RENO -Carson High's wrestling team extended its Sierra League winning streak to 24 straight Wednesday night, but it wasn't easy.
After six matches Carson trailed 28-3, but the Senators roared back to win seven of the final eight matches to emerge with a 39-34 win over Damonte Ranch.
Carson improved to 4-0 in Sierra League action with just Douglas left on the schedule. The win assured the Senators of at least a share of a fifth consecutive dual-meet title.
"The streak is intact thanks to Nolan Shine," Carson coach Tim McCarthy said. "Nick did a nice job defensively. He showed good balance. He's a gamer. I think he thrives on something like that.
"It was a tough win. They have a good team. We got on a nice run there at the end. With two guys quitting (Levi Carter and Jordan Woodward), we had to do some shuffling around with the line-up. The kids came up big."
The meet came down to the last two matches of the night - 152 and 160-pounds. Carson led 36-28 when Shine took the mat against Matthew Barrett, a pretty tough customer.
Shine worked a quick escape to start the match and then scored on a takedown right before the first period ended for a 3-0 lead.
Barrett worked an escape, but Shine withstood a move by Barrett and scored a takedown for a 5-1 lead in the second period. Shine opened the third period with another takedown for a 7-1 lead, and then held on for a 9-5 win. After referee Mike Hartley double-checked the score and raised Shine's hand, the Carson team had an impromptu celebration.
The win gave Carson a 39-28 lead and made Drew Smith's pin of Colby Brown at 160 pounds meaningless.
"I knew I was going to have a pretty tough match," Shine said. "I'd heard that he was a pretty good wrestler. I knew I had to come out tough and butt heads with him. I knew that I couldn't get pinned. I didn't know what the score was, though (when I started)."
Shine wrestled for the Bulldogs program when he was younger, but played basketball last season as a freshman. He switched to wrestling this year, and the Senators are a better team because of it.
"I really wanted to come back and wrestle this year to help get me in better shape for football," Shine said.
Carson's comeback started in dramatic fashion, as Sammy Mercado used a first-period takedown and a penalty point to grab a 3-2 win at 113 pounds, which cut the deficit to 28-6.
The Senators reeled off four straight pins. Brian Castillo started the surge with a pin with 21.2 seconds left to make it 28-12. Kyle Sharp pinned Chazz Sandoval with 48.2 left in the first round to make it 28-18. Co-captains Cole McCarthy and Nicholas Lani also recorded first-round pins. Lani's pin gave Carson a 30-28 lead.
Brady O'Keefe got a forfeit win at 145 to make it 36-28, setting the stage for Shine's heroics.
"I was pretty worried," Sharp admitted. "Sammy started it with his tough win, and then Brian got his pin. I knew I had to go out there and help. Pins help carry the momentum. You see guys ahead of you do it, and you want to do it."
Sharp was quick to heap praise on Castillo, who has only been wrestling for six weeks, and Shine.
"I'm proud of both of them," Sharp said. "Without them we couldn't have done this."
NOTES: The other Carson win came from 170-pounder Jordan Luhrs, who beat Connor Raglen 9-4 to start the match ... The defections of Carter and Woodward will certainly have an effect on Carson in the post-season. Woodward won two matches at last week's TOC and Carter won once.
GALENA 42, DAYTON 41
DAYTON - Another slow start spelled doom for the Dayton Dust Devils as they fell to 0-8 after a nonleague loss to Galena.
"It was a hard-fought game, especially in the second half," Dayton coach Cliff Serawop said. "I think everybody was gassed at the end of the game. We were unable to get the ball inside late like we wanted.
"Our first quarter was like it always is. I played a lot of girls who haven't played much this season. It was a trial game for us."
Simply put, after seven straight losses, Serawop was looking for the right combination of players
Galena led 13-6 after one and 26-14 at the half. A 21-point third quarter enabled the Dust Devils to close to 38-35.
Taylor Ingersoll and Maribel Ledezma scored 12 points apiece.
Dayton returns to action Jan. 2 at home against Truckee.