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By René Ferrán 

Two weekends ago, Burns topped La Pine at the Class 3A Special District 4 wrestling tournament by a 21-point margin. 

But Hawks coach Aaron Flack left Riverside High School that weekend feeling like his team left some points on the mat — points they’d be able to make up when it came time to defend their OSAA state title at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum.

Sure enough, the Hawks made up that margin Friday night, besting the Hilanders by 19.5 points to win a third consecutive championship

They had six wrestlers reach the finals — with sophomores Landyn Philpott (132 pounds) and Devon Kerr (138) winning a second title and classmate Tag Deluca (160) also winning his bracket — and nine make the medals podium

“To put six in the finals, that kind of set the tone that we were making a run at it,” Flack said. “A lot of these kids are our Mat Club kids. They’ve been wrestling for years together, and they’re building a culture of winning at an early age.” 

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One such wrestler is senior 120-pounder Mason Webb, who had to win twice in the consolation bracket at district just to advance.

He avenged his district semifinal loss to Burns’ Preston Hill to reach the final — a big swing in the team standings — before losing to Hilanders sophomore Canon Winn in the title match.

Flack also praised his team’s ability to weather the delay to the tournament schedule caused by a midweek snowstorm that forced the OSAA to condense the meet into one day

“We were kind of in limbo there,” he said. “We didn’t know what was going to happen — if it was going to get canceled. The kids were on a roller coaster those couple of days because we had them down to their weight, and then all of a sudden, it’s hey, let’s go eat, gain (several) pounds, then get back down to their weight again. 

“So, just keeping that mindset that this isn’t going to change our goals and what we want to accomplish, and we stepped up today. The kids fed off each other, and the momentum just went from one match to the next.” 

Burns had more individual champions, with sophomores Kale Cornell (126) and Easton Kemper (170) moving halfway to their goal of becoming four-timers and senior Hunter Kemper (152) winning a second title. 

Harrisburg, which had the most qualifiers (14), placed third for the second consecutive season, paced by two-time champion Luke Cheek, a sophomore 113-pounder, and freshman 145 champion Brody Buzzard. 

Banks got titles from Daevon Vereen at 182 and Mishael Mauck at 220 in finishing fourth and taking home its first trophy since 2004. 

Meet the champions: Class 4A | Class 3A | Class 2A/1A | Class 4A/3A/2A/1A Girls

Photos from 4A, 3A, 2A/1A, 4A/3A/2A/1A Girls state championship matches

Wrestlers to watch at state: Freshmen | Sophomores | Juniors | Seniors

Previewing the state meets: 6A | 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A/1A | 6A/5A Girls | 4A/3A/2A/1A Girls

Recapping the district meets: 6A | 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A/1A | Girls