It was a bittersweet day for the Carson High wrestling team at its Capitol City Duals Tournament.
Carson opened the day with easy wins over Bishop Manogue (57-28) and Wooster (63-18), both of which were treated as Sierra League matches. On the down side, Carson, was thumped, 48-20, by defending 3A state champion Lowry to finish the day 2-1.
Lowry won the tournament with a 3-0 record. There was a four-way tie for second between Carson, Reed, Reno and Douglas. Carson was awarded second place based on points scored in their three matches.
"We started out slow versus Manogue, and I thought we wrestled really well against Wooster," said assistant coach Paul Carter, who ran the team while head coach Tim McCarthy attended to administrative duties that come with running a tournament. "I really didn't know what to expect after Wednesday's scrimmage. I thought we'd probably be able to win (the league duals). We wrestled better than I thought we would.
"The biggest thing is that we need to get them in better shape. That's everybody, not just a few guys."
Jordan Luhrs (170) and Nicholas Lani (138) each went 5-0, while Nolan Shine posted a 4-1 mark. After each team in the field wrestled three duals, there were two rounds of matches drawn up by the tournament committee.
Javier Torres got Carson off to a fast start with a second-round pin of Manogue's Riley McCann. Manogue tied the match at 12 after picking up a forfeit at 220 (Levi Carter was ill) and a pin by Bailey Bright at 103. Sammy Mercado won a 7-2 decision over Cody Tilton at 112 to give Carson a 16-12 lead, and Kyle Sharp increased the Senators' lead to 22-12 with a second-round pin.
Following a double forfeit at 126 (Anthony Estrada missed weight) which made it 28-18, Manogue cut the deficit to 28-24 when Max McReynolds upset Cole McCarthy with a second-round pin. McCarthy was leading 8-6 at the time.
"I tried something different (move-wise) and got caught," McCarthy said.
Lani won by forfeit at 138 to make it 34-24, but BM's Wily McDonald won a major decision over freshman Brady O'Keefe, 12-1. McDonald, a state qualifier the last three years, led 10-0 before O'Keefe escaped for his only score.
"He (O'Keefe) wrestled hard," Carter said. "He's wrestling a senior and to not get pinned was pretty good."
Shine rolled to a quick 7-2 lead before racking up a first-round pin to make it 40-28. Carson closed the match with forfeit wins for Colby Brown, Luhrs and Brady Rivera.
The Wooster match was even easier. The undermanned Colts forfeited seven matches. Throw in the two matches that Carson forfeited, and there were only four matches that actually happened.
McCarthy racked up a pin in 60 seconds in his 132-pound match, and O'Keefe registered a 22-second fall two matches later which made it 36-6. Rivera won his match 6-0 at 182 and Torres picked up a third-round pin in the final bout of that dual.
That set the stage for the showdown with Lowry, and it was ugly from the outset.
Lowry won the first five matches, two by forfeit, to put Carson is a quick 21-0 hole. McCarthy righted the ship with a 47-second pin to make it 21-6.
McCarthy's win seemed to jump start the Senators. Lani followed with an impressive 16-7 win, O'Keefe followed with a 14-5 victory and Shine racked up a 7-3 win. After Brown was pinned, Luhrs racked up a second-round pin to make it 30-20.
Lowry won the last three matches, two by pins and one by forfeit.
Two of the Carson losses could have gone either way. Mercado was called for stalling twice and was on the short end of a 4-3 score. Sharp had a quick 2-0 lead, but fell behind 4-2 thanks to two escapes and a takedown. He tied the match at 4 with a takedown, but then gave up a reversal and lost, 6-4.
"We didn't have a full line-up (minus Carter and Estrada), and that gave them 12 points," Carter said. "From what I saw on Wednesday, we made a lot of improvement."