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Wrestling: Pahrump Valley wins 4 of 5 at Spring Valley Duals

Clearly it’s about time the Pahrump Valley High School wrestling team starting picking on schools its own size. These 4A schools just can’t keep up.

Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but after Saturday’s Spring Valley Duals, the Trojans should be feeling pretty good about themselves.

Junior Anthony Pearson went 5-0 with five pins at 195, and senior Donnie Miller (126) and sophomore Coby Tillery (132) each went 5-0 with one forfeit victory as the Trojans went 4-1 against 4A competition at Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas.

“It was a good day,” Trojans coach Craig Rieger said. “We were 4-1, and the one loss was by criteria.”

It should be noted that many seniors were missing because of the ACT, but even so, the Trojans’ loss came in the opening match of the day, as a late forfeit and a 10-second pin in the final bout allowed Centennial to forge a 39-39 tie. The issue was settled by Centennial’s 5-4 edge in pins.

Next up was the host school. Spring Valley had rolled to a 60-24 win over Pahrump Valley in a tri-meet earlier in the month, the Trojans returned the favor, exactly, with a 60-24 win. The Trojans’ only winners in the first meeting were Miller, Pearson, Christopher Vega and Tannor Hanks, but, with few of the matchups duplicated, Vega, Miller and Pearson were joined as winners by Tyler Heaney (113), Coby Tillery (132), Jared Mudge (285) and Nathan Schaaf (106).

Not only did Schaaf’s win give the Trojans a victory by the same score the Grizzlies had beaten them by, it was also personal revenge, as Schaaf faced the same wrestler, Eric Escutia, who had pinned him in 43 seconds the first time around. This time, it was Schaaf putting up six points for the Trojans with a pin in 3:22.

Chaparral was no match for the Trojans, who used seven forfeits and four pins to fashion a 69-6 win. It would be unfair to ignore the forfeits, as Pahrump Valley accepted 18 of them during the five matches. Pearson was one of only two Pahrump Valley wrestlers who actually wrestled in all five matches.

That doesn’t mean he put in a full day’s work. Pearson needed 4:31 to win against Centennial, but after that his times read 4:31, 1:08, :45 and :48. It has been that kind of December for Pearson, who passed along credit for his strong start to the season.

“I think it’s honestly just the coaches,” he said. “They’re giving me everything I need to succeed, and I’m just trying to take as much as I can.”

Rieger is just happy to have a couple of experienced wrestlers in his lineup.

“We have so many first-year kids, which is great that they’re here and working hard, but they make a lot of first-year mistakes,” Rieger said. “They’re getting great experience in this great sport, but they miss a lot of technique and moves. But they’re learning all the time.”

The other wrestler to get five bouts for the Trojans was heavyweight Jared Mudge, who went 3-2 with three pins.

A few Trojans joined or rejoined the lineup at Spring Valley. Freshman Jose Mendoza-Lara won the varsity spot at 145, Rieger said, while Tyler Heaney moved in at 113 with sophomore Mason Prunchak still nursing a sore shoulder and recorded two pins during a 3-2 day. Slade Yabra, in his first year of wrestling, got his first varsity bouts in, and Roman Roberts got in the lineup at 182 and went 5-0 with two pins and three forfeits.

“It’s good to have Roman in the lineup,” Rieger said. “He’s been sick, and he wrestled well today.”

Las Vegas, another team with a win over the Trojans this season, forfeited four bouts to Pahrump Valley, which received pins from Tillery, Henry Amaya, Roberts and Pearson to record a 48-30 victory.

In the finale, Pahrump Valley and Palo Verde were locked in a 30-30 tie going into the 120-pound bout. But Vega, Miller and Tillery each recorded pins, with Miller clinching the team victory with his win in 5:50.

The Trojans will now go on long break, with no competition for almost a month.

“We have a couple of guys banged up, so it will be nice to get them healthy,” Rieger said. “There are some big tournaments during the holidays, but we’re not going to wrestle because a lot of the boys are gone. Then in mid-January it’s like a sprint to the finish line.”

That sprint will see the Trojans open defense of their Sunset League title Jan. 14 at Western.

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