Freshman Reece Thornton led the way for eight Pahranagat Valley wrestlers, placing in the 2A Southern Region tournament in Ely last weekend and advancing to the state meet this weekend at Spanish Springs High in Sparks.
Tonopah won the meet with 153 points, West Wendover was second with 145 and Pahranagat Valley was fourth with 116 points.
Thornton (170) won the title for the Panthers with a pin over William Stevens of Laughlin, the same boy he had lost to just a week earlier in the Southern League Divisionals in Laughlin.
Salvador Heredia was second at 106 pounds, losing by pin to Ben Culverwell of Lincoln County. Also taking second place for Pahranagat were Matthew Prince (120) and Garrett Bowen (152).
Danny Heredia (160) was third place as was Thane Solario at 170 and Tyler Horrocks (285). Peter Vande Sluis was fourth at 182.
Jon Stewart (195) was in a very tough weight class, finishing fifth, just short of state qualification. “Just lost it at the end to get to the third place match,” said coach Brad Loveday. “He is one of our better wrestlers, but it is a really tough class. Otherwise, our kids did quite well.”
For Bowen, Loveday said he pulled off a big upset in the semifinal match over Devon Sickler of Indian Springs. “He has lost to Sickler every time the two have wrestled the last couple of years. This time Garrett won.”
He said another exciting match was between Matthew Prince and Trevan Perkins of Lincoln County, which Prince won.
“We thought Danny Heredia would win his class, but he did come through the consolation rounds to take third,” Loveday said.
The state meet will have many good wrestlers from the 2A North, providing some very tough competition for the Pahranagat wrestlers. “They kind of tore us up at state the last couple of years,” Loveday noted.
Battle Mountain is the four-time defending 2A champion and placed 11 wrestlers in the state tournament, many at the heavier weight classes. Pershing County and Yerington are also tough teams.
NIAA admission prices will apply at the tournament.