Carson’s Basa among Northern Nevada’s top wrestlers
Eleven years ago, when Brandon Basa was knee-high to a grasshopper, he got involved with the Carson Bulldog wrestling program.
“We were so worried,” said Basa’s dad, Eric. “It was so barbaric. Teri and I were so afraid of him getting hurt. When he was younger, he lost a lot just like any other wrestler.”
It only took a short amount of time before Basa was hooked, however, and thanks to a lot of hard work, the 113-pound Basa has excelled at the sport.
“I really got into it, and it sparked my love for it,” Basa said last weekend during the Reno Tournament of Champions.
And, Basa has turned into one of the top wrestlers in Northern Nevada. He posted a 32-8 record as a sophomore, and is 11-3 this year. He was second in the region at 113 last year and third at 106 as a freshman. He was third at state at 113 last year, losing just one match.
Nobody who has ever coached Basa is surprised at his success.
“He was a scrappy little kid,” said former Carson Bulldog coach Bob McDonald. “When you are young, that’s all that matters. He’s a tough kid. He puts the extra effort in. He went to a Catholic school, so the only wrestling opportunities he had were club events.”
High school wrestling is a grind. Besides the physical extertion you expend 5-6 days a week, you have to watch what you eat on a daily basis. It requires a good support system at home, too, and Basa has that. It also requires parents giving up weekends for youth tournaments near and far.
“If it weren’t for my parents (Eric and Teri) I wouldn’t be where I am,” Basa said recently. “They are my biggest supporters. They have helped me with my weight; losing weight when I needed it.”
“His parents have always put the effort in for him,” McDonald said. “Behind every good wrestler are great parents. That is universal.”
Wrestling is truly a family affair for the Basas. Brandon’s sister, Erica, is one of the team managers, and Teri manned the hospitality room at the TOC last week. Both Teri and Eric help current coach Justin Shine with a lot of the paperwork involved in running the program. It extends past there. Eric’s dad, Jose Ma Basa, who lived in the Philipines, was appointed by President Marcos to train and prepare Philipine wrestlers to compete in an event in Edmonton, Canada in the 70s.
Eric Basa videos each and every match his son wrestles. The film is used as a teaching tool, and like a lot of kids, Brandon Basa is like a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge as he can. By no means does he think he has all the answers.
“We’ll watch film of a match, and he can tell me what he did wrong,” the elder Basa said. “He learns a lot from watching himself.”
Brandon’s early success this season gained some steam last week at the TOC.
Basa reached the second day of the prestigious tournament, posting an impressive 4-2 record. He lost his two matches by a combined three points, including a 6-4 four-overtime loss to Logan Sumalong of De La Salle and a 2-1 loss in the second round.
Getting to the second day of that tournament is big, though after being eliminated Basa said he needed to work harder.
Hardly. Nobody works as hard as Basa, and if effort means anything he’ll be a regional or state champion by the time he graduates.
The CHS junior seems to have found a home at 113. Whether Wooster’s Ian Timmins stays in the same weight class or goes at 120 is still up in the air, and that has a big bearing on Basa’s post-season hopes. If Timmins stays at 120 or above, Basa is a serious threat to win state at 113s.
“I think so,” said current CHS coach Justin Shine when asked if 113 was Basa’s best weight. “I think he should have gone 106s last year.” “I think I’m better at 113s,” Basa said. “I may go 120s (in duals), but I’ll probably stay at 113 for postseason. I started the year at 120 or 122, but then got down to the weight I wanted. I can now pretty much eat what I want and still maintain.”
Basa said his diet includes a lot of chicken and fish, which is normal for somebody who’s trying to lose or maintain weight.
Up next for Basa is the annual Sierra Nevada Classic next Tuesday and Wednesday. While not as tough as the TOC, it’s still a rigorous event. Basa went 2-2 last year.
“I’d definitely like to do better,” Basa said. “I’d like to at least place.”
After the SNC, Basa & Co. will continue their dual-meet schedule, Carson is the odds-on favorite to regain its title after knocking off Damonte, 37-33.
Basa said he would like to continue wrestling in college, and the good thing about that is the lowest college weight is 126.
“Oh yeah, I can see him there,” former CHS coach Paul Carter said. “He would have to gain some weight, but he has the talent to do it.
“He is a great kid. He is a hard worker, intelligent and tough, and he’s talented.”