Eagle wrestlers beat Volcano to win tourney championship
Volcano Vista came into the Pinto Duals at Moriarty on Saturday as one of the top-flight wrestling programs in Class 5A. The Hawks had no trouble getting through their pool to face 4A Belen in the championship dual.
The Eagles got a stunning upset from freshman Matthew Burgueño at 182 pounds, pinning the Hawks’ Ryan Hill. The improbable pin gave Belen a 39-36 win over the Volcano Vista program.
It was the first tourney championship of the season for the Eagles.
Belen hosts Santa Fe at 6 p.m. on Wednesday night before taking part in the Joe Vivian tournament, held at Albuquerque High.
“They are very good,” Belen coach Lee Chaves said of the Demons. “They have three state finalists back. They are one of the better 4A teams in the state.”
Chaves pointed to the leadership of the four seniors as critical to the Eagles’ season, but especially in winning the Moriarty event.
Anchored by state title contenders Wyatt Robinson and Phillip Gonzales, Belen ran through the pool duals without much trouble.
They downed Sandia, 82-3; West Las Vegas, 62-13; Moriarty, 75-6; and Manzano, 46-33.
“It was exciting for us,” said Chaves. “I was excited to just make it to the winners match out of our pool. But anytime you get a win against one of the best teams in the state, it is exciting.”
Robinson and Wyatt got pins, as expected, in the finals. Danny Chavez, the third of Belen wrestlers to go 5-0 and be named as an all-tournament wrestler, won a close decision, 3-1. The tourney was Chavez’s season debut.
Matthew Lucero got a pin at 132 pounds and heavyweight Diego Garcia got a win by forfeit to set up Burgueño’s heroics.
The match was tied, 2-2, but Hill was getting the best of the leverage during the first two periods, according to the Belen coach.
“He was losing to a big ol’ kid, and gets a reversal and pins the guy,” said Chaves of Burgueño’s win. “That is what won it for us.”
The Belen coach looks froward to more success from his young team, especially Burgueño.
“We are kind of throwing him out there — he is just a freshman,” said Chaves. “He has taken his lumps. I promise you, Volcano Vista was not even worried about losing that match.”
Senior Brandon Montiel lost his only match against Volcano Vista. He finished 4-1 for the tournament.
“Our seniors carried us,” said Chaves, praising the leadership of the young talent. “They went 19-1. Our seniors are allowing our young kids to grow up. They are being great leaders and are dominant.”
Chaves noted that four freshmen got at least one win during the tournament. The Moriarty trip capped a week that included a 43-25 loss to rival Los Lunas, along with some wrestlers ceasing to be on the team.
“We kind of got rid of the guys that didn’t want to be a part of our program,” said Chaves. “We had a rough week. It was kind of frustrating. (Winning the tournament) was a nice way to end the week.”
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