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Chad Lamer had hoped to see a better effort from his Crescent Valley High team and better result on the scoreboard Friday night when the Raiders’ coach brought in state power Crook County to open the wrestling season.

But the 53-20 defeat was a good measuring stick and a reminder of the ground that needs to be made up before the end of the season two-plus months down the road.

CV got pins from Gabe Whisenhunt and Legend Lamer among its four wins.

“I think our team has potential. We didn’t show it very well tonight,” said Legend Lamer, a senior chasing a fourth straight 5A individual state title this winter.

Crook County, of Prineville, won the 4A state title five of the past six years and is now a 5A school. The Cowboys’ lineup Friday included a 2017 state champion and five other state placers from last season, including five runners-up. The Raiders were fifth in the 5A division last year behind three individual champions. 

Crook County’s coach is Scio High alum and former Oregon State wrestler Jake Huffman.

“We try to wrestle the toughest people we can, and they’ve got a tough team,” Huffman said.

Legend Lamer took just 66 seconds to pin Brayden Duke at 145 pounds.

Whisenhunt, a talented freshman with high expectations, finished Tucker Bonner in 1:12 at 106 to open the dual meet.

CV sophomore Chance Lamer, a defending state champion, followed with a second-round technical fall against Tannon Joyner, a 2017 state-runner-up, at 113 to give the Raiders an early 11-0 lead.

Chance Lamer didn’t compete in cross-country this past fall like he did as a freshman, and he says that’s helped him on the mat.

“I feel so much better than I did compared to last year,” he said, noting that his feet feel good and that better movement has helped him improve.

He’s made up for lack of conditioning with extra running after practice.

CV lost four straight after 113, two by fall, as Crook County took a 19-11 lead. The Cowboys’ Hunter Mode, brother of Raiders assistant coach and former Oregon State wrestler Kurt Mode, pinned Reid Kerr in 53 seconds at 126.

Legend Lamer and James Rowley (152) got the home team back in front. Rowley, another highly touted freshman, took an 8-3 decision versus Ben Sather.

Rowley, a youth national champion, said competing against Legend Lamer, also a national champion, and Ryan Terwilliger (160) is a plus for all involved.

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“It just makes the room better,” he said. “We’re going hard every single match. In the rooms we’re always fighting for takedowns. There’s no easy takedowns.”

Legend Lamer, who will join his older brother Brawley to wrestle at Cal Poly next season, says he’s trying to prepare for competing in college. His practice partners also include Kurt Mode and former Navy wrestler Tim Harman, now an Oregon State engineering student.

“I always get a good workout in the wrestling room in practice,” Lamer said. “They make me better and I make them better.”

The Raiders had the lead after Rowley’s win, but the rest of the match went to the visitors. Crook County won the last six matches, five by pin, to win going away.

CV’s Kaimana Wa’a (285) had a 14-3 lead after one period against 2017 state placer Caleb Parrott but was pinned early in the second round.

“They wrestle better than that in the room,” coach Lamer said of his team, “so that’s kind of hard to watch when that happens.”

Both teams head to Cascade’s 26-team Perry Burlison on Saturday along with area teams Lebanon, Philomath, Sweet Home and West Albany.

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Sports Reporter