Last Saturday, at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, Pahranagat Valley entered eight into the 2A State Wrestling Championships. They also received what might be the most medals the team has ever earned in a given state championship event.
Coach Brad Loveday said, “There might have been another year when we also had six.”
Of the eight wrestlers the Panthers took to state, six came home with a medal.
Sophomores Reece Thornton (195) and Jesse Jones (132) were runners-up in their weight classes. Chris Thornton (182) placed third, and three others each placed fourth: Garrett Bowen (160), Tayt Leavitt (220), and Jon-Michael Stewart (285).
The Panthers had the best finish among Southern Nevada schools in fourth place, earning 84 points.
“The kids we have all have experience since elementary and middle school, said Loveday. “Tough kids, but real good comradery on the team. And they work hard. No matter how hard I push them, they move along.”
Battle Mountain won their sixth consecutive championship, amassing 234 points. The Longhorns had six state champions, four runners-up, and two third-place finishes.
For Pahranagat Valley, Hagen Harris (106) lost his first match to Declan Mcclary, of Battle Mountain, by major decision. He had a bye in his first consolation match, then lost by major decision to Ezekiel Jackson, of Pershing County.
Jesse Jones won his first match with a 9-2 decision over Wyatt Anderson of Eureka. Then he scored a major upset in the semi-finals when he took a 4-3 decision over two-time defending state champion Jake Lagarza, of Battle Mountain. In the finals, Jones lost 11-1 to Dante Reviglio, of Yerington.
“This Reviglio kid is just a freshman,” Loveday said, “but he has all the moves. I have not seen a young man that good at his age in a long while. He’s got it.”
Garrett Bowen (160) pinned Ryan Barns, of Yerington, in the second period. But he lost his semifinal match 9-2 to eventual champion Sven Pickens, of White Pine. “A kid he had beaten just two weeks ago,” Loveday said. Such are the fortunes in wrestling.
In the third-place match, Bowen was beaten 11-0 by Daegan Mcclary, of Battle Mountain.
Jonathan Dillingham (170) was pinned in his first match against Joaquin Wanner, of Pershing County. He won a consolation round match by fall over Alexis Mata Ramos, of Yerington, but lost the next match by fall to Hunter Auschwitz, of Lake Mead.
Chris Thornton pinned Kodi Cook, of West Wendover, in his first match. However, he was then pinned by eventual champion Mason Chopp, of Battle Mountain. Thornton won his next two matches by fall, over Gilberto Mendez, of Laughlin, and Ben Plimpton, of Pershing County.
Reese Thornton won by fall over Jose Huerta, of Independence, in round one. In the semifinals, he pinned Marcus Glanton, of Pershing County, in the first period. In the finals, he lost a 15-9 decision to Tristan Cordingley, of Battle Mountain.
Loveday said, “Reece just got behind early, got put on his back in the finals, and was playing catch up the whole time.”
Tayt Leavitt first won by fall over Randell Mosley, of Independence; lost to Kevin Pope, of Tonopah, by fall; moved to the consolation semifinals and pinned Jose Chamorro, of White Pine; and finished in fourth place after losing to Jose Sanchez, of Yerington.
Finally, Jon-Michael Stewart won in the championship quarterfinals by fall over Tyler Rochester, of Battle Mountain, and lost in the semifinals to eventual state champion Jonathan Rodriguez, of West Wendover.
In the consolation semifinals, Stewart pinned Tyrell Gonzalez, of Laughlin, then lost to Gabriel Avampato, of Independence.