SPARKS – They were one pin away from a perfect round and didn’t let up.
After winning all nine matches to begin the 3A state wrestling tournament, the Greenwave advanced six to today’s championship while three will need one win to advance to the consolation final at Spanish Springs High School. Fallon amassed 112 points to lead north regional champ Spring Creek by 19 after Friday’s two rounds. Virgin Valley is the south’s top scorer with 76 points for third, followed by Elko (57), south regional champ Boulder City (55) and Lowry (36).
“I know the potential of the kids,” second-year Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “I told them that if they wrestle to their potential and they know, they’re going to come out on top. Unfortunately, we had three of the nine not make it. Six, that’s incredible and it’s because of the hard work they’ve done.”
The consolation quarterfinals began at 9:30 a.m. today, followed by the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. and the championship is at 2:30 p.m.
With Fallon leading the 3A with six in the finals, Spring Creek has five in the finals with two going against Fallon opponents. The Spartans also have six fighting in the consolation bracket. Virgin Valley also has five in the finals but two will face each other in the 106 bout and four are in the consolation. Elko advanced three to the finals, including two who will go against Fallon. After bringing 16 to the state tournament, south regional champ Boulder City has only two in the finals.
Tommy McCormick (113), Sean McCormick (145), Jack Swisher (152), Matt Goings (160), Ben Dooley (220) and Kobe Abe (285) each went undefeated to earn an opportunity at state gold. Terry White (120), Mason Smith (126) and Chase Hyde (195) dropped in the semifinals and will wrestle in this morning’s consolation semifinal.
“Definitely, we’re all underdogs,” de Braga said. “Terry, we knew he was going to have a tough one. Mason had a good shot and hung tough with that kid and gave him a heck of a match. Those are the ones you want to win. A true wrestler is revealed how well they can come back in the consolation.”
Abe’s semifinal win proved to be the biggest lift for Fallon, which trailed during the round and as low as third. Abe, the regional runner-up, was ahead of Virgin Valley’s Dayden Payne, the south’s top seed, late in the third period but back-to-back controversial calls put Payne ahead, 4-3. Abe, though, got a quick nearfall with five seconds left to win, 5-4. Abe will meet Elko’s Luis Salazar in a rematch for the championship after the Indian wrestler defeated Abe in last week’s regional final.
“I think Kobe was favored to win, but probably out of all of them, he was the least likely to win,” de Braga said. “In the end, he did dominate that kid when it comes to it.”
Tommy McCormick got off to a rocky start in the opener and trailed before he caught Mojave’s Dominic Mota on his back for the third-period pin. McCormick’s next bout was tougher, taking a 6-5 win over Boulder City’s Garrett Leavitt. McCormick will face Western’s Diego Ortega, the south’s top seed who pinned Spring Creek’s Riley Fuchs, in the championship.
Brother Sean McCormick, last year’s state champ, pinned Del Sol’s Emmanuel Kortue in the first period of the opening round and then scored a major decision (9-1) over Lowry’s Ryan Johnson in the semis. McCormick will take on Spring Creek’s Anthony Chavez in a rematch in the finals.
Swisher upset the south’s top seed, Boulder City’s Jimmy Dunagan, with a 5-1 win in the semis after pinning Moapa Valley’s Gavin Henrie in the third period of the first round. Swisher will face Lowry’s Quint Bell, whom he forfeited to last weekend because of injury, in the championship.
Goings had the only non-pin win in the opening round, an 11-2 major decision of Desert Pines Adulberto Santiago, and followed with a third-period pin over Lowry’s Seth Hornbarger. Goings will face Mojave’s Trevor Van Vliet, who defeated Elko’s Carl Joel Hansen, in the finals.
Dooley won both of his matches by pin and is the only Greenwave wrestler to pin all of his postseason opponents. Dooley took care of Cheyenne’s Shonomon Lewis in the opening round and Boulder City’s Devin Fox in the semis. Dooley faces Spring Creek’s Sheldon Wilkinson in a rematch of last weekend’s regional final.
White pinned Desert Pines’ Alexander Partrana in the first round but lost to Virgin Valley’s Ty Smith by major decision (19-7). Smith pinned Mojave’s Michael Childs in the opener but lost to Elko’s David Burden, 4-1. Hyde pinned Cheyenne’s Cajun Jackson in the first round, as well, but lost 9-4 to Del Sol’s Victor Torres-Parra.