Carson tops DHS in final match
The Douglas Tigers’ final home dual match of the season went down to the last minute of the last match on Wednesday.
But it was the Carson Senators who walked out of the DHS gym with the thrilling victory.
Carson freshman Mike Moore pinned Douglas sophomore Mark Butti in the final minute of the third period of the heavyweight match to secure a 33-27 win for the Carson Senators.
The two teams were tied, 27-27, going into the heavyweight match.
“Going down to that last match, that’s exactly the position we wanted to be in, it just didn’t work out,” Douglas coach Bill Nickerson said.
Douglas trailed 27-15 with four matches left, but got three wins in a row from Nathan Bennett (174 pounds), John Hillenbrand (192) and Matt Wilcks (218) to tie the match.
Bennett defeated Josh Aguilar, 9-7, in overtime to keep the Tigers in the match.
Hillenbrand followed with a 13-7 win over Nick Shine. The Tiger senior scored five points in the final 11 seconds to secure the victory.
Wilcks pinned Eric Klug in the first period of the 218-pound match to set the stage for the heavyweights.
Carson led 9-0 to start the match before Douglas Chris Bautista earned a 7-4 win over Tim Ellis at 122 pounds.
Romaine Smokey won the 128-pound match for Douglas with a second-period pin of Chris White.
Joe Rose, a freshman who only has a handful of varsity matches under his belt, then beat Chandler Brown 14-11 in the 133-pound match. Rose scored a takedown with 1:20 remaining to break an 11-11 tie and take the lead for good. His win also gave Douglas its only lead of the night, 12-9.
“That was a huge win for us,” Nickerson said. “Joe’s a first-year wrestler. He’s got a lot of raw talent and he’s been working hard in practice. He’ll be tough next year.”
Carson’s Justin Sarnowski pinned Steve Magee at 138 pounds.
Nickerson shuffled his lineup in the next four matches. He decided to forfeit the 143-pound match to defending zone champion Doug Brooks and then bump his next three wrestlers up one weight class each. The move was designed to fill the void created when senior Drew Hall was lost for the season to a shoulder injury.
“The whole difference of this match was not having Drew Hall (at 163 pounds),” Nickerson said. “But we wrestled with what we had. And we had a great match. It was a great match all the way through. Unfortunately, they came out ahead.”
D’Art Johnson bumped up from 143 pounds to 148, where he dropped a 3-1 decision to Justin LaPorte.
David Tingle moved up from 148 to 155 pounds and scored a 9-6 win over Jaxon Luhrs.
Douglas sophomore Grant Hall stepped into his brother’s former spot in the lineup. Carson’s Chris Kotter scored a reversal and near fall in the final 30 seconds to win, 13-8.
“The Hall kid wrestled tougher than heck,” Carson coach Tim McCarthy said. “We thought we would be able to get a bigger win than that, but Chris was able to hang on and get the three-point win, which was good enough tonight.”
With the win, Carson ended its dual meet season with a 10-1 record and remained in contention for the conference championship.
Sparks (8-0) leads the conference coming into a four-way meet today at Reed, but the Railroaders need to get past Elko (7-1) and Douglas (5-3) to wrap up the title.