For the second time in as many years, Sam Goings and David Hughes stand alone as the best in the north.
The Fallon duo tore through the competition to capture individual titles during Saturday’s Northern Division I-A regional tournament in Spring Creek.
Goings and Hughes led Fallon to a third-place finish with 157 points behind regional champ Lowry (291) and runner-up Spring Creek (218). The Greenwave, though, earned 10 berths to the state tournament.
“The kids placed where they were set up to place,” Fallon coach Louie Mori said. “We really didn’t beat anybody we hadn’t beaten before.”
Both enter Friday’s state tournament in Winnemucca as the No. 1 seeds — as they did last weekend — in their respective weight classes. In addition, both are going for their second consecutive state titles.
Goings (160 pounds) dispatched his three opponents by pin after receiving a first-round bye. He took down Fernley’s Carter Smith and Brennen Gattlin in the first period and then stuck Lowry’s Shaun Mentaberry in the third period of the final.
Goings said Mentaberry kept a tight stance preventing the Fallon grappler from attacking.
Once Mentaberry opened up, though, Goings struck and scored the takedown and pin.
“He just kind of balled up so it was hard for me to do anything,” Goings said. “Finally, I took him down and stuck him. If I didn’t win, I would’ve been disappointed.”
Hughes, meanwhile, also won his three bouts by pin in the first period.
He wasted little time in the quarterfinal dropping Fernley’s Eric McFarlane in 44 seconds. Hughes followed up with a pin 1:10 into the semifinal match against Spring Creek’s Masin Goodell.
In the title bout, Hughes stuck South Tahoe’s Andrew Herrera in 1:37.
“Since I wrestled them before I knew what to expect,” Hughes said. “Once I get someone taken down, they turn over pretty easy. Usually in my matches, I like to get them over as fast as I can because you never know what can happen.”
Fallon’s third No. 1 seed, Jordan Schultz (145), came up short in his title match against Lowry’s Nate Nelson. Schultz cruised through the first two rounds of the tournament with consecutive pins but ran into a re-energized Nelson in the final.
Nelson scored a 14-5 win to earn the No. 1 seed for state.
Schultz’s loss was the first in several weeks as the Greenwave senior blew through the same competition during the regional dual meet on Jan. 30-31 in Winnemucca. Nelson, though, moved up to 145 after wrestling at 138 during most of the season and coming in behind Swisher and Spring Creek’s Sheldon Davis.
Fallon’s Jack Swisher (138) joins Schultz as Fallon’s other regional runner up. Swisher pinned Lowry’s Cameron Okuma but lost to Davis, a two-time state champ, in the final. Davis pinned Swisher in the first period.
Mason Smith (113), Dylan McAfee (120), Matt Goings (152), Juan Ledesma (182), Wyatt Hampton (220) and Robbie Schostag (285) all placed fourth to qualify for the state meet.
“All the kids that took fourth were seeded there except Matt Goings, who came in on the backside as an extra wrestler,” Mori said.