Cason avenges loss to Douglas wrestler
Ten days couldn’t have crept by any slower for South Tahoe High wrestler Cameron Cason.
After dropping the championship match of the Alhambra tournament to Douglas’ 119-pounder Wes Peterson on Jan. 16, Cason didn’t think he’d have to wait long for a rematch. But enter Mother Nature. A snowstorm wiped out last Wednesday’s match, and the schools weren’t able to reschedule until Tuesday.
Cason was more than ready to even the score.
Despite giving up eight inches to Peterson, Cason earned some revenge against the Douglas wrestler with a 5-2 decision.
“It kind of made me nervous because I hadn’t had any matches (in a long time),” Cason said. “I kept sleeping on it, waking up and going, ‘Oh, I can’t believe I lost to him.’
“The first time I was not ready for him at all. This time, I was ready for him. I just stayed in a lower stance and was more careful this time, defending myself a little more.”
Douglas, however, used pins by heavyweight Patrick Miller, 189-pounder Zach Falanga and 160-pounder Kyle Mathews to pull out a 41-33 Sierra Division win in South Lake Tahoe.
The taller Peterson was unable to execute the shots that he did at Alhambra as Cason took a more defensive stance.
“He executed his game plan and won a big match,” said STHS coach Ken Robbins. “They were both being very defensive from their first meeting.”
Douglas coach Justin Shine said that Peterson wasn’t ready for the intensity Cason brought to their match.
“I think he underestimated him. (Cameron) was just ready, and I don’t think we were ready,” Shine said. “We’ll be looking to get him back at zone, obviously.”
South Tahoe, which received four forfeit wins, delivered an additional win on the mat. Sophomore Tyler Nesbitt overcame a first-period near fall to pin Sean Merritt 24 seconds into the second period. The win was Nesbitt’s eighth in succession at 145 pounds.
“We’ve seen some good things out of Sean. He just needs to learn how to finish a job,” Shine said.
Besides their three falls, Douglas was awarded three forfeits. Mathews’ pin was key to the Tigers’ victory as he trailed Christian Fausto at one point before ending their 160-pound match in the final period. Douglas’ Austin Martz also delivered an extra two points when he was able to technical fall Ian Fonken in the third period.
“We gave them a heckuva lot more of a match than they thought coming here,” Robbins said. “The guys put in a lot of time during the snow week. We could have really went into a hole and been worse for not being able to compete all last week. They guys came to practice every day, they wrestled hard every day and they came out here fired up.
“A couple of the guys on our team unfortunately are not familiar with the dual situation and let a couple of points get away.”
Cason won’t have any time to celebrate his big win as he must face another tough foe Wednesday at Damonte Ranch. Cason will meet Garrett Manoukian, who knocked the STHS wrestler out of state tournament consideration last year.
“Since we’re (likely) going down to 3A next year, this might be my last chance to get a 4A state championship so I’m really trying to get there,” Cason said.
Notes: Fonken recorded a second-period pin an exhibition that concluded the dual. STHS is 0-5 in Sierra Division duals, while Douglas is 3-2 heading into Wednesday’s match against Carson.
“We wrestled all right. We have some improvement to make,” Shine said.