Miller takes third at Sierra Nevada Classic
Carson High’s wrestling team made big news on and off the mat at the final day of the 41st annual Sierra Nevada Classic at the Reno Livestock & Event Center.
Sheldon Miller provided the on-the-mat news with five straight pins Thursday en route to an impressive third-place finish. Miller went 8-1, and his only loss he suffered was a first-round pin in his third match Wednesday.
The unfortunate off-the-mat news came when Brandon Basa, who had reeled off three straight pins on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals, missed weight by 2/10th of a pound. It was the first time in 11 years of wrestling Basa had missed weight.
Basa had a great opportunity to become the first CHS wrestler since Nick Schlager (2009) to win a SNC individual championship.
Miller was an absolute pinning machine. Four of his falls came in under a minute, and two came in less than 20 seconds.
His third-place finish comes on the heels of his fifth-place finish at the prestigious TOC.
“I had the same goals as I did for the TOC,” Miller said. “I wanted to get to the second day and place better than I did last year (6th).”
Miller’s only loss came to a wrestler from Centennial he beat at last year’s state tournament.
“I made a lot of stupid mistakes,” Miller said.
“That was a match I could have easily won. I was glad I was able to wrestle back all the way.”
Basa was obviously upset, both at himself and for letting the team down.
“I can only go forward from here,” he said. “I was three pounds over yesterday at the end of the day. I felt like I’d done enough to drop.
“It happens. The next time I’ll be more cautious. I just have to get ready for the next event.”
That’s on Wednesday at Bishop Manogue.
Basa indicated he has no desire to move to 120s, and said he will be much more vigilant about his weight.
“I don’t know what to make of it,” Carson coach Keith Shaffer said. “Brandon isn’t a kid I worry about when it comes to stuff like this.”
Carson had no other placers in the event.
Abel Carter, Carson’s 195-pounder came the closest.
Carter lost his first-round match 8-4 to Santos Cantu of Sprague-Oregon.
He then ripped off five straight wins, four by pin, before losing to Cantu, 4-2 in double-overtime, in the sixth round of consolation.
The match was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation and after the first overtime. The second overtime was split into two 30-second blocks, and Cantu scored in the second one.
Cantu, once the score was tied, did little or no moving, content to let the match go into overtime. He got one stall warning, but that was it.
“I fought back,” Carter said. “It was a good tournament I guess. He (Cantu) could have done a little more. I could have taken a few more shots.”
All during the match, you could hear the Carson coaches urging Carter to use his quickness and athleticism, and attack more.
Carter is the proverbial grinder. He has the ability and stamina to lose early and then string together several wins.
Nathan Mersino went 1-1 on Thursday, winning 6-3 and losing 9-1. He went 4-2 in the event.
“My coaches wanted me to shoot more,” Mersino said. “I have to learn from my mistakes.”
Thursday brought heartbreak to Kyle Rudy, who posted a 2-1 record on Wednesday.
He was eliminated, 6-5, in his first match of the day.
Rudy fell behind 4-0 before making it close with two third-period takedowns.
“I wrestled awful the first two periods,” Rudy said. “It’s disappointing. I think I could have done better. I just wasn’t being aggressive.”