Eagles need to work on third-period wrestling

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Many of the most-experienced Belen High wrestlers got wins in Wednesday’s dual against St. Michael’s. Others may need better third-period wrestling to have success at the district and state level.

Jason W. Brooks-News-Bulletin photo: Belen’s David Martinez tries to take down St. Michael’s Jared Baca in Wednesday’s dual. All three county teams are set to compete in the Saturday, Feb. 16 District 6-4A Championships at BHS.

St. Michael’s edged Belen, 46-36, in Wednesday’s dual at BHS, getting pins at five weights. Belen, ranked third behind Piedra Vista and Los Lunas in this month’s News-Bulletin coaches poll, is idle until the Saturday, Feb. 16, District 6-4A Championships at BHS.

Weigh-ins at district are set for 7 a.m., with the first matches at about 9 a.m.

The state championships will be held the weekend of Feb. 22-23 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

“What killed us tonight was third-period pins,” said BHS coach Lee Chaves after Wednesday’s dual against St. Mike’s, the top-ranked Class 1A/3A team all year in the News-Bulletin poll. “All the guys who won, looked great. We are really doing well at our lighter weights.”

The dual started with Eagle wrestlers Brandon Montiel and Chris Romero getting quick pins at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively. Romero wrestled with a black rubber mask to protect his broken nose, garnering “Darth Vader” references.

Anthony Trujillo was pinned at 120 pounds, by the Horsemen’s Geno Palermo, with only 41 seconds left in the match. Phillip Gonzales, at 126, earned a second-period pin, and Matthew Lucero (138) fought hard for a third-period pin.

The Eagles’ young 138- and 145-pounders, Kaiden Waldram and Gunner Robinson, battled hard, but both lost. Wyatt Robinson won at 152 when his opponent, Julio Garcia, had to bow out after a second-period re-injury to a well-wrapped left shoulder.

Danny Chavez faced defending 1A/3A state champion Korey Windham at 160 pounds. Chavez battled Windham evenly, but trailing 2-1, he seemed to pass up a few chances to go after the Horsemen standout, and wound up getting pinned with 13 seconds left in the match.

“That one really hurt,” said Chaves.

St. Mike’s took 170 pounds by forfeit. Belen’s Matthew Burgueño wrestled well defensively in a 9-2 loss at 182, and David Martinez pinned his opponent late in his 195-pound match.

That gave Belen a 36-34 lead, but the Eagles at 220 and 285 were both pinned, and the Horsemen took the dual.


-- Email the author at jbrooks@news-bulletin.com.