Bruins wrestle way to third at tourney
COLFAX – Thanks to 10 individual medalists, not to mention a little halftime pep talk, Bear River wrestled its way to third-place in the team standings Friday at the Pioneer Valley League Championships at Colfax High School.
Heavyweight Chase Duncan, 114-pounder Addy Gemignani, Derek Julian (127) and Corbin Shakely (154) all advanced to the finals and earned silver medals in their respective weight classes. Duncan, Gemignani and Julian are sophomores and Shakely is a senior.
Overall, Bear River coach Robert Nebeker was pleased with what he saw on the mat.
“I’m very, very pleased,” Nebeker said. “Our goal today was to come in here and do the best we could, and we did that.”
Oakmont produced 10 individual champions crowned and rolled up 273.5 points to capture its third straight PVL title. Lincoln finished second with 180 points, while Bear River edged Colfax 148-140 to capture third-place.
The key for Bear River as a team was going six-for-six in the consolation bracket finals, as Alex Loza (105), Nolan Gail (132), Johnny Lascoe (137), Matthew Belnap (145), Garrett Bentley (162) and Jordan Beaver (173) all earned third-place medals. The Bruins gained even more ground when Lascoe, Belnap and Beaver pinned their opponents in the consolation finals.
Things weren’t looking so good earlier in the day when the Bruins gathered for that pep talk.
“After the semifinals we had a little talk and basically called the kids out,” Nebeker said. ” Ray Belnap (assistant coach) did a great job of getting them fired up because they really responded. Six consolation champions, I think that’s a testament to the heart and courage these kids have.”
Duncan came the closest to securing gold, only to drop a 4-3 double overtime decision in the heavyweight final to Lincoln’s John Hall, who scored on an escape with eight seconds remaining. This marked the fourth time the two have met each other – each match has gone to overtime, and Hall has won each time.
“Chase is still learning,” Nebeker said of Duncan, whose season record now stands at 24-6. “He’s going to get better, and he’s still got a great season going for him right now.”
Shakely took an early 2-0 lead in his 154-pound final and the score was still 2-2 before he was turned by Oakmont’s Mike Migliore for a pin with 34 seconds remaining in the match. Julian was pinned by Oakmont standout Bryan Williams in the 127-pound title bout and Gemignani dropped an 8-1 verdict to Lincoln junior Jordan Nakasome in the 114-pound final.
Ten Bear River wrestlers now advance to the sub-section tournament next weekend at Oakmont, and the 11th team member, senior Jeremy Newton qualified as an alternate with his fifth-place finish at 191 pounds.
Bear River did produce a pair of individual champions in the junior varsity tournament – Josiah Georgeson, 3-0 on the day at 105 pounds; and John Kammerer, who defeated teammate Peter Gail in the 154-pound finals.
Team scores: 1, Oakmont 273.5; 2, Lincoln 180; 3, Bear River 148; 4, Colfax 140; 5, Mesa Verde 119.5; 6, West Campus 57.
105 pounds: Kyle Wolcott (O) d. Ryan Dawson (L) 2-0. 114: Jordan Nakasome (L) d. Addy Gemignani (BR) 8-1. 121: Brandon Benvenuti (O) d. Dustin Brown (L) 20-7. 127: Bryan Williams (O) p. Derek Julian (BR) :56. 132: Nick Diaz (O) p. Tony Yazzolino (C) 3:15. 137: J. Miller (O) tf. Nick Bricco (MV) 18-1. 142: Daniel Diaz (O) d. Brad Finerty (MV) 7-5, OT. 147: Calvin Miller (O) p. Adam Halicki (MV) 1:25. 154: Mike Migliore (O) p. Corbin Shakely 5:26. 162: Mike Fucci (C) p. Steve Culverson (L) :54. 173: Tim Dale (O) by default over Larry Wooten (C). 191: Cameron Sylve (O) p. Alex Wollenberg (C). 217: Aaron Harlow (WC) d. Tony Ramirez (L) 4-2. 275: John Hall (L) d. Chase Duncan 4-3, 2OT.
To contact sports editor Dave Price, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4240.
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