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Wrestling: Pahrump Valley dominates in lower weights to beat Mojave

It’s not hard to get a grasp on the Pahrump Valley High School wrestling team.

The Trojans have talent, but they are very young, and at the lower weights, where they are more likely to face other young wrestlers, they do very well. In the upper weights, where most teams have more experience, not so much, despite some encouraging efforts.

That played out again Tuesday night in the next-to-last dual meet of the season, as the Trojans dominated up to 138 pounds and were overwhelmed above it, with two forfeits making the difference in a 45-34 victory over Mojave in North Las Vegas.

Coming off of Saturday’s performance at Desert Oasis, where the Trojans won four matches, including one over Mojave, before falling to Boulder City, expectations for Tuesday night were fairly high.

“We wrestled Mojave Saturday morning, and they wrestled us better tonight,” Pahrump Valley coach Craig Rieger said. “Some of our boys, compared to Saturday … some kids wrestled well, and some didn’t.”

How dominant were the Trojans down low? Mason Prunchak (113), Coby Tillery (132) and Henry Amaya (138) recorded first-period pins, Donnie Miller overcame an unplanned intermission when his opponent stalked out of the gym in anger to record a pin in the second period at 126, and Christopher Vega outlasted Felix Cisneros in overtime at 120. Throw in a forfeit at 106, and the Trojans had 33 points with eight bouts left.

From 145 on, it was a different story, as the Rattlers posted pin after pin, with a major thrown in at 152. But in the midst of that streak, Roman Roberts got in the way.

The Pahrump Valley sophomore needed just 40 seconds to win at 160, giving the Trojans a 39-10 lead with five bouts to go. With a forfeit coming at 220, Roberts’ pin sealed the victory for the visitors.

“I tried to be on the offensive, but he beat me to the punch,” Roberts said. “I turned him to the side and got a side cradle in and just pinned him.”

“Roman’s been wrestling well,” Rieger said. “He’s had some touch matches in the past week that will help him out.”

Rieger is talking about the postseason, which is approaching quickly. Despite the early date, Thursday night’s home match against Valley was Senior Night in Pahrump, and the regions at Chaparral High School are just two weeks away and the state championships at Virgin Valley High School one week later.

“Now it’s to the point where it’s individually getting yourself set up for your seed at the regional tournament,” Rieger said. “It’s coming fast.”

“A lot of our lower weights have great potential to do well in the regionals and at state,” Roberts said.

Leading that group is sophomore Coby Tillery, who rolled to his 18th victory in 19 bouts with a pin of Jaylen McGee in 1:17.

“He started off strong; he’s a strong kid,” Tillery said of McGee. “I tried a single-leg, got him, he tried to crawl away, but I got him. He went on bottom, and I pulled him back down. I just barred him; I’ve been working on my bar at practice. He was on his one hip, so I just branded it and I pinned him.”

“Coby Tillery’s been tearing it up all year,” Rieger noted.

Amaya had the fastest pin of the night, finishing off Drevion Lee in 20 seconds at 138 for the Trojans, who still had a chance to share the Sunset League title pending the outcome of Thursday night’s match between Western, which defeated Pahrump Valley last week, and Mojave.

“I think Western will match up well against them,” Rieger said. “Western’s got a solid team.”

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