Vikings make Tigers sweat |

Vikings make Tigers sweat

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune The Viking's Dan Duysters fights out of a cradle hold against his Douglas opponent.

By Jared Green

Tribune staff writer

Midway through Wednesday’s South Tahoe-Douglas wrestling match, it looked as if the Vikings might be able to upset the defending Sierra League champion Tigers. Then the middleweights took to the mat.

Douglas won the last six matches of the meet, four of them on first-round falls and came from 13 points back to claim a 47-28 victory.

“The middleweights are the strength of (Douglas’) team and they were going up against a lineup of freshmen and sophomores,” South Tahoe assistant coach Ken Robbins said.

The Tigers were forced to come from behind because a random draw started the meet with the big boys at 189 pounds. Oscar Moreno got South Tahoe off to a rousing start with a quick reversal and pin of Mark Winters at 1:40 in the first round.

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After Douglas’ Andrew McDonald got things even by pinning Cody Reeder in the second match, South Tahoe junior J.P. Foster continued his impressive season by pinning Matt Castro in the heavyweight (275 pounds) match.

Foster, who weighs in at 190 pounds, usually competes in the 215-pound division but was asked by his coaches to move up and face the 230-pound Castro. Down 5-2 after the first round, Foster turned things around and pinned Castro with 45 seconds left in the second round.

“Every time (Foster) goes out there, he takes care of business,” Robbins said. “We ask a lot of him and he never complains at all.”

The teams split the four lightest matches, with Douglas’ Josh Newman winning a dramatic pin over Dan Duysters in the 125-pound match. Duysters led 8-7 after two rounds and was on top of Newman with a minute remaining, but Newman flipped the hold and pinned the Viking with 42 seconds left.

Ryan Duin gave South Tahoe a 28-15 lead with a pin of Spencer Lewis in the next match, but that was the end of the line for the Vikings’ upset bid. Ryan Pruitt, Matt Yaquinto and Bradley Johnson racked up consecutive first-round pins for Douglas to put the Tigers ahead, 33-28. Luis Gabriel sweated out a 7-5 win over South Tahoe’s Josh Reeder for three more points and C.J. Keith clinched the win for Douglas with an impressive 16-1 technical fall over Miles Wallace.

Keith, who lost in last year’s state quarterfinals to a teammate who ended up winning the title, showed some impressive athleticism in outclassing Wallace. One move in particular, a somersaulting escape early in the second round, brought a gasp from the crowd, which was evenly split between the schools.

“Keith is a real good kid. He came out for the team late, but now he’s really focused,” Douglas head coach Mike Gamberg said. “He can be as good as we wants to be and he was real good tonight.”

Antonio Bagala completed the Douglas domination with a first-round fall of Nate Sweeney.

Douglas is 2-0 in the Sierra Division, while the Vikings slipped to 1-1.