Wrestling: Douglas upends Galena | RecordCourier.com

Wrestling: Douglas upends Galena

by Joey Crandall

After taking their lumps at two of the toughest high school tournaments in the country, the Douglas High wrestling team put the lessons it had learned to good practice Wednesday night.

The Tigers stepped up to defeat Galena, a team Douglas had lost to twice earlier in the year, 41-36 in Minden.

The dual meet upset came on the heels of the Reno Tournament of Champions and the Sierra Nevada Classic where many of the Tiger wrestlers went two losses and out. It also preserved Douglas’ unbeaten record in Sierra League action at 2-0.

“That kind of came out of nowhere,” Douglas coach Justin Shine said. “Something about going to those big tournaments got our kids tougher, got them ready for this league stretch coming up.

“They’re just getting better. We’re trying to work through those midseason bumps, the injuries and sicknesses, but we’re getting there. I think we surprised ourselves tonight. I think we surprised Galena a bit.”

Shine said some of the turnaround could be attributed to a change in routine at practice.

“We started going a little bit longer in practice and changed our conditioning up,” Shine said. “It’s obvious it paid off. It’s a tribute to the kids’ hard work.”

The Galena match featured a lot of pins and forfeits and not much else. The Tigers won six of eight contested matches, with five coming by fall and the sixth coming by technical fall.

Douglas’ two losses contested matches also came by pin.

“There weren’t any close calls, that’s for sure,” Shine said.

After Douglas took a forfeit loss in the 112 bout to open the night, 119-pounder Zach Fiene got the Tigers going with an impressive pin in 45 seconds.

Galena scored a pin at 125 and took a forfeit win at 130 to push ahead to an 18-6 lead.

Dillon Spates dismantled his opponent in the 135 bout to tack a technical fall in 2:44 after running up a 16-1 lead.

Douglas’ Sean Merritt cut the score to 18-17 in the dual match with a 39-second pin at 140.

Branden James, who started the year at the junior varsity level for Douglas, stepped up with a big win – a 27-second pin – in the 145-pound bout to put Douglas up 23-17.

Daniel Lundergreen had a forfeit win at 152 and freshman Sullivan Cauley turned in a pin in 2:57 at 160 to stretch the Tigers lead to 35-18.

After Galena scored a pin in the 171 bout, Luke Falanga sealed the win for Douglas in the 189-pound bracket by pinning his opponent and putting Douglas up 41-24.

The teams settled for a dual forfeit at 215 and Galena captured forfeits at 275 and 103 to set the score at its final.

“It (the pins) says something about the kids’ ability to step up and make something happen,” Shine said. “They get in that group before their matches to fire each other up and I think that type of thing plays a role – just that peer motivation.

“We’re undefeated right now. We have to be able to fill a full lineup in order to compete at a high level, but the kids are fighting. It’s a far cry from where we were last year when we just had 11 kids.

“They’re working hard and getting better. This was a good win.”