Blake Murray leads Tigers into regional |

Blake Murray leads Tigers into regional

Douglas' Blake Murray on his way to defeating Damonte's DJ Stanton in a 160-pound match Wednesday evening.

Douglas High School sophomore Blake Murray is a No. 1 seed coming into the Northern Division I Wrestling Championships today and Saturday in Sparks. And the Sierra League's No.1 seeded 160-pounder and hoping to parlay that into a qualifying berth to the NIAA State Tournament on Feb. 20 in Primm.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 3 p.m. today at Spanish Springs High School. Wrestling resumes on Saturday with the championship bracket semifinals and consolation quarterfinals at 10 a.m. The gold medal matches are tentatively scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

The top three place finishers in each weight class will advance.

Murray, whose record stands at 38-5, will face at least two formidable opponents in his weight class — Devyn Cox of Reno and Jacob Dye of Spanish Springs. Cox is the top returning 160-pounder from last year, when he placed third at the region tournament and fourth at state. Dye was an eighth-place finisher in December at the prestigious Reno Tournament of Champions.

Though official seedings were to be determined during the coaches meeting this morning, Dye and Cox are projected to line up on one side of the bracket, while Murray could face a match against McQueen's Anthony Florez or Galena's Jordan Baker on the other side.

Douglas has two other No. 1 seeds: Will Williams (138 pounds) and Christopher Merritt (126). Andrew Williams (113) is a No. 2 seed. Kindel Isham (106), Ryan Adams (120) and Mason Melhus (132) are No. 3 seeds, while Jacob Moss (145) and Chad Singer are No. 4 seeds.

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Will Williams faces an interesting 138-pound division. Williams and McQueen's Aguilar could meet in one semifinal, while Reno's Connor Pearson and Carson's Brady O'Keefe are odds-on favorites to square off in the other semifinal.

Adams is facing a major challenge in the 120-pound weight class, where two-time state champion Ian Timmins of Wooster (113 pounds in 2015) is a No. 1.

Isham was one win away from competing for a state berth last year when he lost 4-1 in the consolation semifinals to Cody Jones of Spanish Springs. Isham could be looking at a rematch against Jones in the quarterfinals today.

Andrew Williams faces a formidable 113-pound division where the top seeds are 2015 region finalists Jacob Ruiz of Spanish Springs (106-pound champion) and Carson's Brandon Basa (113-pound runner-up).

Merritt is entered in a 126-pound weight class that features Bishop Manogue's Bailey Bright, last year's 120-pound state champion.

Note: The region wrestling tournament is being presented by the Les Schwab Tire Centers of Northern Nevada. … Longtime Northern Nevada wrestling and baseball statistician Michael Holen contributed to this report.