Carson High’s Basa, Miller reach state wrestling finals
SPARKS — The smallest and biggest members of the Carson High post-season wrestling roster carry the Senators’ championship hopes entering the final day of the 4A state meet at Spanish Springs High School.
Brandon Basa, the Senators’ 113-pounder, and heavyweight Sheldon Miller both recorded two pins on Friday and reached the state finals for the first time in their careers.
The other four Carson entrants — Kyle Rudy (132), Nathan Mersino (138), Jarod Butler (160) and Abel Carter — are alive after posting 1-1 records.
Action gets underway today at 9:30 a..m. with consolation rounds. The championships are set for 2:30 p.m.
Basa started his day by pinning Weston Prosser in the second round, and he followed that up with a second-round pin of Will Zernich of Green Valley. He meets Northern Nevada rival Owen Jones today in the finals.
In the semifinal match, Basa gave up a quick takedown to fall behind 2-0. Later in the opening round, Basa worked an escape, cutting the deficit to 2-1 at the end of the period. Basa pinned Zernich 47 seconds later. It was one of the fastest pins called on Friday.
“I got a single leg and turned it into a cradle,” Basa said. “I’m so excited (to finally reach the finals).”
“I think that was the only shot he took,” said CHS assistant coach Nick Redwine.
Basa and Jones have known each other since their club wrestling days.
“We wrestled a lot against each other when we were younger,” Basa said. “He beat me all the time. We’ve only wrestled one time this year, and that was at regionals.”
Basa won last week’s showdown, and based on that, would have to be the favorite on paper.
“It was nice to see Brandon get over that (semifinal ) hump,” Carson head coach Keith Shaffer. “He just needed to get to the finals.”
Miller had an impressive day, wrestling a combined 89 seconds in his matches against Charles Mapes of Bishop Gorman and Anthony Valente of Green Valley.
“It feels great,” said Miller, who will be in his first state championship final. “I just have to finish it and win tomorrow.”
Mersino opened with a 7-3 win over Kaden Renshaw of Durango, and followed that up with a disappointing 13-0 loss to Wyatt English of Foothill.
Carter pinned J.J. Tuinelot of Arbor View in his opening match, but fell to Green Valley’s Robert Razo in the semifinals.
Carter gave up an early takedown, but then tied the match at 2 with a reversal. Razo led the rest of the match. Carter did close to 9-7 thanks to a penalty point and a reversal, but Razo closed with an escape and takedown.
Kyle Rudy faced an uphill struggle last week when he lost on the first day, and he faces the same situation today.
Rudy led his opening match 2-1 against Green Valley’s Justus Scott, but gave up an escape and takedown, the latter with 50 seconds left, and fell 4-2. Faced with win or go home situation, Rudy roared to a 7-0 first-period lead. He gave up a takedown, but was ahead 9-2 when he recorded the pin.
“The first match I didn’t wrestle like I was capable of,” Rudy said.
“The second match I wrestled like I can do. I just have to go redeem myself tomorrow, and I’m going to do that.”
Shaffer said the only surprise of the day was Rudy wasn’t wrestling for a championship.
“He didn’t quite finish (the first match),” Shaffer said. “I think some of it may be a lack of confidence that he doesn’t show when he gets into consolation.”
Butler, wrestling in his first state tournament, gave up a 5-1 lead and lost 6-5 in his opening match. He yielded a takedown and 3-point near fall.
Butler wasn’t a happy camper, and he took his frustration out on Jase D’Richard of Coronado.
With the match tied at 2, Butler took the lead for good with a 3-point near fall with 58 seconds left in the second period.
D’Richard retaliated with a takedown to make it 5-4. Butler used a reversal and 3-point near fall in the third.