Murray reaches 100-win plateau
Douglas High’s Blake Murray was undefeated in his individual matches and logged his 100th career victory Saturday at the 13th annual Placer Duals in Auburn, Calif.
Murray won all five of his 170-pound matches to help Douglas (13-9-1 overall, 3-2 Sierra League) win three of its five dual meets, all against California opponents, during competition in the tournament at Placer High’s Earl Crabbe Gym.
Ryan Adams (126 pounds) and freshman Jaden Blanchard (106) also went 5-0 on the day, while Kindel Isham (120), Will Williams (145), Mason Melhus (138) and Chad Singer (182) went 4-1 for the Tigers in their final tune-up before the Northern Region Tournament this Friday and Saturday at Reno High School.
“We saw lots of great wrestling,” coach Jake Fair said. “And I enjoyed the dual meet format because the kids were able to come together as team against some very tough competition.”
The Tigers defeated River City (West Sacramento) 72-6, Antelope (Roseville) 65-9, and Placer 45-19. Their losses came at the hands of Central Valley (Ceres) 43-36 and Yuba City 42-41.
Central Valley is the defending CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV dual champion and the Hawks only recently saw an end to their a three-season streak of 18 consecutive Western Athletic Conference (Modesto area) dual meet wins.
“We were right there with Central Valley,” Fair said. “And that’s with his giving away two weight classes, 160 pounds and heavyweights (due to forfeits).”
Douglas came even closer against Yuba City, losing by one point in a back-and-forth contest that saw the team score tied on six occasions.
“Yuba City is a tough team, a very aggressive team,” Fair said of the Honkers. “We had talked about being aggressive from the start and setting the tone in the first 30 to 60 seconds in every match. They’re the same type of team, and I’ll tell you, we gained their respect (in that dual).”
Spanish Springs defeated Paradise (Calif.) 58-17 for the championship. Carson defeated Central Valley 57-21 for third-place.
Also on Saturday, Douglas had two place finishers at the Northern 4A Junior Varsity Championships hosted by McQueen High in Reno. Christopher Merritt placed second in the 132-pound weight class with a 3-1 record, while Spencer Kaufmann placed fourth in the same division with a 4-2 record. Merritt defeated Kaufmann when the two teammates met in the semifinals.