Carson 7th after first day of 4A meet |

Carson 7th after first day of 4A meet

Thomas Ranson

SPARKS ” Platoons battle vigorously in the trenches like a band of brothers, trying to capture the enemy’s flag.

After one day of wrestling at the Northern 4A regional tournament, the battle for the crown could come down to which team survives the trenches of the consolation bracket.

“If they have a majority of kids left, that’s the team to be,” said Spanish Springs coach Joe Imelli, whose Cougars are the leading the pack with 61.5 points and seven wrestlers in the semifinals after Friday. “It’s going to be such a tight race won in the consolation round. McQueen looked outstanding today, getting some pins, but Carson took some lumps.”

Going into today’s final round of the Northern 4A regional wrestling tournament, Spanish Springs has a nine-point lead over McQueen (52.5). Reed is in third with 49 points, and Reno and Fallon are tied for fourth with 46 apiece. Damonte Ranch (45), Carson (44.5), Douglas (42), Galena (38.5) and Manogue (32) round out the top 10.

“The team that’s going to win this tournament is going to be coming through the backside,” Fallon assistant coach Matt Reibsamen said of the consolations.

The second round of consolation begins at 10 a.m. at Spanish Springs High School, followed by the semifinal bouts at noon. The title round is slated for 5:30 p.m.

Both Spanish Springs and McQueen have seven wrestlers alive in the winner’s bracket, while Reno and Fallon each have five. Reed, Damonte Ranch and Douglas each have four wrestlers without any losses. Carson has only three in the semifinals.

“Tomorrow we’re going to see a level of wrestling excitement and energy picking up,” Imelli said. “It’s going to be big. Everything could be decided by 1 o’clock.”

But the battle in the trenches will come down to who’s left standing after the consolation round.

“It’s kind of early to tell right now,” Carson coach Tim McCarthy said. “We lost some matches we definitely should have won. That definitely hurts. We lost three, four today that I thought we were the better wrestler and then we end up getting caught.”

Pat Craugh (103 pounds), Nick Schlager (125) and Junior Valladares (152) are the Senators’ strongest at advancing to next week’s state tournament in Winnemucca. The top three wrestlers in each weight class qualify for state.

“We need to come out and wrestler better than today,” McCarthy said. “We weren’t our best today by any means, but we will be back tomorrow. Hopefully we can get these (three) guys through the finals.”

With Fallon’s surprise finish after Friday, both Carson and Douglas are in unexpected positions that will require strong performances in the consolation bracket. Carson, though, has a handful of wrestlers still alive in the consolation, while Douglas has Tim Souza (119), Wes Peterson (125), Nico Barker (140) and Joe MacDonald (145) still gunning for a title.

“The team that ends up wrestling tough in the wrestle max, in most cases, wins the tournament,” McCarthy said about the importance of the consolation round.

Austin Brown (112), Ricky Ugarte (119), Adam Welch (130), Nicolas Garcia (140) Brett Allen (145), Jimmy Weir (152), Collin Grischott (160), Luke Carter and Ryan Hoskins (171), Justin Steele (189), Justin Barlow (215) and Max Schadeck (275) will need to win three matches in order to advance to the third-place match.

While matches didn’t go the Senators’ way, Carson didn’t rule out that most of the team was new to the regional tournament and didn’t respond well to the pressure.

“Most of these kids haven’t been in matches where lots are riding on the line,” McCarthy added. “It showed today.”

Fielding a young and inexperienced team as well, Mitch Overlie has the Greenwave in contention for the team crown as five wrestlers will try to advance to the title round. Colin Merkley (112), Charlie Heck (140), Zarek Sanchez (145), Trent de Braga (152) and Cory Sage (171) have helped Fallon to strong Day 1 as it leads all Sierra League teams.

“I was expecting four, five kids in the championship round, and that’s what we got,” Overlie said. “I would love to see six or eight kids go to state. That’s a huge victory for us. Wrestling hard will be a huge victory. We’ve got to make it through.”

Like Carson, the Greenwave have a strong number of wrestlers left in the consolation brackets. Fallon has eight, including three alternates, vying for a third-place medal.

1. Spanish Springs, 61.5

2. McQueen, 52.5

3. Reed, 49

4. Fallon, 46

4. Reno, 46

6. Damonte Ranch, 45

7. Carson, 44.5

8. Douglas, 42

9. Galena, 36.5

10. Manogue, 32

11. Elko, 25

12. Wooster, 24

13. South Tahoe, 19.5

14. North Valleys, 18

15. Hug, 15