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Salvador Heredia (113) ready to go in a recent match. He won the Ely Lions Invitational Dec. 21.

Salvador Heredia won his first tournament of the season for Pahranagat Valley in the eight-team Ely Lions Invitational Dec. 21.

“We only took four kids to Ely because of illness, injuries, and other ailments, but all of them placed,” said Coach Brad Loveday. “Six of my wrestlers have been unable to even practice because of illness and injury, so the holiday break will be very helpful for us to get healthy and heal up.”

Heredia, the fourth place medalist at state last year, won all three of his matches in the 113-pound bracket. Reece Thornton (195) and Tate Leavitt (220) both placed second and Jonathan Dillingham (170) placed third.

Thornton lost by pin to Tristan Cordingley of Battle Mountain, who was the 182-pound state runner-up last year.

Heredia dominated in his weight class, Loveday said. “Had two pins in the first period.”

“Reece was ahead in the third round,” Loveday said, but had been ill most of the week, “and we even had to stop the match twice for an injury timeout, then in his somewhat weakened state, he just ran out of gas and got pinned,” Loveday said.

Dillingham was 1-2 at the tournament. “But he had his opponent on his back a couple of times, but the man got loose and later won the match,” Loveday said.

Freshman teammate Tate Leavitt won two and lost one to place second in his weight class.

After the Christmas holidays, the Panthers will host the Pahranagat Valley Invitational. “We have about 11-12 teams signed up,” Loveday said. “Mostly schools from the southern region, six big schools and five small schools.”

Teams expected include Boulder City, Moapa Valley, Sunrise Mountain, Pahrump, Valley, and possibly Desert Oasis. Also Lincoln County, PVHS, West Wendover, Indian Springs, Beaver Dam, and Lake Mead.

Loveday explained, “Our tournament is usually the first Friday after New Year, but because the way the calendar fell this year, it happened to fall on the same weekend as a big tournament at Spring Creek, which is closed for the northern teams to attend, some of whom have participated in our tournament in previous years.”