of forfeit wins.
“Guys are starting to listen,” Caldwell said. “Like, we’re saying stuff from the sideline you can tell they actually know what we mean now. Things are starting to click a little bit.
The district tournament starts on Feb. 8 and runs through the next day at Ashland High School.