Douglas wrestlers rally to beat Hug
MINDEN – Never mind the wins and losses, just yet anyway. Douglas High School wrestling coach Ron Hall has one specific goal in mind for the time being.
“My big goal right now is to get them to wrestle as a team,” Hall reflected. “When you get that team unity, it gives you that extra … Like that last match, you’ve got the whole team behind you.”
And when Douglas’ match against Hug was on the line Wednesday night, heavyweight Chris Baumgartner came through to produce a second-round pin that sealed the envelope for the Tigers in their 44-36 Northern 4A conference victory.
Douglas got victories from 189-pounder Nathan Bennett, 215-pounder Carl Wymer and Baumgartner – all by fall – as the Tigers overcame a 36-26 deficit at the end.
“This was a good win. We were missing a couple of guys tonight (David Tingle and Romaine Smokey), but anytime you overcome adversity, that’s the sign of a good team,” Hall said. “We need to keep working hard. We have a ways to go, but we still have time.”
Douglas improved its conference record to 4-3, a far cry from a team that failed to win a single match last season.
“We lost a lot of guy,s and because of that we always had to forfeit a lot of matches last year,” Baumgartner said. “Now we’ve got a full lineup and we just dominate.”
Well, not exactly. After all, Douglas did come up on the short end of a 51-21 score against Reno (5-0-1 in conference) to start Wednesday’s double dual. Then again, the Tigers deserved to take a moment to celebrate their triumph against a Hug team they had lost to in the Yerington dual team tournament quarterfinals last month.
“It was great winning one for the team,” Baumgartner said. “Knowing that everything was riding on me at the end was great. A lot of people were supporting me and I heard them all. And without all of us winning, we wouldn’t have got through.”
Among those were key wins delivered by a pair of freshmen: Richard Blackowl’s second-round pin at 125 pounds and Leonard Arredondo’s 19-3 verdict at 145 pounds.
Senior Dusty Maynes also pulled out a big 3-0 decision at 152 pounds that put Douglas on top, 26-24. Maynes, who had been pinned by the same opponent at the Yerington tournament, broke a scoreless tie with an escape at the start of the third period and then used a fireman’s carry to score two insurance takedown points.
Bennett won his 189-pound match against Vince Johnson by fall with six seconds remaining in the first round. Then Wymer pinned Darryl Green with 56 seconds remaining of the second round to give Douglas a 38-36 lead going into Baumgartner’s heavyweight bout against Pat Oulette.
Baumgartner led 2-1 at the end of the first period and made it 3-1 with an escape at the outset of the second. But just when Oulette appeared to be on the verge of a score-tying takedown, Baumgartner suddenly turned the tide.
“I grabbed his arm, tried a fireman’s and he rolled right over,” Baumgartner said. “Then he just laid there turtle. I just gift wrapped him.”
Douglas had its victory, and it had Baumgartner contemplating a trip. Not Disneyland, but maybe the next best thing.
“My record’s not the greatest,” said Baumgartner, now 5-11 on the season. “But after this, I’m fired up. I’m ready to go to state.”
Hall just smiled
Notes: Against Reno, John Hillenbrand picked up a win for the Tigers in the 171-pound weight class when he converted four takedowns into a 9-5 decision over Isiah Annunzio. Another highlight for Douglas was Blackowl, who dropped a hard-fought 19-12 verdict to defending state champion Josh Kivi. The closest contest was actually waged at 135 pounds, where Reno’s Pat Foley made a second-period reversal stand up for a 5-4 victory against D’art Johnson. Reno sophomore 103-pounder Suzanne Kivi pinned both of the opponents she faced on the night, winning the two matches in a combined time of 4:14. Kivi, Josh Kivi’s younger sister, was a national champion in the 111-pound division at the high school girls national championships last year and will return for another shot in Michigan this March … Douglas competes again this Friday and Saturday at the Sparks Invitational.