A string of 39 unanswered points early in Wednesday’s Sierra Valley Conference intra-county matchup between host El Dorado and Union Mine was mathematically too much for the Cougars to bare.
The Diamondbacks’ run, highlighted by four consecutive pins, wiped away a first-bout deficit and paved the way for a 56-18 Union Mine victory.
“Skill-wise, we wrestled to our ability but with more grit than I’ve seen this season,” D’back coach Tim Brown said.
A big crowd including Camino Middle School wrestlers and El Dorado cheerleaders filled the Cougar wrestling room to watch the home team take the lead as Willy Gadow (106 pounds) took the forfeit.
Tables quickly turned. Union Mine’s Charles Berry (113) and Josh Ybright (120) went unopposed; Chris Lee (126) stacked Garrett Owens to the mat for the six-point pin; Sean Berry’s short-time, second-period head and wrist pin of Thomas McCann added another six; and Daniel Warden’s (138) reverse to open the third led to his pin of Marcus Douglas.
Up 30-6, Christian Beck (145) used the wrist and arm to turn Ian Bence for a fall before Daniel Abel-Smith ground out a 9-3 decision of Nathaniel Erskine.
“We just weren’t able to put forth our best effort tonight but hats off to Union Mine because they were the better wrestlers,” El Dorado coach Robert Hart said. “It’s a snow-ball effect from winter break in that we’re missing some kids but we’ll see if we can get this turned around.”
The Cougars’ first wrestling points came from Rick Reed (160) whose takedown and three-point near fall late in the match made for a 9-2 win.
After El Dorado forfeited to D’back Matt Cathey (170), Hunter Cannon’s 15-3 major decision in 182s tacked four more Union Mine points on the board. At 195s, Alex LeBaron got three back for El Dorado after defeating Will Ybright 6-0.
Each squad had a solid win to close the evening. In 220s, Cougar Marshall Vincent was dominating varsity newcomer Xavier Nava 14-5 midway into the third period before Nava caught Vincent on a failed move and put Vincent to his back.
“He (Vincent) was way ahead on points but I saw the opening, found the half (nelson) and pushed him back for the pin,” said Nava who trailed 10-2 after the first period and 14-5 after two.
El Dorado ended on a positive note when heavyweight Zach Brazell used brute strength to go up 10-0 on Robert Blair before getting the fall.
“Once I got him up on his feet he went right over,” said Brazell in explaining several takedowns he recorded. “I knew one of us had to get a pin against our rival and I’m happy it was me. The outcome shouldn’t have been this bad … we need to come tomorrow to practice ready to work hard.”
Union Mine improved to 3-0 in league while El Dorado dropped to 0-2.