Zach Hammerschmith nearly jinxed himself.
The senior from McNary High School was making an appearance in the quarterfinals of the OSAA Class 6A state tournament at Memorial Coliseum for the second time in as many years, but he held himself back.
From not warming up well to taking a sloppy first shot that put him in a 2-0 deficit against Crater’s Micah Walker, Hammerschmith was not doing well.
Somehow, however, he scored a takedown in the last seconds of regulation to send the 182-pound match to overtime, then scored the match-winning takedown with four seconds left in overtime for the 5-3 decision to move on to today’s semifinals.
“I wrestled terribly that match,” Hammerschmith said. “I was having a mental block because last year I was in the same spot and the year before I was in the same spot. I just lose every single year in the same spot.
“I knew I could beat that guy, I could. I finally won a state quarterfinal match and now I’m going to be a state placer, that’s all I ever wanted.”
Hammerschmith advances to Saturday’s 9:45 a.m. semifinal round and will face No. 2 seeded Ty Cavender of Hillsboro.
Being upset in the quarterfinals a year ago weighed heavily on Hammerschmith coming into Friday’s match.
In overtime he wrestled smart to score the winning takedown.
“If you watch a glimpse of that last match with 15 seconds, he was about ready to do a high-risk move, “Luckily, he got his wits about him, got back on defense, went out of bounds and scores
“By making good decisions you did it. Hopefully that monkey’s off his back because placing’s great, but there’s more good to be had here.”
Only one other Central Valley Conference wrestler, South Salem senior Raul Villareal remains in the championship side of the bracket after the first day.
Villareal, the No. 3 seed at 132, won a 5-3 decision against Forest Grove’s Chad Smith in the first round then beat Roseburg’s Cody Pickle by an 8-1 decision in the quarterfinals.
In Saturday’s semifinals Villareal is scheduled to face Roseburg’s Cole Van Anrooy, the No. 2 seed.
Seeded CVC wrestlers who lost Friday were Sprague’s Trenton Martinez (first round at 113 pounds), Logan Holmquist (pinned in 5:01 in the 126 pound quarterfinals) and Yasyf Sorensen (pinned in 3:18 in the 145 pound quarters, and North Salem’s Edwin Montes, who lost in the first round.
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