It wasn’t easy, but Carson High’s wrestling team defended its Sierra League wrestling title with a 43-34 Senior Night win over Douglas at Morse Burley Gym on Wednesday night.
Carson completed its second straight unbeaten league season. It was only fitting the Tigers made Carson sweat a little. The Tigers actually led with four matches remaining before the Senators rallied.
“I thought we matched up pretty well,” Carson first-year head coach Keith Shaffer said. “I really didn’t know what to expect. I hated to give up that 126-pound match (Carson’s only forfeit). I’d like to see us get pinned less; like to see us fight from our backs.”
“They were the best team we faced this year,” said 220-pounder John Rowe. “They had a couple more wrestlers (than Damonte) which made it closer.”
Douglas had four pins — Jaden Blanchard (106), Fredrick Foster (113), Blake Murray (170) and Chad Singer (182). The Tigers had the luxury of fielding nearly a complete team, something nobody else has done against Carson all year. The Tigers left two weight classes empty (160 and heavyweight).
“Last year I think we scored a total of six points,” Douglas coach Jake Fair said. “Douglas is taking their game seriously. We’ve changed our routine. We’re trying to get back to the way the program used to be. It was dominant in the ‘70s and ‘80s. My two freshmen (Foster and Blanchard) did a good job. They stepped it up tonight. Blake Murray (170) was amazing. He worked his opponent the whole way and then pinned him.”
The Tigers led 28-25 after Murray pinned Jesse Case with five seconds left in the second period, and Singer followed with a second-period pin of Nick Andreas.
The tide turned at 195, as Abel Carter registered an easy first-round pin of Daniel Ferguson to give the Senators a 31-28 lead. The clincher came at 220 when Rowe built up a 7-4 lead against Richard Castellanos, tacked on a quick take down early in the second period, and then registered a pin with 55 seconds remaining to give the Senators a 37-28 lead.
“I got the quick take down (in the second period),” Rowe said. “He got high and stood up. I was able to throw him and got the pin.”
“He (Rowe) earned that win,” Shaffer said.
“He’s had a lot of early pins. He had to work hard for this one.”
Heavyweight Sheldon Miller got a forfeit to make it 43-28, and Blanchard ended the night with a pin of Carson’s Eli Thomas.
Another key sequence came in the middleweights. The match was tied at 16 when 152-pound Seth Reichelt matched up with Gabe Wetzel, who got the best of Reichelt earlier this year.
Wetzel went ahead 4-0 on a take down and near fall, but Reichelt scored on a reverse and three-point bear fall for a 5-4 lead after one period. Reichelt built the lead to 8-4, but Wetzel fought back to 8-8 with a third-period reversal. Seconds before the final buzzer, Reichelt scored an escape to come away with a 9-8 win to give the Senators a 19-16 lead. Jarod Butler got a walkover at 160 to make it 25-16.
“Gabe (Wetzel) beat him at SNC (Sierra Nevada Classic),” Fair said. “I knew it was going to be a tough match.”
So did Reichelt.
“He beat me by two points (at SNC),” Reichelt said. “He’s a tough kid. I didn’t even think I got the escape at the end, but they gave it to me. I wasn’t sure I had enough for a fourth period.”
“His conditioning is paying off,” Shaffer said.
Carson’s other wins came from Brandon Basa (120), Kyle Rudy (132) and Nathan Mersino (138). Both Rudy and Mersino recorded 20-5 technical fall wins, and Basa returned from an ankle injury to pin Kindel Isham.
“It was good to see Brandon back out there,” Shaffer said. “The kid he beat was no slouch.”
Sierra Lutheran wins
Clare Davison had 13 points and seven steals and Grace Bonafede added eight points to lead Sierra Lutheran to a 29-19 win over Virginia City.
Muckers pound Falcons
Colt Hess scored 12 and Ireland Franklin added 11 to lead Virginia City to a 44-23 1A win over Sierra Lutheran Wednesday night.
The win moved VC to 5-1 in league.
“They only lost by two to Whittell, so we knew we had to come in and play hard,” VC coach Tom Maurer said. “We played well tonight.”
Tanner Uken scored eight for VC, which visits Coleville on Friday night.
Douglas clips Carson
Despite 13 points from Bradley Maffei, the Senators fell 54-44 to Douglas on Tuesday night.
The Senators turned the ball over 18 times and went 3-for-13 from the foul line.
Jonathan LaPlante, Eric Tomita and Gabe Tatro each contributed eight points.