With his team leading 30-21 and with two matches to go, Douglas wrestling coach Mike Gamberg made a tactical move. He sent Nick Frankwich to face Nick Shine in the 189-pound match instead of the putting Dan Molina up against Shine. Gamberg's move basically conceded a Douglas loss to Shine, leaving Molina to wrestle Allen Wooldridge in the 215-pound match. Gamberg figured Molina would win. Wooldridge didn't.
Shine pinned Frankwich and Wooldridge pulled out a 11-7 win over Molina as the Senators rallied for a 30-30 tie with Douglas on Wednesday at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
"We knew coming in that one match was going to determine who would win," Gamberg said. "Believe it or not, Dan should've won the match but he made one mistake. Dan got caught in a place we had talked about. But, hey, it was a great match."
Wooldridge, who had beaten Molina 9-4 at the Lowry Invitational on Dec. 20, nearly pinned him at the end of the second period and led 7-4 going into the third. Molina led 4-1 early on, then Wooldridge got a key reversal and gained some confidence.
"Yeah, switch is my move," said Wooldridge, who's ranked No. 5 among 215-pounders in Northern Nevada. "You're always thinking to get points but if you get him on his back, you try and finish him off. I'm not taking anything away from him, he's a great wrestler. But I don't think it was a mistake on his part. He always pushes me. On the mat, we always go at it. Even off the mat, we're really close. We're great friends."
A tie wasn't exactly the result the Senators wanted. When the Tigers beat them 37-29 last month at the Carson City Duals, it was Douglas' first win over Carson in a dual meet since 1991. The Senators were salivating at the chance to get back at their rival. Instead, they now have the share the Sierra League title.
"A tie is better than a loss," Wooldridge said. "A solid win would've been way sweeter, though."
Paul Carter and Shine were the only Carson wrestlers to pin their opponents while Douglas' Matt Yaquinto and Grant Hall both pinned their opponents. Joe Roman and Chris Ceccarelli both recorded lopsided victories in their matches. Roman won 17-2 in the 152-pound match and Ceccarelli won 14-1 in the 160-pound match.
The Tigers, who ran their league dual record to 4-0-1, held a significant advantage early in the match. Dan McDonald defeated Jason Klug in the heavyweight match 5-3 after scoring a two-point reversal in the final seconds of the third period. Bryan Kaplan won by forfeit in the 103-pound match as the Senators' 103-pounder, Mark Graham, blew out his knee against North Valleys on Saturday and wasn't available.
Carson's Chris Aguilera defeated Ryan Martinez in the 112-pound match but Douglas' Matt Yaquinto pinned Kevin Riggin and Austin Beemer won 13-6 as the Tigers led 18-3.
"It was a good match," said Carson coach Dean Schmanski. "We got a big crowd in here and gave them something to cheer about. There were s few matches I thought could've went differently but we knew Douglas was going to be tough."
At 130 pounds, Carson's Chris White narrowly defeated Bradley Johnson, 5-1. The back and forth match continued over the next six matches as each team won three of them. When Hall pinned Tony Nu-ez in the second period of the 171-pound match, Douglas led 30-21.
Carson lost a coin toss to see who would report first for the 189-pound match. The Senators lost and Shine reported, allowing Gamberg to send Frankwich to the mat. Shine, the top-ranked 189-pounder in the Northern Nevada, made quick work of Frankwich, pinning him with 42 seconds left in the first period and getting Carson within three points of the lead, 30-27.
Then it all came down to Wooldridge and he didn't disappoint.
"There's nothing I could tell him. I figured Allen knows what to do," Schmanski said. "He's a senior, he's a captain. I wouldn't want anybody else in that position. He knows what needs to be done."
Wooldridge's four-point win provided the stalemate--for now.
"Carson is always strong," Gamberg said of Carson, who also finished the league season undefeated. "They beat us last year and the year before. We beat them this year and now we tied. It's getting a little bit closer."
The zone tournament is Feb. 7-8 at Sparks High.
In the junior varsity contest, Carson won by pin in all seven matches.