Douglas wrestlers second at Lions Invitational | RecordCourier.com

Douglas wrestlers second at Lions Invitational

Douglas High wrestling coach Jake Fair waited anxiously Saturday night for the team scores to be tallied at the end of the Carson Valley Lions Invitational. He did know two things at the time: One, that very little would separate the top three teams; and second, that his Tigers were right in the thick of that race with two teams that happened to represent the same school.

"That Spanish Springs is a good team … two good teams," Fair said with a smile.

Spanish Springs, the four-time reigning Northern 4A region champion, showed up with a split squad and the Cougars' No. 1 team rode the strength of five individual champions to edge past host-Douglas by a mere one-half point — 179-178.5 — to win the 13-team tournament. And, by the way, the Cougars' second team was close behind in the No. 3 spot with 163 points.

"It was close," Fair said after the scores were announced. "One win here or there was the difference."

From an individual standpoint, Douglas 126-pounder Ryan Adams repeated the Lions tournament championship he won last year, while five teammates earned silver medals. Kindel Isham (120 pounds), Andrew Williams (132), Will Williams (145), Blake Murray (170) and Chad Singer (182) were second-place finishers.

Adams (21-6 season record) pinned two of the three opponents he faced to secure his second tournament championship in as many weeks. He won the gold medal by pinning Spanish Springs II sophomore Logan Blocher (20-5) in 1:38.

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One week before, Adams won by technical fall over Blocher en route to a championship at Sparks High's James McCollum tournament. Despite that outcome, the Douglas senior wasn't taking anything for granted in the rematch.

"He (Blocher) knows what he's doing, so I came into it with an open mind. I knew if I made a mistake, I could get in trouble," Adams said. "Then, when he gave me the Cow Catcher at the end, I figured, 'Why not?' So I took it."

Adams, who won his Carson Valley Lions tournament title last year as a 120-pounder, used that Cow Catcher move to turn Blocher for a takedown that broke up a scoreless duel.

The evening's featured match came in the 170-pound final, where Spanish Springs standout Cole Drescher outpointed Murray, 14-3. Drescher (29-3) was the region champion and state runner-up last year as a 152-pounder. Murray (22-2) was a state tournament qualifier and a Carson Valley Lions champion in 2016.

Drescher actually moved up when tournament officials combined the 160- and 170-pound weight classes due to a sparse number of entries in the lower division. Murray welcomed the opportunity to face a quality opponent.

"Definitely … I don't mind losing a match like that; I train to wrestle against guys like that," the Douglas junior said. "I learned a lot from that match and I'm going to be better in the future because of it. As long as I get better, that's what I'm here for."

Drescher, who was honored as the tournament's Outstanding Upper Weight Wrestler (152-285 pounds), extended a 5-2 lead at the end of the second period when he scored five quick points on a takedown and near fall. Drescher seized an opportunity after Murray attempted a throw that proved to be unsuccessful.

"I was at a point where I thought it was getting away from me and thought I had to go big. It was just poorly timed because, in reality, it was still anybody's match," Murray recalled. "What I learned from that is to be more patient, not try to do too much, and just wrestle my style."

Will Williams (20-7) came up short in his 145-pound championship match against Yerington senior Adan Pineda (22-4), who later received the Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler award. Williams, a state qualifier last year, pinned two opponents on his way to the finals (1:09 and 59 seconds).

Pineda, a 2016 small schools state champion, opened up a 2-1 struggle when he scored three points on an escape and takedown in the final minute of the second period.

Isham (16-6) posted two quick pins, winning in 1:18 and 1:48, to reach the 120-pound final, where he dropped a 13-9 decision to Spanish Springs senior Nicholas Poalillo. A takedown inside the final 20 seconds of the first period gave Poalillo a 5-3 lead that he never relinquished.

"Isham did a good job," Fair said of the senior Tiger. "He battle to the end. He just came up short."

Andrew Williams (16-5) dropped a 5-1 decision against James Daniels of Spanish Springs in the 132-pound final. The Douglas junior only trailed 2-1 before Daniels scored three points on an escape and takedown in the opening 30 seconds of the second period.

Singer (15-16), a sophomore who weighed in at 171 pounds Saturday morning, pinned two opponents to reach the 182-pound final. Logan Klonicke, a state tournament veteran, won the gold medal match with a 4-1 decision that clinched the Spanish Springs first team's championship.

Douglas received contributions from three other wrestlers who climbed on to the medal podium: Richard Castellanos, a senior, secured third-place in the 220-pound division with his 8-5 win over Galena's Aaron O'Connor, while freshmen Jaden Blanchard and Fred Foster placed fourth in their respective 106- and 113-pound divisions.

Despite falling short against the North's top wrestling program — the Spanish Springs teams sent a combined total of 14 wrestlers to the championship round — Fair was enthused with the improvement the Tigers displayed on Saturday. Now, they want to continue that progress this coming Friday and Saturday at Fernley's Walter Marrietta Vaquero Classic.

"I think we have it in us; we have to buckle down and do the little things right," Fair said. "We're going to Fernley with high expectations, Our next hurdle, though, will be Galena and Wooster on Wednesday (double dual at home)."

RESULTS

TEAM SCORES: Spanish Springs (I) 179, 2, Douglas 178.5, 3, Spanish Springs (II) 163, 4, Sparks 79.5, 5, Galena 70.

Championship round

106 pounds: Anthony Sissom (Spanish Springs 1) p. Keegan Cramer (Spanish Springs 2) 1:16.

113: Owen Jones (Spanish Springs 2) d. Nick Foster (Spanish Springs 1) 11-5.

120: Nicholas Poalillo (Spanish Springs 1) d. Kindel Isham (Douglas) 13-9.

126: Ryan Adams (Douglas) p. Logan Blocher (Spanish Springs 2) 1:38.

132: James Daniels (Spanish Springs 1) d. Andrew Williams (Douglas) 5-1.

138: Cade Draper (Yerington) d. Werner Hunter (Spanish Springs 2) 4-0.

145: Adan Pineda (Yerington) d. Will Williams (Douglas) 7-3.

152: Joseph McKay (Spanish Springs 2) p. Nathaniel Perez (Sparks) 5:45.

160: No entries

170: Cole Drescher (Spanish Springs 1) md. Blake Murray (Douglas) 14-3.

182: Logan Klonicke (Spanish Springs 1) d. Chad Singer (Douglas) 4-1.

195: Casey Preston (Spanish Springs) p. Julius Rice-Misa (Sparks), 1:56.

220: Caleb Fawley (Galena) p. Jarett Tenpenny (Spanish Springs 1) :30.

285: Tyler Barats (Spanish Springs 2) d. Robert Siavao (Galena) 11-5.

Outstanding Upper Weight Wrestler: Cole Drescher.

Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler: Adan Pineda.