After a year’s absence, the Winnemucca Event Center was full again, as the Lowry High School wrestling team hosted the annual Cody Louk Invitational with over 20 teams in attendance.
Some familiar names were atop the standings, as Northern 5A power Spanish Springs ran away with the team title, scoring 262 points. Elko was second at 183.5 and host Lowry was third with 174 points. Damonte Ranch (140) and Battle Mountain (136.5) rounded out the top five.
“All in all, it was a pretty good weekend,” said LHS head coach. “The biggest thing we need to get back to is the fundamentals. We made some mistakes that we should not have and gave away some matches that way. We just haven’t got the traction we need because we are younger but that is over now. We got to get better in practice and expect us to do so. Elko is right in front of us and that gives something to chase after.”
The Buckaroos did not have an individual champion on the weekend, but had two finalists and runner-up’s.
Wade Mori claimed second place at 132 pounds with five matches on the weekend. Mori was on the mat for just a combined 53 seconds in his first two matches.
He pinned Churchill County’s Andrew Douglas in 25 seconds in the first round and Tonopah’s Drew Otteson in the second.
In his third match on Friday night, Mori reached the semifinals with a 10-3 win over Elko’s Kellen Wendell. Mori took down another Elko grappler in the semifinals, beating Grant Castor by pin in the second period.
In the title bout, Douglas; Elzie scored late points in the match to win 10-8 and claim the title.
Jesse Hawkins placed second at 145 pounds to improve to 8-1 on the season. Hawkins received a first-round bye and needed just 16 seconds to pin Fernley’s Teague Kenison in his first bout on the mat.
Hawkins advanced to the semifinals, beating Churchill County’s Isiah Diaz by pin in the second period and into the finals, with a first-period fall over Elko’s Noah Chacon. In the finals, Reno’s Colton Sellers beat Hawkins by pin.
“Wade and Jesse looked good this weekend,” Brooks said. “They are out there believing in what we want to do. It is ironic that Jesse got caught in a cradle, he cradled his way to the finals. I was pleasantly surprised with Wade. He has been banged up in practice. He is just a good, tough kid.”
The Buckaroos’ Coda Nichols (106 pounds) and Marcus Ricci (113) collected third-place finishes.
Nichols took down Elko wrestlers by fall in the first two rounds, pinning Carlos Marquez and Joey Greenwood, respectively.
Nichols advanced to the semifinals, but was knocked off by Battle Mountain’s Cruz Jimenez by an 8-5 decision.
Nichols came back to pin Churchill County’s Camron Mcmackin the consolation semifinals and Yerington’s Eric Pineda by pin in the third period for third place.
“Coda will probably look back at that Battle Mountain match as one that got away,” Brooks said. “It’s a learning experience and he will come back strong. The Battle Mountain kid was a quality wrestler. When you wrestle a Battle Mountain kid, he is going to be well coached. You can’t look past anyone.”
After an opening bye, Ricci pinned Dayton’s Sheamus Greenwalt to reach the semifinals, where he was pinned by Elko’s Marco Romero. Ricci shook off the loss quickly and pinned Douglas’ Victor Valdez in 93 seconds to reach the third-place match. Ricci claimed third in a wild 11-0 match with a last-second point to beat Spanish Springs’ Tyden Schultz.
Hunter Smith battled his way through the consolation bracket to finish fourth at 195 pounds. Smith won his opening bout by pin over Reed’s Johnathan Eubanks, but dropped his quarterfinal match to Battle Mountain’s Zach Duggan.
In his first consolation bout, Smith pinned Fernley’s Travis Kollar and the senior stayed in the tournament with a narrow 7-6 win over Sparks’ Jesse Chavez. Smith kept the excitement going, collecting a 2-1 win in the consolation semifinals, before losing to Spanish Springs’ Johnny Collier in the third-place bout.
Angel Huerta placed fifth at 126 pounds. After an opening with a win over teammate Brenton Baker, Huerta was knocked off by Reno’s Nick Bland. Huerta won his next three matches in the consolation bracket and was awarded fifth place after Bland had to forfeit the match.
David Walker at 220 pounds and Boni Jacinto (285) both placed sixth for the Buckaroos.
For the Lowry Gold squad, David Hunter placed fourth at 138 pounds and Gage Kinder was fifth at 132 pounds.
Hunter lost his opening match of the tournament, but came through the consolation bracket with six wins. Hunter was knocked off in the third-place match by Reed’s Damien Taylor.
Kinder earned a 9-3 decision over Elko’s Grant Castor to place fifth at 132 pounds.
Lowry will travel to Lovelock on Saturday for the Lovelock Invitational.
“Everyone is going through the same thing right now,” Brooks said. “Everyone is reteaching everything again. We are rusty and young but just have to get better in practice.”