RENO - The Carson High wrestling team is 60 percent along toward achieving its goal of winning a fifth consecutive Sierra League wrestling title.
The Senators won 12 of 14 matches en route to a dominating 61-9 victory over Galena Wednesday night.
The win was Carson's 23rd consecutive Sierra League dual meet triumph, leaving CHS at 3-0 this year with battles against Damonte Ranch and Douglas remaining.
Eight of Carson's 12 wins came via pins, including one by 120-pound Brian Castillo, who was making his varsity debut in place of Kyle Sharp, who missed weight by just two ounces.
"Galena has improved," Carson coach Tim McCarthy said. "We wanted to make sure the team took them very seriously, and we did as the score reflects. I was pleased with our performance tonight.
"I figured Galena would be one of the toughest as far as keeping that streak going. I got a chance to see Damonte and Douglas at our tournament, and both teams have gotten better."
Winning the Sierra title is one of several goals that the Senators take into each season.
"That (winning league) is always No. 1," said sophomore Brady Rivera, who got a last-second escape to edge Galena's Blake Whitlock, 6-5, in the 182-pound match. "We want to win regionals again, and see if we can get state, too."
Sophomore Caden Lehman got the night off to a quick start by pinning Charles Chapple 20 seconds into the second round for a 6-0 lead. Sammy Mercado made it 12-0 with a first-round fall.
That set the stage for Castillo, who had just joined the team a month ago, and had never wrestled before that.
Castillo and Alex Grant had a war complete with blood which stopped the match twice. The match was tied a 3-all and 5-all before Castillo, a senior, recorded a pin.
"I was kind of scared at first, but it got better after I started to get cheered on," said Castillo. "I just wanted to win. I came out because I didn't want to go through high school without playing a sport."
Castillo is a novice, and it was easy to tell because instead of crouching when he was upright he was in a boxer's stance. The coaches were continually telling him to crouch more. Castillo said he'd always done boxing, hence the wrong position.
"If we'd had him a couple of years ago," McCarthy said. "For a first year wrestler he's balanced and intuitive. He did a good job."
Carson's other newcomer to the line-up, John Artz, dropped a 17-10 to John Gunzel at 126 pounds to make it 18-3. Artz trailed just 7-6 late in the second period, but gave up a reversal and 3-point near fall to fall behind 12-6.
Carson reeled off seven straight wins, three by fall, to up its lead to 49-9.
Cole McCarthy and Nicholas Lani dominated their opponents, winning by fall in 53 and 59 seconds, respectively to make it 30-3. Each had a 2-0 lead before the pins. Lani has posted six straight wins to start the season.
At 145, Brady O'Keefe trailed 4-3 at one point, but took control with a 2-point near fall and 3-point near fall for an 8-6 lead after two periods. He quickly extended the lead to 10-6 with a reversal in the third period en route to as 12-9 win and a 33-3 lead.
Nolan Shine fell behind 2-0 early in the first period, but rebounded with an escape and takedown with less than a minute left in the opening period. He never trailed again en route to an 8-2 win.
Colby Brown made it 40-3 with a dominating 14-5 win over Pablo Miller at 160, and Jordan Luhrs made it six straight wins to open the season with a pin of Landon Renwick in 52 seconds to extend Carson's lead to 46-3.
Rivera was involved in probably the most exciting match of the season. He went up 4-1 after a reversal, but Whitlock battled back to tie the match at 5. With time ticking furiously down, Rivera worked an escape to grab the win.
"He was riding me too high on the legs, and I just went out the back door," Rivera said. "There were plenty of (scoring) opportunities out there for both of us."
Javier Torres was pinned at 195, but Levi Carter and Jordan Woodward closed out the match with pins.