Miller leads four wrestlers into second day at TOC
RENO – A small contingent of Carson High wrestlers will carry the torch into the second day of the Tournament of Champions at the Reno Event Center.
Brandon Basa (113), Nathan Mersino (138), Abel Carter (195) and Sheldon Miller (heavyweight) are still alive. Today’s matches start at 9 a.m.
Miller had the easiest day of the quartet, having to wrestle just twice after getting a first-round bye. He won both of his matches by pin, taking down Eagle’s Matt Moore and Cibola’s Tommy Mommer. It was just his second appearance of the season. He also had to sit around most of the day waiting for time to get on the mat.
“I had two goals,” Miller said after his second pin. “The first was to get to the second day, and the second was to place (top 8).
“We warm up as a team, and then you sit around for two hours, and then you have to go back out and warm up. The two guys I wrestled were about the same (as I would see locally).”
Basa started fast, pinning Zach Cisneros of Pueblo West and then winning by tech fall against Danny Khoundet of Stansbury. He lost a 5-3 overtime thriller to Corbyn Edwards of Cowette and then rebounded to blank Temecula’s Ethan Pratt, 11-0.
Basa took down Edwards to tie his match at 3 moments before regulation ended. Edwards was the aggressor in OT, taking the first shot and converting for the win.
Against Pratt, Basa snapped a scoreless tie with six second-period points. He got a takedown in the third and finally pinned Pratt.
“I felt I wrestled pretty solid,” Basa said. “Things were going my way (in that OT loss). I had that kid. It (playing defense in the OT) didn’t work well for me. Other than that I was happy with the way I wrestled.”
Coach Keith Shaffer said one of Basa’s goals was to be more aggressive and not rely so much on defense in those situations.
“That was a good shot by that kid,” Shaffer said. “He likes people to shoot and then get into a scramble. He had that guy. If Brandon had shot first, that guy would have folded.”
Carter kicked off the tournament in nice fashion, upsetting second-ranked D.J. Cohen of Wasatch, 3-2. Carter snapped a 2-all tie with an escape at the start of the third period.
“That was a tough kid,” Shaffer said. “Abel did a great job.”
Carter dropped his next match, 5-4, to Reno’s Austin Lemmons.
Carter had beat Lemmons the previous week at Winnemucca. Carter tied the match two different times.
“I think he was a little overconfident,” assistant coach Nick Redwine said.
“Abel wasn’t doing the things he normally does. I thought he let the kid dictate; wrestle his match.”
Carter responded with back-to-back pins of Vic Lavigne of Thunder Ridge and William Wikowsky of Grandview before pulling off a reversal with two seconds left to beat Cody Miles of Altmount, 12-11.
Mersino vowed earlier in the week he would better his 2-2 record at last year’s TOC, and he did just that with a 4-1 record.
He opened with a 15-0 tech fall against Meridian’s Adrian Cruiel, but than dropped a 4-2 decision against Jayden Loza of Rodriguez.
“I didn’t know how good that kid was,” Mersino said. “I didn’t hit on my offensive (moves).”
He rebounded nicely, winning 19-4, 7-4 and by pin to close out his day.
In that final match, he trailed 4-2 in the final period, but got a takedown with 1:43 left and registered the pin 11 seconds later.
“He took a shot,” Mersino said.
“I hit a knee tap and got him in a cradle. I was just going for a near fall, but then I realized he was stuck.”
The next best effort was turned in by Kyle Rudy (132). He went 2-2, scoring two pins and being pinned twice. A simple case of feast or famine.
“Kyle did a great job,” Shaffer said.
“He had a tough match. He had a good consolation match. He never quit out there.”
Seth Reichelt (152) won his opening match on a pin, but lost his next two. He lost 11-6 in the elimination match.
Garrett Tibma, Zach Bumby, Johnny Lopez, Jake Roman, Kellen McDermott, John Rowe, Ty Evans and Jesse Case all went 0-2.
Bumby and Roman both wrestled well enough in their consolation matches, but both were pinned despite being ahead in the score.
Bumby was ahead 5-2 in the third when he got pinned with less than five seconds remaining. Roman, meanwhile, built a 6-1 lead with a couple of takedowns and a reversal. His opponent cut the lead to 6-3 and then finished the Carson senior off moments later.
“That was tough,” Shaffer said of Roman’s loss. “He has great heart and great strength. It (the loss) was because of his lack of experience. He just turned the wrong way.”
Overall, Shaffer said he was pleased with the performance of his team.
This certainly will give many of Carson’s wrestlers a good barometer for where they are, especially with the Sierra Nevada Classic coming up in a couple of week.
Before that, Carson will host Galena Thursday at 6 in its Sierra League opener.