Carson wrestlers complete second straight unbeaten league season
Carson High may have lost one dual-meet win streak last weekend in Auburn, but they extended another on Wednesday night at Morse Burley Gym.
The Senators, on the strength of six forfeit victories and quick first-period pins by Ryan Hoskins, Luke Carter and Nicolas Garcia, pounded South Tahoe 63-16 to cap a second consecutive unbeaten Sierra League season.
“It’s a very good thing,” said Carter, who pinned his opponent in 56 seconds. “Last year nobody expected us to do anything. Being able to keep it going is good for our program. It’s something for the guys coming back to work for.”
It certainly wasn’t a surprise to coach Tim McCarthy.
“When the season started I thought we would be a pretty darn good team,” he said. “Knowing Damonte would be good and I figured Douglas would be a tough team, I knew we would be in the hunt for the Sierra title.
The victory also gives Carson some nice momentum heading into the two-day 4A regional tournament at Reno High, which begins Feb. 12.
The meet opened with a forfeit win for Carson at 125, and then Ian Fonken knotted the match at 6 with a pin against Andrew Cunningham, who normally wrestles JV. Carson got walkovers at 135 and 140 to increase the lead to 18-6.
Garcia jumped to a 5-0 lead against Tyler Nesbitt before racking up a pin 55 seconds into the match to extend the lead to 24-6. South Tahoe won the next two matches, as Brian Hogan scored a 16-4 decision over Alex Azzam and Gabe Strong pinned Nathan White in the first round to make it 24-16.
Those two matches would be the last ones that the Vikings would win.
It was Strong’s first win of the season and the first league win for Fonken and Hogan.
South Tahoe coach Ken Robbins wasn’t expecting either of those victories.
“Ian, Brian and Gabe are all sophomores, and they’ve had tough seasons,” Robbins said. “All three have been struggling to find their way. They were paired up with wrestlers in the same position.”
After a walkover at 171, Carter and Hoskins recorded pins. Hoskins’ was the fastest at 18 seconds and made it 42-16. Justin Barlow pinned Roger Ripoli with 12 seconds left in the second period for a 48-14.
Two more walkovers for Carson brought the score to 60-16, setting the stage for the best match of the night, the 119-pound battle between Ricky Ugarte and South Tahoe’s Cameron Cason.
After a scoreless first period, Ugarte scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead, but Cason worked an escape to make it 2-1, and then had another escape early in the third quarter to tie the match at 2. With time clicking down, Ugarte got a takedown in the last 20 seconds to grab a 4-2 win.
The wrestlers had split in their previous two meetings.
“I knew I had to do something,” said Ugarte of his takedown. “It was getting close (to going overtime), and you never know what’s going to happen.”