Murray wins regional gold
4A REGIONAL FINALS
Team scores: 1, Spanish Springs 236.5, 2, Reed 152, 3, Carson 117, 4, McQueen 104.5, 5, Reno 103, 6, North Valleys 89, 7, Damonte Ranch 72.5, 8, Douglas 56, 9, Hug 51.5, 10, Wooster 50, 11, Bishop Manogue 46, 12, Galena 41.5
106: Devin Griffen (Spanish Springs) d. Ryan Lopez (Reno), 5-1; 113: Nickolas Foster (Spanish Springs) d. Trey Walters (North Valleys), 8-5; 120: Owen Jones (Spanish Springs) d. Eric Lopez (Reno), 8-7. 126: Jacob Ruiz (Spanish Springs) d. Anthony Sissom (Spanish Sperings), 4-2; 132: Frank Giovanetti (Reno) d. Alejandro Casarez (Reed), 10-2; 138: Werner Hunter (Spanish Springs) p. Kyle Rudy (Carson), 2:33; 145: Logan Blocher (Spanish Springs) p. Kaleigh Ward (Reno), 3:26; 152: Tyler Green (McQueen) p. Christian Richner (Reed), 2:37. 160: Robert Jackson (Spanish Springs) p. Ruben Ruiz (McQueen) 3:09; 170: David Remer (Carson) p. Lincoln Hauck (Bishop Manogue), 1:26; 182: Blake Murray (Douglas) d. Jesse Case (Carson), 16-6; 195: Joe Miller (McQueen) d. Logan Hutcherson (Reno), 6-0; 220: Richie Garcia (Damonte Ranch) d. Kenneth Martinez (Hug), 13-6; Heavyweight: Juan Lopez (North Valleys) d. Randy Nemedez (Reed), 4-2.
One goal down. One more still to go.
So, while Blake Murray is excited about capturing his first Northern 4A Region Tournament championship on Saturday in Carson City, the Douglas High senior still has his sights set on a bigger prize.
“It’s kind of cool to go out that way in my last regional,” said Murray, a region runner-up in 2017. “But state, that’s the one I’m going for. I’m trying to bring that one home.”
Murray (40-4 season record, 147-29 career) is heading to Las Vegas to wrestle this coming Friday at the state tournament, a one-day event being held at the Orleans Arena.
At that time, he will try to become the school’s first state individual wrestling champion since Dillon Spates won as a 130-pounder in 2011. Since Douglas moved up to Nevada’s large schools classification in 1979, only seven wrestlers have won state wrestling gold medals.
Oh, and by the way, Murray is the first Tiger to win a regional title since Spates in 2011. He defeated three straight opponents during the two-day region tournament, capped by a 16-6 major decision over Carson’s Jesse Case in the finals at Carson High School’s Morse Burley Gymnasium.
“I didn’t wrestle the way I was hoping to, but I got it done,” said Murray, who won his sixth tournament title of the season. “Jesse Case wrestled super tough. There’s no one else I would have rather wrestled in the region final. We’re good friends, so having that match was a cool moment.”
Case, who placed fourth as a 170-pounder at last year’s region tournament, returned the compliment.
“Blake is the hardest guy I’ve wrestled, and I did the best today that I’ve ever done against him,” Case said. “That gives me a lot of confidence going into next week.”
Murray won his first match by fall in 2:40, followed by a 15-4 major decision over Reed’s Zachary Johnson in the semifinals.
Two other Tigers narrowly missed opportunities to place among the top three and qualify for state, as Gabe Wetzel and Chad Singer placed fourth in their respective 152- and 170-pound weight classes.
Wetzel lost his first match, 10-2 at the hands of Reed’s Christian Richer. Wetzel advanced through the consolation bracket with pins of Patrick Nelson of Spanish Springs and Reno’s Dylan Cox, before he lost in the third-place match, 9-2, against Carson’s Alex Wells.
Wells, a transfer from Reed, took a 4-0 lead after two periods. Wetzel scored on a takedown early in the third period to make it 4-2, however, Wells wrapped up his state berth with a takedown and near fall late in the period.
Wetzel started slow in December when he recovered from a shoulder separation sustained during football season, however, the junior finished on an upbeat note.
“Gabe showed a lot of desire and heart, he just fell short in that final match” Douglas coach Jake Fair said. “He didn’t surprise me at all. Gabe’s potential has always been there. I think we’re going to see really good things from him next year.”
Singer won his first match by fall on Friday, then dropped an 8-4 decision against David Remer in the semifinals the next morning (Remer went on to win the gold medal). The Tigers’ junior rebounded in the consolation bracket to post a 7-5 decision over Ben Garlock of Damonte Ranch, however, he was pinned in the third-place match by Logan Klonicke of Spanish Springs.
“I thought this was going to be Chad’s tournament,” Fair said. “He just ran into the Carson kid (Remer), we had not seen him before and I think that made a difference. I just wish we could have had another shot at him.”
Shane Trivitt compiled a 3-2 record at 138 pounds and came one match short of wrestling for third-place. Trivitt lost his first match 12-10 in overtime against Hug’s Dale Chapman, then came back to edge past Douglas teammate Race Coman, 8-7, and then bested Hug’s Christian Culver, 4-3, before being pinned by Wooster’s Patrick McDonald.
Chapman, who went on to take third-place, needed a late comeback to beat Trivitt in that first match.
“Shane had to up his game, and he did,” Fair said. “That match could have gone either way. He led almost the entire match, but Chapman hit a roll in the final 10 seconds to tie the score and send it to overtime.”
Other Tigers who picked up region tournament wins were Jaden Blanchard (1-2) at 113 pounds, Andrew Williams (1-2) at 132 pounds, Coman (1-2) at 138 pounds and Byron Fair (1-2) at 145 pounds.