Senators take down Tigers, 43-34 | RecordCourier.com

Senators take down Tigers, 43-34

by Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

It wasn't easy, but Carson High's wrestling team defended its Sierra League wrestling title with a 43-34 win over Douglas at Morse Burley Gym on Wednesday night.

Carson completed its second straight unbeaten league season. It was only fitting the Tigers made Carson sweat a little. The Tigers actually led with four matches remaining before the Senators rallied.

"I thought we matched up pretty well," said Carson first-year head coach Keith Shaffer, himself a 1981 Douglas graduate. "I really didn't know what to expect. I hated to give up that 126-pound match (Carson's only forfeit). I'd like to see us get pinned less; like to see us fight from our backs."

"They were the best team we faced this year," said 220-pounder John Rowe. "They had a couple more wrestlers (than Damonte) which made it closer."

Douglas had four pins — Jaden Blanchard (106), Fredrick Foster (113), Blake Murray (170) and Chad Singer (182). The Tigers left two weight classes empty (160 and heavyweight).

"Last year I think we scored a total of six points (65-12 loss at Carson)," Douglas coach Jake Fair said. "Douglas is taking their game seriously. We've changed our routine. We're trying to get back to the way the program used to be. It was dominant in the '70s and '80s. My two freshmen (Foster and Blanchard) did a good job. They stepped it up tonight. Blake Murray (170) was amazing. He worked his opponent the whole way and then pinned him."

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The Tigers led 28-25 after Murray pinned Jesse Case with five seconds left in the second period, and Singer followed with a second-period pin of Nick Andreas.

The tide turned at 195, as Abel Carter registered a first-round pin of Daniel Ferguson to give the Senators a 31-28 lead. The clincher came at 220 when Rowe built up a 7-4 lead against Richard Castellanos, tacked on a takedown early in the second period and then registered a pin with 55 seconds remaining to give the Senators a 37-28 lead.

Blanchard ended the night with a pin of Carson's Eli Thomas.

Another key sequence came in the middleweights. The match was tied at 16 when 152-pound Seth Reichelt matched up with Gabe Wetzel.

Wetzel went ahead 4-0 on a takedown and near fall, however, Reichelt scored on a reversal and three-point bear fall for a 5-4 lead after one period. Reichelt built the lead to 8-4 before Wetzel fought back to 8-8 with a third-period reversal. Seconds before the final buzzer, Reichelt scored an escape to come away with a 9-8 win to give the Senators a 19-16 lead.

"Gabe (Wetzel) beat him at SNC (Sierra Nevada Classic)," Fair said. "I knew it was going to be a tough match."

So did Reichelt.

"He beat me by two points (at SNC)," Reichelt said. "He's a tough kid. I didn't even think I got the escape at the end, but they gave it to me."

Carson's other wins came from Brandon Basa (120), Kyle Rudy (132) and Nathan Mersino (138). Basa returned from an ankle injury to pin Kindel Isham.

lookahead

Douglas and Carson both return to action Saturday at the 13th annual Placer Duals, hosted by Placer High School in Auburn, Calif. Wrestling in the 16-team tournament starts at 9 a.m. in venerable Earl Crabbe Gym, which was built in 1936.