Carson streak ends — with an asterisk
Damonte defeats Senator team that wasn’t at full strength
RENO — The streak is over, and so probably is Carson High’s reign as Sierra League wrestling champions.
Damonte Ranch thumped the Senators, 58-18, Wednesday night in the league opener for both schools, snapping Carson’s 30-match win streak. The Senators hadn’t lost a Sierra League dual since the 2007 season.
Whether Damonte wants to admit it, this win should have an asterisk alongside it. Because Carson went so deep into the football playoffs, the Senators were without almost all their best wrestlers, and with the exception of Brandon Basa, wrestled with JV performers and back-up varsity guys from a year ago.
The schools failed to come up with an alternate date, and right now there is plenty of finger pointing going on between the coaches and schools as to who is to blame for the meet not being rescheduled. It made for a tense night, as Carson’s best wrestlers watched helplessly from the sidelines.
“Maybe tonight was a good thing,” Carter said. “We have a fire in our rears right now. I told the team our ultimate goal is to win regionals, and that has to be our thought process now.
“We had a lot of JV boys wrestling tonight. I’m not disappointed. They competed hard.”
Carson won just three matches, all by pin. Basa (113) pinned Raeann Wagstaff early in the first quarter, tying the match at 6. Basa, who reached state last year after a third-place regional finish, wasn’t expected to have any trouble. Kyle Rudy (120) gave Carson its first and last lead of the night when he pinned Marc Aleman with 55 seconds remaining in the opening period. Rudy was ahead 4-3 at the time.
“I didn’t know what to expect with Rudy,” Carter said. “He did a heck of a job in the wrestle off earlier this week. He’s a tough kid.”
Damonte won the next nine matches en route to a 52-12 lead through the 195-pound match. Carson’s Connor Sievers (195) led throughout the first two periods and actually had a 12-11 lead before being pinned by Richie Garcia with less than 10 seconds left in the match. Garcia would take down Sievers and let him up. He did that twice in the third period. Sievers led 5-0 at the end of the first period and 7-6 at the end of the second period.
“Sievers wrestled tough,” Carter said. “He was up nearly the whole match.”
Michael DeBaun snapped Carson’s skid with an easy first-round pin of Hunter Williams at 220 pounds. DeBaun needed just 25 seconds for his pin.
“DeBaun was actually wrestling up a weight,” Carter said. “He was tough.
“Normally we’d have (Brady) Rivera, (Corey) Jasper and (Sheldon) Miller in those last three spots, and I doubt that we would have lost any of the upper weights with our regular guys.”
Carter was impressed with the performance of newcomer Nathan Mersino, a transfer from North Bend High in Oregon. Mersino dropped a 6-0 decision to Mike Solferino at 138 pounds. Mersino gave up a takedown in the first quarter, and that’s the way the score stood entering the final period. Solferino worked an escape for a 3-0 lead 15 seconds into the final period. Mersino gave up a takedown and was hit with a penalty point in the final minute of the match.
NOTES: Carson lost by walkover at 126 and heavyweight … Carson hosts the Capitol City Dual Meet Tournament Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at Morse Burley Gymnasium. Nolan Shine is taking SATs that day and may not be available. Other than that, Carson should be at full strength for the event.