The Delta wrestling team couldn't quite pull off a win Saturday at the Panther Invitational Wrestling Tournament, but it did place wrestlers in every weight division to place second with 231.5 points.
And they gave the tournament champion Paonia Eagles a good run in the process.
Delta claimed two championship-round wins — both over Paonia wrestlers.
"I was really happy with their performance," said head coach Clayton Curtis. Delta lost one match in the opening round and sent eight into the championship round.
At last year's Panther tournament, then sophomore Marcus Garcia was pinned in 15 seconds by Tony Darling of Paonia in the 285-pound championship match. Darling went on to place second at state, and Garcia made his first state appearance.
This year they met again in the championship round. Both were undefeated when they stepped on the mat. Darling didn't score until late in the second period, with Garcia scoring on a reversal to tie the match. With 20 seconds remaining in the third, Garcia scored an escape to take a 3-2 lead for the win.
Garcia was also named tournament Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weights (152-285).
At 182 pounds, Cordell Stroud pinned Colten Bumgardener of Rifle in 43 seconds and advanced to the championship round, defeating Logan Schopp, 11-4.
Six Panther wrestlers, Luke Anderson (106), David Brown (126), Tylon Cordova (132), Daryan Urquhart (138), Derek Horn (152), and Alejandro Medina (195), placed second. Anderson, a freshman, lost by a 3-2 decision to junior Wyatt Toothaker of Cedaredge in the championship match.
Brown, Cordova and Horn all faced Paonia wrestlers. Cordova lost by pinfall (1:41) to returning state runner-up, Bo Pipher, and Horn, who pinned his way to the finals, lost in a third-round pin to Ty Coats.
Brown faced two-time state champion, Jesse Reed. The score was tied at 2-2 (Reed for a takedown and Brown for an escape) going into the final round, with Reed scoring an escape at the buzzer for a 3-2 win.
"That was a tough match," said Curtis. "When you run into tough kids like Jesse Reed you need to learn how to finish off that match."
Delta won out over Coal Ridge in two divisions to place third, with Daniel Brown pinning Nick Carbone in 2:30, and Kory Mills pinning Christian Keith in 2:24.
At 195, Alejandro Medina defeated Landon Eckhart of Cedaredge in the semifinals. In the championship match Eckhart lost by pinfall to returning state placer Clayton Coombs of Rifle.
Freshman Livan Santander (220) finished fourth, and after winning by decision in quarterfinals over Casey Turner of Meeker, Kodie Komives lost by major decision to Turner to place fourth.
Placing sixth were Kavan Trujillo (113) and Wyatt Church (120).
This is another big week for the Panthers, said Curtis. Delta, currently 7-1, will dual Olathe this Thursday at Olathe High School. They compete Friday and Saturday at the 36th annual Warrior Classic at Grand Junction Central High School.
Curtis said the team will focus this week on some of the things they fell short on in the tournament. "The boys wrestled hard," said Curtis. "They are starting to see that they can do some good things with this season and really accomplish a lot."blog comments powered by Disqus