Singer, Murray strike gold in Sparks
Blake Murray and Zach Singer earned gold medals in their respective 152- and 220-pound weight classes and helped the Douglas High wrestling team to its best finish in at least four years Saturday at the James McCollum Memorial Tournament in Sparks.
Murray and Singer contributed 30 team points each to help Douglas capture third-place during the two-day, 17-team tournament hosted by Sparks High School.
Douglas coach David Singer said the finish was the team’s best in his four seasons with the program.
Spanish Springs scored 296 points to run away with the team title, while Lowry edged Douglas by a 198-176 margin in the race for second-place.
Singer pinned three straight opponents on his way to the 220-pound title and the tournament’s Outstanding Upper Weight Wrestler award. The senior, whose record now stands 19-4 on the season, pinned Lowry’s Blake Hillyer during the championship round in The Brickhouse at Sparks High. Singer won the 182-pound division at the Sparks tournament last year.
Murray won in his first appearance of the season at 152 pounds, as the freshman pinned three of his four opponents. highlighted by pins against Pershing County junior Angel Ramirez in the finals. Murray’s season record is now 16-8.
Ryan Adams also advanced to the championship round to take second-place in the 120-pound weight class. The sophomore posted two victories before he lost in the finals by fall against Riley Twitchell of Fernley.
Kindel Isham went 5-1 to place third in the 106-pound weight class. The sophomore defeated Owen Jones of Spanish Springs 8-0 in the third-place match. Isham, whose season record now stands at 19-5, absorbed his only loss in the quarterfinals against Jacob Ruiz of Spanish Springs. Ruiz went on to win the gold medal.
Sophomore Dawson Coman placed fourth in the 145-pound weight class. Coman went 3-2, his only losses coming in the semifinals against Vincent Evenson of Pershing County, the 145-pound runner-up at last year’s Division III state tournament. Coman pinned Seth Hornbarger of Lowry to reach the consolation finals, where he lost to Beau Barrett of Yerington, 17-9.
Heavyweight Ian Pieller went 2-2 to place fourth in the heavyweight division. Pieller won his quarterfinal match 3-1 against Chris Karchella of Lowry then lost in the semifinals against Tyler Barats of Spanish Springs, the eventual champion. Pieller won by fall in the consolation semifinals then lost a rematch against Karchella in the third-place match.
Michael Sloan went 4-2 at 132 pounds, his only losses coming at the hands of Pershing County’s BoDean Kendall in the second round and against Nick Alicea of North Valleys in the fifth round of the consolation bracket.
Will Williams went 2-2 at 126 pounds with both of his wins coming by fall. Ryan Weese went 2-2 at 160 pounds, losing in the quarterfinals against Zach Martin of North Valleys and 4-1 against Lowry’s Cade Billingsley in the consolation bracket.
Freshman Mason Melhus went 1-2 at 132 pounds. Melhus won his opening round match by fall then lost his next two matches, the last by a 9-7 decision against Reed’s Mason Irwin.
Andrew Williams posted one win in the 106-pound division, a 4-2 decision over Zack Peters of Lowry.
Jacob Moss went 2-2 in the 138-pound weight class, losing only to Cameron Okuma of Lowry in the second round and by a 7-2 decision against Cameron Scholl of Pershing County.
Josh Jensen went 1-2 at 170 pounds and Robin Reid won one match at 120 pounds.
Notes: The tournament is named in memory of James McCollum, a longtime Washoe County teacher, coach, administrator and commissioner of the old Northern Nevada 4A conference. McCollum, a 1955 graduate of Sparks High School and 1959 graduate from the University of Nevada, passed away in October 2010. … Douglas hosts its own Carson Valley Lions Invitational Saturday. A 20-team field has been lined up for the tournament, which begins at 9 a.m.