Grant Union wrestling

Grant Union Prospector junior Drew Lusco won the 285-pound state championship title on Saturday at the District 4 Tournament in Halfway.

Grant Union Prospector wrestler Drew Lusco won the championship title at the OSAA 2A/1A Special District 4 Tournament, wrestling at 285, and Russell Hodge placed second, wrestling at 182.

The two juniors advance to the Friday-Saturday, Feb. 22-23, OSAA State Wrestling Championships at the Portland Veterans Coliseum.

Grant Union, led by head coach Andy Lusco, placed third with 15 wrestlers scoring 130 points at the district tournament hosted by Pine Eagle in Halfway.

Culver placed first with 23 wrestlers scoring 340 points, and Pine Eagle placed second with 13 wrestlers scoring 179.

“I felt like we achieved close to our maximum potential,” said coach Lusco. “Culver was very good as a team, and Pine Eagle had an awesome tournament — credit to them for taking both trophies.”

Drew Lusco (38-1) had byes in the quarter- and semifinals, then defeated Klint Norton (26-11) of Enterprise by a 7-0 decision to win the championship title. He scored 20 team points.

He said he hadn’t wrestled Norton this year.

“It was a tougher match than I expected,” Drew Lusco said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to go to state again.”

He won the state championship title in the 285 bracket last year, winning in triple overtime. As a freshman, he placed fourth, wrestling at 220.

Hodge (22-6), wrestling at 182, had a bye in the quarterfinal, then pinned Isaac Anores of Culver (8-11). In the first place match, he was defeated by Joseph Russo (29-12) of Culver by a 4-1 decision. Hodge then won by rule over Anores for second place. He earned 18 team points.

“Russo was a good match,” Hodge said. “It was the first time I wrestled him, and he was probably the hardest one.”

Hodge said he’s excited to compete at the state championships again.

“This year, I have a better opportunity, because I’m not injured,” he said. “Last year, I had a separated shoulder.”

Freshman Justin Hodge (36-14) placed third and scored 19 team points, wrestling at 145. Hodge wrestled in seven matches and was defeated by Logan Butcher of Imbler (32-7) by a 5-3 decision.

Damion Young (28-14), a senior, earned fourth place at 145 after he was defeated by teammate Justin Hodge by a 15-2 decision. Young earned 18 team points.

Sophomore Ethan Moore placed fourth wrestling at 106 for 14 points, and sophomore Quinten Hallgarth placed fourth wrestling at 170 for 10 points.

Additionally, freshman Sam McCracken, 120, placed fifth; sophomore Ben Henry, 126, placed sixth; sophomore Logan McCluskey, 152, placed sixth; and Ashley Henry, 120, placed sixth (placing at both the girls and boys district tournament).

Coach Lusco said he was pleased to see 10 wrestlers make it to the podium.

“We have a young team, and I am thrilled to see us move up to third as a team after finishing the first day in fifth and falling to sixth to start the second day,” coach Lusco said. “Obviously we’d have liked to take a couple more to state, but they are young and get to come back next season for another opportunity.”

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at angel@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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