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Wrestlers come up empty at tourney

Three Team Boulder wrestlers reached the semifinal of their respective weight class, but none could prevail as the Eagles ended without an individual state champion for the second consecutive year at the state tournament.

The Eagles finished in 10th place Saturday in the Division I-A State Wrestling Tournament at the Winnemucca Events Center. They scored 38 team points.

Pahrump Valley ended Lowry’s run of six straight state championships, riding the heaviest weight classes to edge the Buckaroos 124-110. Virgin Valley was third with 94½ points, and Spring Creek took fourth with 91.

At 126 pounds, Collin Fox lost his semifinal match in an 8-5 decision to Spring Creek’s Anthony Chavez. But he battled back in the third-place match to pin Virgin Valley’s Crash Crandall, whom he had defeated in a Southern Region semifinal a week earlier.

Fox pinned Crandall in 50 seconds. Chavez went on to win the championship with a 5-0 decision against Lowry’s Kevin Blanco. It would be one of three weight classes where the Eagles were eliminated by the eventual state champion.

Earlier in the state tournament, Fox pinned Dillon Maguin of Fernley in 3:17.

“We wrestled tough,” Team Boulder coach Jim Cox said. “A few things did not go our way, but we kept fighting. We came very close to placing five guys. Our division (I-A) was just as tough as Division I this season. We had a great year and I am thankful to coach these great young men.”

Division I-A northern champion and state tournament host school Lowry had been the favorite to repeat. Lowry was seeking a seventh consecutive team state championship and its 17th overall.

Team Boulder’s last state champion was Brandon Foster, who won the state title at 195 pounds in 2013.

Sophomore Brady Branscum (113 pounds) lost a 6-2 decision to Spring Creek’s Cole Campbell in the quarterfinal round.

Junior Tyler Rushworth (138) won his opening quarterfinal match with a pin of Churchill County’s Jack Swisher in 2:13. But he lost to Faith Lutheran’s Owen Lawrie in the semifinal when he was pinned in 1:15. Lawrie went on to win the championship.

Senior Patrick Garvin (152) lost his semifinal match by pin in 1:24 to Moapa Valley’s Kaleb Bodily, and then lost his third-place match to Spring Valley’s Darrian Rodgers in 3:29. Bodily went on to be the state runner-up, losing a close 9-7 decision to Cheyenne’s Sterling Walker.

Garvin won his quarterfinal match with a 12-2 major decision over Lowry’s Blake Duncan.

Senior Nelson Van Diest (182) lost his opening quarterfinal match to Beau Billingsley of Lowry when he was pinned in 2:37. But Van Diest battled through the wrestleback rounds to reach the third-place match. He lost a tough 2-1 decision to Desert Pines’ Jorge Magana. Billingsley won the championship.

“We faced a lot of great athletes in the weight classes we competed, and the guys put forth great efforts,” Cox said.

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