Ellie Morton
Philomath sophomore Ellie Morton, seen here wrestling PHS freshman River Sandstrom at the Benton County Championships, reached the third-place match at Saturday’s district meet in Cottage Grove with three straight consolation-round wins. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath High School’s two-member girls wrestling team competed Saturday in the Special District 2 Tournament at Cottage Grove with sophomore Ellie Morton just missing a trip to state by coming up short in a third-place match.

Morton, who wrestles in the 100-pound weight division, opened the tournament with a tough draw in No. 2-seed Sadie Hall, a freshman out of North Medford. Hall got Morton on her back in the first period with a pin in 46 seconds.

The loss dropped Morton into the consolation round where she fought back to reach the third-place match. Morton first defeated Sutherlin freshman Emilja Singleton after executing a takedown 40 seconds into the match and then getting the pin at 46 seconds.

In the consolation quarterfinals, Morton was matched up against South Medford senior Lindsey Siagian. Morton and Siagian battled into the third period before this one was decided. Morton led 4-1 after the first with takedowns 14 seconds into the match and later with 12 seconds left in the period. The score remained that way until an eventful third. Morton picked up points on an early takedown and two-point nearfall and then got the pin at the 4:47 mark.

Morton advanced into the consolation semifinals and took a thrilling come-from-behind 10-9 decision over North Medford freshman Janessa Sitowski.

In the first period, Sitowski took control with a takedown and three-point nearfall for a 5-0 lead. Early in the second, Sitowski executed a reversal for a 7-0 advantage. But Morton regrouped, got on the board with a reversal and added two more points on a nearfall. Sitowski was penalized one point but led Morton 8-4 going into the final two minutes.

In the third, Morton got a takedown 26 seconds into the period and after a Sitowski escape, the North Medford wrestler had a 9-6 lead. Morton got a takedown with 35 seconds left and then took the lead with a two-point nearfall with 25 seconds left and that’s how it ended at 10-9.

Coming off that victory, Morton then had to face Hall for a second time with the winner qualifying for state. Hall lost to the third seed in the semifinals but beat Morton again with a pin in 3:09 while leading 11-0 on points at the time.

Morton ends the season with a 12-8 record, according to her statistics on TrackWrestling.com.

Junior Taylor Mussati also had to wrestle a No. 2-seeded opponent in the first round in the 105-pound weight division. Crater junior Sienna Caruso pinned Mussati in 1:34 and would go on to reach the championship bout and qualify for state.

Mussati went into the consolation bracket and wrestled a familiar opponent in Sweet Home junior Kelsie Rush. The two had just wrestled on Feb. 1 with Rush winning on a pin. That was again the outcome this time around with Rush getting an early takedown and winning 40 seconds in.

Mussati finishes the season with a 9-12 record.

Philomath’s two wrestlers scored 15 points for the tournament which put the Warriors at No. 25 in the team standings.

Special District 2 Tournament
Saturday, Feb. 5, at Cottage Grove HS