RENO — The Paul Carter era at Carson High got off to a successful start, as the Senators knocked off Fallon, 54-18, and Reno, 45-26, Wednesday night at Reno High School.
“It was a good start,” said Carter. “I think we came out a little flat in the first dual. It was the first time the kids had been out on the mat, and we didn’t have the benefit of a scrimmage. I think some of the kids were nervous. I thought we wrestled a lot better in the second dual.”
Fallon made the opening dual pretty easy, as the Greenwave gave Carson 36 free points via walkovers. Of the eight contested matches, each team went 4-4.
Brandon Basa (106) and Casey Stevens (113) both posted impressive victories. Basa pinned his opponent in 45 seconds, and Stevens one-upped him with a 39-second pin. Dominic Kinder (132) won 13-6 and Brady Rivera (195) grabbed an 8-4 victory.
Two returners — Kyle Sharp (138) and Nicholas Lani (145) — both wrestled up a weight and both lost. Sharp lost by decision and Lani lost via pin. Austin Martinez (126) was pinned in his debut. Victor Freeman (160) lost 8-2.
In the Reno dual, Basa and Stevens were both victorious again. Basa had a 33-second pin and Stevens grinded out a 7-5 win.
Sammy Mercado lost 10-6 at 126, but Martinez and Kinder both posted pins for a 21-3 lead. A forfeit win for Sharp and a Lani pin made it 33-3. Brady O’Keefe lost a tough 4-2 decision and then Freeman was pinned which made it 33-16. Cody Cunningham lost 9-1, and a forfeit at 182 made it 33-22. Rivera and Aaron Cowee both won by forfeit to close out the match.
Carter was impressed by his two lightweight wrestlers.
“We have high expectations for Basa,” Carter said. “He wrestled very well. He pinned his guys quickly. Stevens surprised me (a bit). He wrestled very tough which made me very happy.”
The 16th annual Capitol City Duals are slated for Saturday at Morse Burley Gym starting at 9 a.m.
Eight teams, including two from Carson, are entered. In the Democratic pool is Damonte Ranch, Douglas, Galena, Reno and Carson No. 2. In the Republican pool are Carson, Bishop Manogue, Reed, McQueen and Wooster. Each team will wrestle five times, and Carson’s duals against Bishop Manogue and Wooster will count in the league standings.
“Those are the key ones,” Carter said.
Carson has won five straight Sierra League titles, winning 25 straight duals in the process. Two wins on Saturday would give the Senators a leg up on their sixth title.
“We still have some guys who aren’t wrestling at their normal weights,” Carter said.
Sharp is one of those guys. You could see him at 126 by the end of the season.