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Salazar advances into the finals: Mohave 222-pounder falls to Ramos in finals; Spring Valley comes in first place in team competition

January 13, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — Mohave T-birds senior Martin Salazar advanced to the finals, but Trevor Browne’s Ricardo Ramos edged the Mohave 222-pound senior 3-2 to win the 15th annual Dan Salyer Invitational Tournament at Mohave High School on Saturday night.

When asked if losing 3-2 was a heartbreaker, Mohave head coach Kory Burgess said: “Absolutely.

“To see a first-year wrestler in the program like Martin do so well. He’s come so far this year and to lose by just one point is a heartbreaker.”

Salazar trailed 3-2 going into the final period, as Ramos scored three points on an escape takedown at the end of the second period to snatch the victory away from the T-bird grappler.

Salazar recorded a 1-0 shutout to beat White Pine (Ely, Nevada) Bobcat grappler Hexem Kegan during the 222-pound semfinal match

Even though Salazar won four of his first five matches on Friday, he entered the semfinal round with an opportunity to win it all.

The results for the other finals out of the 18-high school teams invite were incomplete before Saturday’s deadline.

Mohave seniors Steven Matthews, 222, and Toran Rocha, 126, each started 6-0 during the first day and a half of the invite before losing in the semifinals.

“They just brought their ‘A’ game,” T-birds assistant coach Bill Swick said. “They were on top of things.

“They didn’t make mistakes, they stayed settled, sometimes they let these big tournaments get in their heads: ‘I got to perform, I’m here, I’m in front of everybody.’ ”

Matthews finished third after falling in the semis to a Spring Valley grappler, and he beat River Valley Dust Devils senior Ray Hernandez during the third-place match.

Swick said his T-birds wrestled well after a slow start during day one.

“I think they did pretty well,” Swick said. “There are some pretty good teams.

“We won most of our duals, we lost to Foothill, they are a great team.”

Mohave grappled against Foothill during its first dual.

“It’s a bummer when you wrestle one of the best teams in the tournament in the first dual because it gets everbody in the mode of, ‘Oh gosh, what are we doing?’ “ Swick said.

Mohave went on to beat Kingman, White Pine, Cactus Shadow and North during three of their final four matches of the first day.

T-birds senior Dylan Tahbo 132, and Nick Swick, 152, were wrestling for third and fourth place, but the results were unavailable before deadline.

The Dust Devils lost to Lake Havasu and Casteel during their first two matches Friday. River Valley then won their last three matches, which were against Phoenix’s Trevor Browne, Desert Pine and Laughlin.

“We started out slow,” River Valley head coach Zack Regan said. “That’s kind of the curse — we’ve always started out slow.”

Regan said his Dust Devils really picked it up.

“We impressed a lot of people who came to view,” Regan said. “We’re in a very tough group — our group is stacked.”

Seth Solano, 171 pounds, and Hernandez, 195, each went 4-1 for the Dust Devils.

“Solano is doing some of his best wrestling right now,” Regan said. “He beat a Spring Valley kid 6-0” in the quarterfinals.

“He’s been dominating every match. all day long.”

Hernandez had been wrestling very well going into the semifinal match Saturday against his Kingman counterpart. The River Valley 195-pounder ended up losing in the semifinals.

Dust Devils senior Francisco Walema, heavyweight, advanced into the semis.

The Cougars entered the invite undermanned.

Laughlin head coach Colyn Kruse said his Cougars wrestled with 10 vacant weight classes.

Despite going 0-5 during the first day, the Laughlin head coach looked at the bright side.

“We had a pretty good match against Trevor Browne and we had a good match vs. Desert Pine,” Kruse said. “Other than that, we kind of struggled against everyone else.”

Sophomore Kevin Lemire, 145, and sophomore Blake Luna, 152, are first-year wrestlers who did well and gained valuable experience during the first day of the invite, Kruse said. It was a learning experience for his Cougars.

Las Vegas’ Spring Valley came in first place with 547 points. Queen Creek, Arizona’s Casteel placed second at 490, Las Vegas’ Foothill finished third at 413, Avondale, Arizona’s Queen Creek came in fourth at 330 and Goodyear, Arizona’s Millenium followed in fifth at 328.

“We had some amazing competition this year,” Burgess said. “We’re looking forward to expanding the field to 24 at the Anderson Auto Fieldhouse next year.”