MINDEN - Although the Carson Senators wrestling team was short on numbers - it fielded only eight competitors - it still managed a second-place finish with 145 points in the 31st annual Carson Valley Lions Club Tournament Saturday at Douglas High School.
The Douglas Tigers, meanwhile, showed there is strength in numbers and by the end of the 12-plus hour, 17-team tournament, there was no denying the orange-and-black attack, as the Tigers won the event with 215 points.
Alhambra (Calif.) finished third with 137 points, followed by Spanish Springs (130) and Fallon (129.5). The Douglas junior varsity also fared well, finishing 10th with 54.5 points.
Of its eight wrestlers, Carson had seven placers, including two champions in Owen Craugh and Robbie Bozin.
Craugh, who placed eighth at the prestigious Sierra Nevada Classic, took a 7-3 decision over Douglas' Garrett Hakhuis in the 112-pound final.
After Hakhuis scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead, Craugh evened it up with a reverse to end the first period. Craugh, who also won the Las Vegas Holiday Classic in December, pulled away in the second period with a takedown and a two-point near fall to go up 6-2.
"Craugh had a rough day today," said first-year Carson coach Tyson Thivierge. "In the final he had a tough match. Hakhuis is a great kid. Those two have had some battles. They'll see each other again in zone. It was some good learning, a good situation for (Craugh)."
Bozin, who placed fourth in the Sierra Nevada Classic at 125 pounds, wrestled at 130 pounds in place of an injured Kyle Banko (scalp) and pinned Manogue's Gary Albright in the first period.
"He's finally opening up," Thivierge said of Bozin, from whom he's been expecting more offense. "He's figuring out when to be mean. He was aggressive all day. It's good to see Bozin open up like that."
The Senators also had two runner-ups in Adam Carmazzi and Travis Lamborn.
Carmazzi faced a tall order in Fallon's Trent deBraga in the 135-pound finals and was pinned in the third period. Lamborn, coming off a fourth-place finish at the Sierra Nevada Classic, was pinned in the third period of the 160-pound finals by Alhambra's Jordan Abed.
Martin Azzam (145 pounds) and Nick Schlager (103) both had third-place finishes for Carson, which also got a fourth-place finish from Matt Heath.
"Every single one of them wrestled tough today," Thivierge said of his eight-man squad. "This is what we've been building toward. We wanted to be able to overcome losses - they all did that today.
"Overall we had a great turnout with eight kids. We were minus both Bankos (119-pound Todd is out with an elbow injury) and (189-pounder Garrett) Truesdell. Those are three solid competitors. I'm proud to see our guys pull it together with eight people."
For his part, second-year Tigers coach Lamont McCann was happy with the performance of both his squads.
"We'll win this, but we had some great competition," McCann said. "A few of the teams were light tonight because of sickness, but Douglas wrestled real tough. We got real good matches from our core guys. It was a great tournament all-around and even our younger kids had a great tournament."
The Tigers had four champions, including Ryan Olsen, a 3-1 winner over Dayton's Travis Wade at 119 pounds; Ryan Pruitt, who took a 5-4 decision over Fallon's Tyler Reibsamen in the 152-pound division; Tony Ferris, who pinned Yerington's Sean Watson in the first period of the 171-pound finals; and Sean Molina, who pinned Dayton's Josh Coughlin in the first period of the 189-pound finals.
Wesley Peterson (103 pounds) was the runner-up in the 103-pound division, losing a 16-3 major decision to Todd Pearson, of Spanish Springs.
Nico Barker (125 pounds) and Devin Barker (140) placed third for the Tigers, who also got fourth-place finishes from Cody Spates (130), Nick Ceglia (145) and Jake Williams (160).
McCann said he's pleased how his team is developing at this point.
"Right now, for this part of the season, we're running on all cylinders," he said. "Everything is going fine. The kids are wrestling strong. They're all healthy. They're real solid right now."
McCann said this could be the season when the North can finally unseat the South for state supremacy. Cimarron Memorial has won the last four state championships.
"On any given day, all (five) of us - Douglas, Carson, Fallon, Damonte Ranch and Galena - any one of us can be the top team. But whoever that team is has to earn it and take it away from the others.
"I think the North has a great chance if it's at full strength. Some teams perform better than others. But the North is coming on strong."
In other finals action:
• Alhambra's Aaron Westphal took a 14-9 decision over Fernley's Kevin Martinez in the 125-pound division.
• Billy Anderson, of Chester (Calif.), defeated Spanish Springs' Elias Coleman, 16-11, in the 140-pound division.
• Fallon's Trevor deBraga pinned Alhambra's Preston Pangilla in the first period of their 145-pound match.
• Yerington's Stephen Skroch took a 10-6 decision over Dayton's Sam Armstrong at 215 pounds.
• Hug's Carson Corman pinned Fallon's Holt Bogdomowicz in the first period of their heavyweight matchup.