The Lowry High School wrestling team began its winter break by winning the Lovelock Mustangs Invitational this past weekend.
The Buckaroo Blue team sent six grapplers into the finals, with Matthew Souza and Cade Billingsley winning individual titles. Lowry ran away with the team title with 178.50 points. Reed Blue was second with 144 points and Spring Creek (136) was third. Fernley (99) and Pershing County (88) rounded out the top five.
“It’s a pretty good tournament when you get into the semifinals and finals,” said LHS coach John Brooks. “There were some good wrestlers here. Overall, I thought we did a pretty good job. There is still a lot of season left though.”
Souza had to battle his way through three decisions at 126 pounds to win his weight class. The senior opened with a 17-3 victory over Ben Brown of Excel Christian. Souza made his way into the semifinal by pinning Yerington’s Coplin Brandon, 17 seconds into the second period.
Souza had little trouble in beating Sparks’ Walter Gudiel 9-1 to reach the final. Souza capped off his perfect day with an 11-6 win over Churchill County’s Mason Smith.
Billingsley had a much easier time, winning his first three matches by pin, including the first two in a combined 53 seconds. The senior needed just 22 seconds to beat Jose Huerta of NYTC in round one. The second round lasted just nine seconds longer, as Billingsley beat Fernley’s David Johnson.
In the semifinals, Billingsley pinned Bishop Manogue’s Lincoln Hauck in the second period. He finished the day be beating Reed’s Zachary Johnson 9-2.
Julian Esquivel (113), Bryan Day (138), Ryan Johnson (160) and Joe Peterson (195) placed second.
Esquivel started off his tournament with a pin of Garrett Walker of North Valleys in 55 seconds. After pinning Yerington’s Logan Galvin in round two, the freshman earned a 12-4 decision over Spanish Springs’ Keegan Cramer to reach the final. Esquivel lost the championship match to North Valleys’ Trey Walters.
Day won all three of his matches by pin, beginning with Sparks' Colby Bowman in round one. The senior knocked off Eureka’s Garrett Todd and Yerington’s Dante Reviglio to reach the final. Day dropped a 7-2 decision to Reed’s Alejandro Casarez.
Johnson had one the toughest routes to his runner-up finish. He needed an 8-4 decision over Reed’s Noah Roth to get out of the first round. The senior pinned Pershing County’s Dylan Hultenschmidt in round two. Johnson was in another tough match in the semifinals but outlasted Battle Mountain’s Fabian Castaneda 5-2. In the match of the day, Johnson dropped a double-overtime thriller to Garrett Pennington of North Valley’s.
Peterson had a bounce-back day with his finish at 195 pounds. After getting a first-round bye, Peterson pinned Spring Creek’s Hunter Hood in the second period of round two. Peterson advanced to the championship with a 13-6 win over Battle Mountain’s Tristin Cordingley but lost in the final to Reno’s Logan Hutcherson.
Freshman Isaac Mori was fourth at 106 pounds and wrestled five times on the day.
He advanced to the championship semifinals with pins over Fernley’s Morgan Zalyniak and Sparks’ Noah Aparicio. Mori dropped a 5-3 decision to Joshua Daniels of Spanish Springs in the semifinals but bounced back in the consolation round with a pin over Pershing County’s Ezekiel Jackson. Mori lost the third-place match to Spring Creek’s Jacob Taylor.
Caleb Sanchez was fourth at 170 pounds. After a first-round bye, Sanchez lost to Spring Creek’s Gabriel Scripter by a 6-3 decision. Sanchez battled his way through the consolation brackets with wins over Reed's Trent Munoz, teammate Caleb Hinkle and Galena’s Cobie Sheffield. The third-place bout was a rematch with Scripter, who won a 2-1 decision.
Cade Bell (132) and Zack Peters (145) made it to the consolation semifinals.
Kole Mattson finished second in the 220 B weight class for the Lowry Gold. Mattson pinned Battle Mountain’s Tyler Rochester and Bishop Manogue’s Ashton Christiansen to make his way to the final. Mattson lost to McQueen’s Ben Sheppard.
Lance Dove was fourth at 126 pounds. Dove lost his first match of the day, but came back with four wins in the consolation bracket. He pinned Dayton’s Victor Beletzwy in 11 seconds to reach the third-place match. He lost that bout to Battle Mountain’s Michael Malone.
“Right now our biggest thing is getting healthy,” Brooks said. “I’d rather be beat up right now instead of February."
Lowry travels to Reno next week for the Sierra Nevada Classic.