SPRING CREEK — With the season coming to an end, the Lowry High School wrestling team appears to be getting stronger and stronger with the regional and state tournaments just weeks away.
The Buckaroos finished third at the Kiwanis Invitational this past weekend in Spring Creek. Minico (Idaho) won the tournament with 256 points and host Spring Creek was second at 224.
Lowry held off Caldwell (Idaho) for third place 178-174.50. Columbia (Idaho) rounded out the top five with 167 points. Virgin Valley from the Southern 3A was sixth with 130.50 points.
“Overall, it was a pretty good weekend,” said LHS coach John Brooks. “This has turned into a pretty good tournament with quality wrestlers. We were right in it with Spring Creek but did not have the best final round. I was a little disappointed in the final round — it wasn’t the best for us.”
Bryan Day at 138 pounds and Quint Bell (152) each finished second for the Buckaroos. Cade Billingsley (182) was the lone third-place placer for Lowry.
“We are definitely getting better,” Brooks said. “We are still climbing. Bryan and Quint looked good and Cade got a nice win to end the tournament.”
Day had little trouble in his opening match, pinning Twin Falls’ Parker Maxfield in 52 seconds. It got a bit tougher in round two, as Day had to go the distance in a 9-6 decision over Yerington’s Donavan Coplin.
The senior made his way into the final, by pinning Hug’s Dale Chapman and Pershing County’s Jayce Leyva in the first period. Day came up short in the finals, losing to Spring Creek’s Dyllan Fuchs.
After pinning Eureka’s Preston Hubbard in the first round in 52 seconds, Bell saw his final four matches decided by decision. The senior squeezed out a 3-1 win in round two over Columbia’s Dillon Kellar. He had an easier time in the quarterfinals, beating Buhl’s Anibal Barragan 13-1.
Bell advanced to the championship match at 152 pounds with an 5-3 victory over Spring Creek’s Beau Chacon. Bell lost in the finals to Minico’s Brian Borden 11-1.
Following a first-round bye, Billingsley advanced to the quarterfinals with a pin over Galena’s Jory Davis in 35 seconds. The senior lost his next match to Theron Christensen of Buhl, forcing him into the consolation bracket.
Billingsley bounced back with three wins over Minico’s Kinardo Campos, Battle Mountain’s Mason Chopp and Spring Creek’s K-Ci Slade. The third-place bout featured a rematch with Christensen and Billingsley beat his Idaho opponent, this time by pin in the third period.
Taylor Corak (113), Ryan Johnson (160) and Joe Peterson (195) each finished fourth.
Corak started his tournament with a pin of Dayton’s Aryanna Ortega in 25 seconds. Corak used decision victories over Minico’s Joseph Lopez and Spring Creek’s Kodis Campbell to reach the semifinals. Corak, in a close semifinal bout, dropped a 4-2 decision to Cameron Thompson of Battle Mountain. Thompson is one of the top wrestlers at 113 pounds in Nevada regardless of classification.
Corak came back to beat North Valleys’ Trey Walters in the consolation semifinals but lost 9-3 to Minico’s Ryeker Anderson in the third-place match.
Johnson received a bye in the first round and made his way to the semifinals with wins over Elko’s Landon Dente and Columbia’s Alomar Alexander. The senior lost to Churchill County’s Sean McCormick in the semifinals but he came back to beat North Valleys’ Joseph Castleberry in the consolation semifinals. Johnson faced North Valleys’ Garrett Pennington in the third-place match and lost a 6-5 decision.
Peterson was one of the busiest Lowry wrestlers on the weekend, with seven matches. The senior moved into the quarterfinals with wins over Elko’s Gabriel Cortez and Spring Creek’s Hunter Hood.
Peterson was knocked off in his quarterfinal match by Minico’s Jade Barendregt. That forced the Buckaroo wrestler into the consolation bracket, where he collected three wins.
He defeated Twin Falls’ Skyler Carr, Fernley’s Gabriel Richards and Spring Creek’s Jeff Guthrie. In a rematch of the quarterfinal, Peterson lost to Barendregt.
“I have been happy with the way Joe has wrestled,” Brooks said. “He is finally getting there. I wish I had him one more season and he wasn’t a senior.”
AJ Gonzalez (145) and Trent McKellips (220) each placed sixth. Gonzalez also wrestled seven matches over the two days. Gonzalez won his first two matches by fall to advance to the quarterfinals. He lost that bout to Cadwell’s Christian Hudson, who was undefeated on the season.
Gonzalez rebounded with a 2-1 win over teammate Zack Peters and a 9-2 victory over Wooster’s Colton Williams. Gonzalez dropped his final two matches to finish sixth.
McKellips made his way into the semifinals with wins over Dayton’s Sal Leyva and Fernley’s Setriano Pirrodi. However, McKellips lost his final three matches, including an 8-6 overtime decision to Reed’s Seth Cook in the consolation semifinals.
Cade Bell (132) advanced to the fifth round of the consolation bracket, dropping a 9-7 decision to Sparks Avery Aranas in overtime. Isaac Mori (106), Peters (145) and Anthony Peterson (170) reached the fourth round of the consolation bracket.
“We are still missing a couple kids and I don’t like that,” Brooks said. “I like to have my lineup set at this time in the season. At this part of the season, there is really not a whole you can add and teach.”
Lowry travels to Fernley this weekend for the Vaquero Invitational.