Wrestling: Douglas stays perfect in league action
They’re young. They’re still relatively inexperienced. They have yet to compete in a dual match with anything close to a full lineup. And they’re currently tied for the Sierra League lead with a 3-0 record.
The Douglas High wrestling team won a battle of depleted lineups Wednesday night, topping Manogue 20-15 in Minden to remain perfect in league play.
The match saw dual forfeits in seven weight classes, making for a quick evening that still offered plenty of excitement.
Douglas trailed 15-10 heading into the final two matches with a freshman 160-pounder and first-year wrestler in the 171-pound class left to compete.
Tiger freshman Sullivan Cauley posted an 11-1 major decision at 160 pounds to put Douglas up 16-15.
That left Nick Lufrano, who began wrestling just two months ago and had not previously wrestled in a league match, in the position of needing to win to clinch the team victory.
Lufrano, who went 3-1 in the Hard-luck bracket at the Big Valley Classic over the weekend, challenged to earn the varsity spot at 171 pounds just a day early and was quickly thrust into the clutch situation.
He came through for the Tigers, posting a 16-5 major decision to give Douglas the 20-15 win.
The match started at 189 pounds, where Manogue moved its all-region standout 171-pounder Ricky McDonald up to earn a pin over Connor Jobe.
With Manogue leading 6-0, the two teams forfeited at 215, 285, 103, 112 and 119 pounds.
The Miners took a 12-0 lead when Willie McDonald pinned Anthony Sparks, who was wrestling for regular starter Zach Fiene (illness).
Douglas senior Dillon Spates dominated his match at 130 pounds, posting a pin to cut the score to 12-6.
After a dual forfeit at 135, Douglas’ Sean Merritt took a forfeit win at 140 to tie the match up at 12.
Another dual forfeit at 145 was followed by Manogue’s Curtis Bright, one of the best 152-pounders in the region, taking a decision over Douglas senior Daniel Lundergreen.
That set up Cauley and Lufrano’s late-match heroics.
Douglas will travel to the Alhambra tournament this weekend in California and attempt to win its fourth league match Jan. 26 in a dual at Wooster.
If the Tigers can get past Wooster, they would be facing a likely match-up of unbeatens in the regular-season finale at home against Carson Feb. 2.