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Pahrump Valley wrestlers Cruz, Wright take third at state

Less than a week after Pahrump Valley High School teammates Dylan Wright and Tristan Maughan had wrestled for the Class 3A Southern Region 160-pound championship, there they were again battling in a tournament setting.

The stakes were different, a consolation final instead of a tournament championship. And the match was very different, although the outcome was the same as Wright took third place with a second-period pin.

It was a far cry from their title bout a week earlier, when the two went the distance with Wright posting a 15-8 decision Saturday at the Winnemucca Events Center.

“He caught me this time,” Maughan said. “I just got stuck. I could not move, and he pinned me.”

For his part, Wright acknowledged that he was feeling better at state than he was at the region tournament.

“I approached it differently,” he said of the state match. “To be totally honest, during that regional match I wasn’t feeling the best, and that kind of played a factor. Not taking anything away from Tristan, because he’s a great wrestler.

“This is state, and tensions are so much higher. I took third last year and just wanted to finish the best I could this year.”

While some hoped they would be facing each other again in the Class 3A state final rather than in the consolation bracket, both wrestlers knew the road would be a tough one.

“It was certainly disappointing not to get to wrestle in the finals, but my opponent, Beau Chacon, he won the state championship last year, and he beat me 12-1,” Maughan said. “I knew that guy was going to be very tough.”

Meanwhile, Wright had to deal with Tyler Green of Sparks, runner-up to Chacon in the Class 3A Northern Region.

“Me and Tristan both ran into some buzz saws,” said Wright. “Tristan probably wrestled better than I did. I threw him to his back within 10 seconds but then got flipped, and it just went downhill from there. I just couldn’t do anything. He torched me.

“He’s a solid wrestler, but I could have wrestled a lot better.”

Green pinned Wright in 3:26, then went on to avenge his loss in the regional tournament with a 7-4 win over Chacon to take the 160-pound title.

Just before Wright won third place at 160, teammate Isaak Cruz did the same at 145. Cruz had to work for it, going overtime to earn a 9-6 decision over South Tahoe’s Nate Singelyn.

“It was kind of scary to be honest,” Cruz said. “I was thinking going in there that I was going to destroy him and get an easy win, but that definitely was not the case.

“He was one of the stronger guys I’ve ever wrestled. I’m normally the one that’s controlling them, but I was having a little bit of trouble.”

“Isaak Cruz, good for him,” Pahrump Valley coach Craig Rieger said. “He kind of had a heartbreaking semifinal (an 8-6 loss to Lowry’s Cade Bell), … and we knew that wrestler for third and fourth was a tough kid. He was down 4-0, got a reversal, put him to his back, ended up going overtime and had a good win. Showed a lot of heart. That was a great way for that senior to finish up.”

Cruz said Singelyn was a tougher opponent than Bell.

“He was not better than this guy,” Cruz said. “Something was wrong with me. This guy was way better than him.”

Rieger was pleased with the way his wrestlers performed in the consolation bracket.

“I was really happy, especially with Tristan Maughan,” he said. “He’s been in the room for four years, just a hard worker. He had to have a really tough match to get to the placing rounds against (Hayden Moore of) Boulder City, and had a good win. Kind of unfortunate with him and Dylan wrestling for third and fourth, but they both wrestled well.”

While disappointed that so few Trojans were wrestling Saturday afternoon, Rieger acknowledged that some of them faced brutal brackets.

“There were some tough draws there,” he said. “Coby Tillery wrestled well, but he had the number-two seed from the North in the first round, and then our number one from the South lost (in his opening match), so he had the number one from the South. He just had two tough opponents, but he did wrestle well.”

As a team, Pahrump Valley finished 10th with 40 points, but the day belonged to Spring Creek. The dominant Spartans racked up 236 points, outclassing second-place Virgin Valley’s 83 and third-place Boulder City’s 77.

Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at trysinski@pvtimes.com On Twitter:@PVTimesSports

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