In taking only four varsity wrestlers to the Desert Storm Classic at Dixie High School in St. George, Utah was a good learning experience for the team.
There was also a JV tournament and Pahranagat entered three in that one.
On the varsity side, Pahranagat scored 36 points for 24th place in the 30-team field, and in a tournament as prestigious as Desert Storm, that is something to feel good about.
Senior Chris Thornton said it was a good tournament because all the wrestlers were from good teams. “and I had to battle in each of my matches.”
His sophomore brother, Reece Thornton (195), placed fourth, the only member of the varsity to medal.
He had a bye his first round, then in the second round, pinned Corbin Penrod of Hurricane at 1:46 of the first period. In the quarterfinals, Thornton had a forfeit due to an injury to Kyle Fenn of Enterprise. In the semifinals though, he lost a 10-8 decision to eventual weight class champion and defending Utah state champion Tyce Raddon of Beaver.
Thornton then entered the consolation bracket and pinned Carlos Hernandez of Cimarron-Memorial in 52 seconds. But he lost the third place match to Tucker Bartels of Syracuse by a 14-6 count.
Among the other Panthers, Salvador Heredia (113) had a first round bye. Then lost by major decision to Dylan St. vrain of Aztec High (NM), and moved to the consolation bracket. There he lost his first match to Lucas Lowder of Green Canyon, Utah.
Chris Thornton (182) lost his first round match 11-4 to Bagley Dixon of Enterprise. In the consolation round, he pinned Jeremiah Hardison of Cheyenne at 3:54 of the second period, but lost the next match by pin to Paul Clark of Highland, Utah.
Jon-michael Stewart (285) won his first round match over Max Matthews of Hurricane with a pin at 1:45 of the first period. But he lost his quarterfinal match by pin to Mike Kaposta of Boulder City. In the consolation bracket, Stewart faced Riley Robertson of Canyon View and lost by pin.
Among the JV wrestlers, Alamo’s Hagen Harris (106) was 1-2, Jonathan Dillingham (170) placed 17th with three wins, and Tate Leavitt (220) had two wins in his pool, then went 2-2 in the consolation bracket for seventh place.
This week, on Thursday, the Panthers participated in the Ely Lions tournament along with Lincoln County and White Pine. Then they will be off for the holiday break and pick up again as they host the Pahranagat Valley Invitational on Jan. 5.