The Greenwave wrestling team is one step closer to sending as many as possible to next week’s state tournament.
After finishing 9-2 in last weekend’s Northern 3A duals at the Rafter 3C Arena, Fallon will enter bracket play Friday and Saturday during the regional tournament at Spring Creek. The top-four finishers advance to the state tournament next Friday at the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse, Bullhead City, Ariz.
“This weekend was a grind,” Fallon coach Trevor deBraga said. “Typically in a two-day tournament, you will wrestle three, maybe four matches the first day and around the same the second day. This weekend, for league duals, the team wrestled six matches the first day and five matches the second day. It's not easy wrestling that many times in two days, especially if you have a handful of those matches lasting the full six minutes. It's not easy, but nothing about this sport is.”
Two Greenwave wrestlers finished with an unblemished record in the duals while six lost no more than three matches.
Defending state champion Carson Melendy (144 pounds) and Quentin Hornbeak (175) each finished 11-0 and will be the No. 1 seed in their weight class.
“They both have wrestled great this season, and they have put themselves in a great spot to be regional champions,” deBraga said.
Lonnie Adams (138) was one match away from perfection, finishing with a 10-1 record. Adams, who qualified for state last year, lost to the state runner-up from Fernley last weekend.
“Lonnie was a state qualifier last year, and wants nothing more than to be on the podium, so he needs to continue wrestling well and could be a regional champ,” deBraga said.
Manny Barros (106) and Evan Mackuliak (113) each lost a pair of matches that deBraga said could have swung their direction.
“A couple little mistakes needed to be fixed,” he said. “And they could very well be regional champions.”
Evan Garcia (132) and Troy Shelton (175) each finished 8-3 and will be seeded either No. 3 or No. 4 for the regional tournament.
“They both had matches that could go either way, so I’m hoping a great week of practice will fix some of the mistakes made, and they have great shots at being state qualifiers,” deBraga said.
Colton Blankenship (190) and Sean Reeder (285) each finished 7-4, and Andre Green (132), Manny Karaway (165) and Jason Lewis (215) each went 6-5. Tyson Wilson (215) was 3-2 and Caden McKnight (157) finished at 5-6.
DeBraga said seeding will not be official until Friday and although several wrestlers didn’t finish as well as he’d hoped, he’s looking forward to this week of practice to correct some of those mistakes.
“I have full confidence that all of those guys are top-four placers in their weight classes,” deBraga said. “Again, we have to have a great week of practice, work on our mistakes from duals and really get mentally prepared to win those close matches. I tell the kids that all the tournaments we competed in this season are practice for regionals and state. I like to see progress each week at those tournaments. I feel we are right where we need to be going into regionals, and I believe we have the potential to send each weight class to the state tournament.”
BRADY ADVANCES TO STATE
Fallon senior Keliah Brady scored a win by injury default to advance to next week’s state wrestling tournament.
Competing in Saturday’ girls regional tournament at Reed, Brady (185) finished 1-2 after falling to Reed’s Maria Aiono in the semifinals and Ellie Smith in the consolation finals.
Tommie Fitzer (132) also finished 1-2 in her division but fell in the second period of the consolation’s third round to miss wrestling for a spot to the state tournament.
Only the top four finishers advanced to the state tournament, which will run at the same time as the boys next Friday in Arizona.