Pahrump Valley wrestlers capture conference title

The Pahrump Valley Trojans wrestling team captured the Sunset League championship with a 40-33 win on the road over Mojave High School.

The Jan. 25 matchup featured the two undefeated Sunset Conference squads competing against each other.

The Trojans secured a forfeit in the 106-pound weight class, capturing six vital team points.

The Rattlers’ 112-pound wrestler found a way to pin his Trojan opponent to tie the team score at 6.

Next came Trojan sophomore Donnie Miller, who dominated his match and secured a major decision over his Rattler opponent, securing 4 vital team points, putting the Trojans ahead 10-6 in the team score.

The Mojave 126-pound wrestler pinned his Trojan opponent, overtaking the Trojans in the team score 12-10.

The lead for the Rattlers was shortlived. The next four Trojan wrestlers would all secure pins against their Mojave opponents, making the team score 34-10 going into the 160-pound matchup.

Junior wrestler Isaac Cruz, at 132 pounds, secured a quick and dynamic pin of his opponent.

Next came the match of the evening, in the 138-pound weight class.

Trojan junior Dylan Grossell faced off against Mojave senior captain Akeel Smith. The powerful Smith held leads of 8-4 and 14-10 over Grossell after the first two periods.

In the final period, Grossell reversed his opponent, making the score 14-12, before he turned him to his back, securing three additional near-fall points, taking the lead 15-14.

Both Trojan and Rattler fans were frantic and loud, not knowing who would secure the win for their team.

With about 35 seconds left in the match, and Grossell still holding a slim 15-14 lead, the Trojan junior took advantage of a tiring opponent, locking in a tight cradle and securing a pin with 27 seconds left on the clock.

The Trojans followed with dominating pins by freshman Dylan Wright (145 pounds) and junior Tristan Maughan (152 pounds).

With the team score 34-10, the Rattlers began a major comeback, securing wins in the next four matches (160, 170, 182 and 195 weight classes). That brought the team score to 34-27 in favor of the Trojans with just two matches remaining in the dual meet and the Sunset Conference championship still up for grabs.

Going into the 220-pound match, the Rattlers had all the momentum until Trojan senior Morgan White took to the mat and secured the conference championship for the team with a first-period fall.

The Rattlers would close the contest with a pin over the Trojans in the heavyweight matchup. That made the final team score Pahrump Valley Trojans 40, Mojave Rattlers 33.

The Trojan wrestlers will next prepare for the Southern Nevada 3A Regional Wrestling Tournament, scheduled to take place at Western High School on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3.

The top five wrestlers in each weight class will qualify to participate in the 2018 NIAA State Wrestling Championships the following weekend at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

The Trojans will be going into the regional tournament with several No. 1 seeds: junior Isaac Cruz (132 pounds), junior Dylan Grossell (138 pounds), freshman Dylan Wright (145 pounds), junior Tristan Maughan (152 pounds) and senior Morgan White (220 pounds).