CHS wraps up Tigers
MINDEN — For the record, the Carson Senators were 56-16 victors against the Douglas Tigers Wednesday night in their Sierra League season-ending dual meet.
Looking at the bigger picture, with the Northern Division I Region Tournament just 10 days away, there were some highlights for both sides during the rivalry contest.
Carson (4-1 league record) won 11 of the 14 matches, seven of which were decided by fall. Freshman 106-pounder Terin Keller and 170-pounder Kevin Rusler also pulled out narrow decisions at the wire. And, senior 220-pounder Brady Rivera posted a 6-0 decision over Douglas rival Zach Singer in the evening’s marquee matchup.
“The regional tournament is always our goal and that’s what we’re building for right now,” said Carson coach Paul Carter, whose Senators travel to Auburn, Calif., on Saturday to compete at the Placer Duals.
For Douglas (3-2 league, 6-4 overall), there were signs of promise from a lineup that included nine freshmen and sophomores. Singer pointed out the Tigers have come a long way since ending their 2014 regular season with a 71-9 loss at Carson.
“The score is looking better,” said Singer, one of only two seniors in the Douglas lineup. “We’re still young; give us another two or three years and this team will be up there.”
Singer was unable to turn the tables on Rivera in a meeting between wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament as 182-pounders in 2014. Rivera won the division’s gold medal last year.
Singer has only lost five matches overall this season, three of which have come at the hands of Rivera. A takedown with 24 seconds left in the first period gave the Carson senior the only two points he would need in this match.
“Singer is a tough kid, Brady’s just had his number,” Carter said. “Brady placed third in Sacramento last weekend (Tim Brown Memorial) against a few top-ranked California kids, so he’s wrestling very well right now.”
Carson got a boost in the first match of the evening when Keller rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to pull out an 11-8 win against Douglas sophomore Kindel Isham. Keller broke a 6-6 tie with an escape and near fall in the final 20 seconds.
“That was a heck of a match for Terin,” Carter said. “Obviously, it was a great start to the dual for us, but he’s lost to that Douglas kid a couple of times, so this was a big confidence boost for him going into the regional tournament.”
Rusler broke up a 4-4 deadlock with a takedown and near fall in the final 20 seconds en route to a 9-4 win over Isaiah Schat.
Carter saw other highlights on a night when he had to fill openings on his lineup card. Nolan Shine, for instance, was given the night off to rest up minor injuries before the region tournament on Feb. 6-7 at Reno High School.
John Rowe, moving up from the JV ranks, also won by pin in 1:31 of the 138-pound match and Spencer Rogers dropped to 120 pounds and won his bout by fall in 28 seconds. Brandon Basa logged the fastest pin of the night at 113 pounds when he won in 14 seconds.
Douglas received back-to-back victories from Mason Melhus, who won the 126-pound match by fall in 3:53 and Michael Neff won at 132 pounds by fall in 1:10.
The Tigers also won at 160 pounds when Blake Murray scored an 11-2 major decision over Abel Carter in a matchup between talented freshmen.
Now, the Senators are looking ahead to facing a solid field at the Placer Duals which is going to include top Northern Division I contenders Damonte Ranch, Spanish Springs and Reno. The Senators are looking forward to a possible rematch against Damonte Ranch, a team that handed the Senators their only loss of the season in early December when Carson was without nine starters because they didn’t have the required five days of practice between sports.
“No doubt, we would welcome that opportunity,” Carter said. “We’ve been waiting for another shot at them.”