Reno rough on Los Banos wrestlers

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 21, 2012 

The Los Banos wrestling team wanted the best competition when it left for the Reno Tournament of Champions last weekend.

And the Tigers got just that, with 11 of LB's 13 wrestlers bounced from the championship bracket in their first matches -- only 195-pounder Dretel Blackwell and heavyweight Josh Priest survived to their second match.

"It's one of the toughest tournaments on our schedule. It's a national-level tournament," Los Banos coach Josh Adams said. "And from all accounts, this year was one of the toughest entries they've had. All our guys were unseeded, and the first round was pretty brutal."

Blackwell opened the 195-pound bracket with an 8-5 win over Nic Jones of Alamose, then fell to the consolation bracket with an 11-0 loss to fourth-seeded Breckin Gunter of Box Elder High School.

Priest entered in the second round of the heavyweight bracket after a first-round bye, and pinned Ronnie Hill of Stansbury High before seventh-seeded Carlos Taylor of Broken Arrow put him on his back. In the consolation bracket, Priest defeated Joe Anitoni of Kearns 3-1, then pinned Mitch Chism of Pomona. He was the only LB wrestler to make the second day of the tournament.

"Almost all of them were matside for the remainder of his matches," Adams said. "They're definitely supportive of each other this year."

Lemoore's Jonathan Roa pinned Priest one match short of the medal rounds.

"They knew going in what they were looking at. A lot of these guys are veterans of the offseason club wrestling circuit," Adams said. "They had realistic expectations. Some of them were bummed about individual matches that they could have done things a little different on."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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