RENO - Kyle Sharp came to the 2013 NIAA State Wrestling Championships hoping to improve on his 2012 fourth-place effort.
Sharp came back from being pinned in the championship semifinals to beat John Vigil and Robert Gigallon, both of Arbor View, to finish third in the 120-pound weight class Saturday afternoon at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Sharp was joined on the medal stand by sophomore Brady Rivera, who took fourth at 182 pounds.
"I accomplished what I came to do," Sharp said. "I definitely wrestled better today than I did the first day."
The news wasn't as good for the rest of the Carson squad. Sammy Mercado (113), Cole McCarthy (132), Jordan Luhrs (170) and Nick Lani (138), who all fell short in their efforts to medal.
The day got off to a rocky start for Sharp. He faced Green Valley's Josh Temple in the championship semis and was pinned in 65 seconds after falling behind 5-0 in the first minute of the match.
"I was little disappointed," Sharp said. "I didn't come out as strong as I wanted to. I beat their 113-pounder before. If you beat somebody from that team, you're doing pretty good."
Sharp followed that up with a 41-second pin of Arbor View's Vigil, and then beat Gigallon, 11-9, after almost blowing a 10-1 lead.
Sharp built a 10-1 lead, but Gigallon came to close it to 10-9 on an escape and takedown. Sharp worked a late escape for the final margin of victory. The Carson standout said he got banged in the head in the middle of the match, which affected his performance down the stretch.
"He (Gigallon) hit me in the head pretty hard," Sharp said. "It might have been when he was swinging his arms around or on a head butt. I was protective of that. I didn't want to make it worse."
Rivera was disconsolate after his 3-1 loss to Foothill's Jacob Ozuna. The match was scoreless after the first period, and then tied at 1 after escapes. Ozuna recorded a takedown inside of 30 seconds, and Rivera was unable to answer.
"He got me in a bad position," Rivera said.
"He was riding a leg," coach Tim McCarthy said. "When you're riding a leg, what can sometimes happen if you get too high the guy can slip out."
Rivera had reached the consolation finals with an 11-9 come-from-behind win over Arbor View's Matthew King. Rivera trailed 8-5 in the final period, but won it at the end with a takedown and escape in the final 15 seconds.
"He was tired," Rivera said.
Coach Tim McCarthy was happy for his medalists.
"I'm really happy for Kyle and Brady," coach McCarthy said. "I was sorry to see it end for Cole and Jordan (both seniors), but you have to move on. I was kind of disappointed. We didn't win a lot of matches today (3). I feel bad for Jordan because he put a ton of work in."
Luhrs suffered a couple of gut-wrenching defeats after winning his opening match on Friday afternoon.
He faced Rancho's Abel Gomez in the championship semis, and after gaining a 3-0 advantage, he lost 6-3 which put him into the consolation bracket. A takedown by Gomez late in the second period tied the score at 3, and Luhrs never recovered.
In the consolation semis against Green Valley's David Hosey, Luhrs was pinned with 30 seconds left in the second period.
"I just wasn't in position to defend (the first-match takedown)," Luhrs said. "He got me down and I couldn't scramble out. The second match, I didn't feel completely into it. I didn't feel I got pinned, either. I would have liked to have gone out better."
So did Cole McCarthy, who lost by pin to Liberty's Storm Roper in what will probably be his final competitive match.
McCarthy scored a first-period takedown, but Roper returned the favor, tying the match at 2 after two periods. McCarthy gave up an escape and takedown before losing by pin with 31 seconds left in the match.
The takedown came after McCarthy tried a throw which backfired.
"It's disappointing." Cole McCarthy said. "I felt like I peaked in the middle of the season and then trashed it. I lost my motivation."
Mercado fell behind quickly and never recovered in a 7-2 loss to El Dorado's Trevor Perez.
Lani had a tough match, drawing defending state champ Kyle Leet, who had lost to Carson City resident Willy McDonald in the championship semis. Leet dominated from the outset and pinned Lani late in the first round.
NOTES: Carson won the Division I State Academic Championship with a combined team GPA of 3.32. Incline and Lowry were the winners in the lower division ... Carson finished with 34 points which put the Senators into the top 10 ... Carson City's Willy McDonald of Bishop Manogue won the 138-pound title with 5-4 win over London Thomas.