RENO — The name Shine is synonymous with outstanding wrestling.
Nick Shine was a state champion and brother Justin was a state runner-up during their high school days at Carson. And now, younger brother Nolan is enjoying some success on the mat.
The youngest of the Shine brothers overcame a 4-3 deficit to score five unanswered points in the third period to defeat Reno’s Devyn Cox 8-4 to win the 152-pound championship at the Northern Division 1 regional championship Saturday at Reno High School.
Shine leads a contingent of six CHS wrestlers into next Saturday’s state meet in Primm. He’s joined by champions Brady Rivera (182) and Nicholas Lani (138) plus runner-up Brady O’Keefe (145) and third-place finishers Brandon Basa (106) and Kyle Sharp (132).
Shine admitted that he feels pressure living up to his older brother’s achievements.
“It feels great to get that (regional title),” he said. “I know I have something to prove coming from a family of wrestlers. Having that pressure to live up to. It killed me not having a chance to compete to go to state last year.”
Shine suffered a season-ending knee injury at the Fernley Tournament last year. He had been wrestling well enough that then head coach Tim McCarthy felt he had a real good chance to qualify for state. This is redemption in a big way for the CHS junior.
In the final match Saturday, Shine led 2-0, but gave up back-to-back escapes and then a takedown with 33 seconds left in the second period to trail 4-2. He managed an escape with 7.1 left to pull to within 4-3 by the end of the period. A switch move earned Shine a reversal and a 5-4 lead, and he finished off Cox with a three-point near fall.
“All the hard work and help from the coaches is starting to pay off,” Shine said.
“Nolan is wrestling real well,” said coach Paul Carter, who wrestled with both of Shine’s brothers during his years at Carson. “He’s really come along. He could be dangerous next week.”
Shine won 6-4 over North Valleys’ Steven Johnson in the semis to reach the finals. He went 4-0 in the tournament.
While Shine’s win was a breeze, the championship victories posted by Rivera and Lani had plenty of drama.
Rivera looked liked a beaten warrior after knocking off Damonte’s Rory Anderson 6-4 in overtime. He still had blood on his face, as the match had to be stopped a couple of times for a bloody nose. His eye and lip were bothering him, the lip from an elbow.
“I’m going to state with the mindset of winning the title,” said Rivera, who was fourth a year ago. “I won’t be happy leaving Las Vegas without a gold medal.”
Rivera appeared headed for a 4-3 championship win against Anderson, but the Damonte star worked an escape seconds before the final horn to send the match into overtime tied at 4. Rivera had given up an escape to end the first period.
In the one-minute overtime, Anderson appeared to have taken down Rivera for a 6-4 win. Rivera looked on in disbelief, while the Carson coaches argued that both Rivera and Anderson were out of bounds. The assistant referee conferred with the head official, and the points were taken off the board much to the chagrin of the Damonte fans and coaches.
“I know I was out of bounds, so he had to be out of bounds,” Rivera said. “When he called two points I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t agree with the call.”
“That usually doesn’t happen (a reversed call),” Carter said. “That’s his job (the assistant official) to point out something the head official might have missed or not been position to see.”
In the second OT period, Rivera worked a reversal to grab the 6-4 win.
Rivera had an easy time against Bryce Cartlidge in the semis, winning 8-3. Rivera dominated, giving up points just on escapes. He pretty much was able to get a takedown whenever he needed one.
Lani is on a roll, having racked up pins in his last six contested matches, spanning the Sierra League season (four) and the first day of regionals (two).
In the finals against Cole Drescher of Spanish Springs, Lani won an easy 10-0 decision despite the fact that he injured his right leg in the opening period. He said he never thought about leaving the match despite the fact he’d already qualified for state.
The match was scoreless at the time of the injury. Lani ended the second period with a 3-0 lead, and then piled up seven points in the final period.
“I’m a senior,” he said. “If I can stand up on it, I’m going to wrestle. I wasn’t going to give up. I want to leave it on the mat.”
Lani reached the finals by pinning North Valleys’ Matt Trainor in the opening round.
O’Keefe had an impressive second-round pin of McQueen’s Jan Paulk in the semifinals, putting him against Reed’s Jake Otuafi in the finals.
Otuafi worked a takedown in the last 10 seconds of the first period, and then scored a reversal for a 4-0 lead. O’Keefe was only able to work an escape before the final buzzer. O’Keefe was disappointed with his performance.
“I could have done a lot better,” O’Keefe said. “I didn’t wrestle the way I should have. I had beaten him before. I hope to get revenge at state.”
It was an interesting day for Sharp, who was expected to challenge for the 132-pound title.
His title hopes were derailed in the semifinals when he lost a 9-7 decision to McQueen’s Auddie Sweet in overtime. Sharp led by as much as 6-3 in the second period, but an escape, penalty point and takedown gave Sweet a 7-6 lead in the third period. Sharp pulled into a 7-all tie when Sweet was penalized for stalling. In the OT, Sharp took a bad shot, and was taken down for the sudden-death victory.
Sharp had another tough match against Galena’s Ikaika Flagg. Sharp trailed 5-4 but got a takedown and pin in the final 10 seconds to win. In the third-place match against Blake Boswell of Spanish Springs, Sharp got a left-leg takedown to grab a 4-2 lead, and held on for a 4-3 win. He wasn’t a happy camper, however.
“I don’t feel that great because I didn’t win the title,” Sharp said. “I’m not excited about getting to state finishing third, Now, I may have to wrestle a pigtail match.
“I thought I could get it (takedown in semis). It was a bad shot. I hurt my hip in the second match, and the coaches told me to suck it up.”
Carter was impressed with Sharp’s final match.
“He showed a lot of heart (against Boswell),” the CHS coach said. “I know his hip had been bothering him. He may have been tired in that second match (against Flagg), or it could have been his hip.”
Basa, meanwhile, was dominated 14-4 by Wooster’s Ian Timmins in the semis, but he came back with a pin of McQueen’s Austin Majorsky and a 13-2 thumping of Reno’s Connor Peterson to reach state as a freshman.
“That was one of my goals to reach state,” Basa said. “I feel good about coming back like I did. It feels like I accomplished something. I got that first takedown against Conner, and I knew I had to keep it up.”
And he did, rolling up a 4-1 first-period. After a scoreless second period, Basa scored nine third-period points.
“Basa had a great tournament,” Carter said. “To qualify for state as a freshman is phenomenal.”
The only thing missing for Carson was a team title. The Senators finished 19 points behind High Desert champ Spanish Springs.
“I’m a first-year head coach and we came in second,” Carter said. “I’m proud of my team.
“I admit I would have liked to see more wrestlers qualify for state. I’m disappointed with some of the results. The 120 and 126-pound classes were key, and we were unable to qualify anybody at those weights, and there were a few weight classes where we didn’t score any points until today. That hurts the team score.”