WEB EXCLUSIVE: BHS 2nd, LLHS 5th at Pinto Duals; VHS 12th at Salazar Invite

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In tournament action over the weekend, the Belen and Los Lunas wrestling teams finished in the top five at the Pinto Duals in Moriarty, while Valencia finished 12th at the Al Salazar Invitational at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe.

Belen finishes second, Los Lunas fifth at Pinto Duals

The Eagles won their pool in the 10-team tournament, then defeated Albuquerque Volcano Vista 34-32 in the semifinals before facing defending Class 4A state champions Piedra Vista in the finals.

“Beating Volcano Vista was exciting,” said coach Lee Chaves. “They’re one of best 5A teams out there. We really wanted to beat them and wanted to wrestle PV.”

The Eagles kept the Panthers on their toes, but PV won a couple of close matches to take the championship match 44-20.

“We lost close matches in 120, 126 and 170, and there were four matches we could have won,” said BHS coach Lee Chaves. “The kids really battled and even though we had some losses we’re coming back better and better. I was very excited about our performances.

David Martinez and Matt Lucero went undefeated in the tournament Saturday. Chaves had praise for seniors Chris Romero (1520 as well as Kaiden Waldron, who stepped into the starting lineup, as well as eighth grader Rowdy Robinson (106) and freshman Estevan Chavez (120). Chaves said that with only two seniors on the squad, the Eagles are developing into a team that could again challenge for a top spot in February’s State Wrestling Meet.

“We’re taking baby steps,” Chaves said. “We know we’re not the best team in the state right now but our goal is to be best in the state in February.”

Los Lunas beats host Pintos for fifth

The Tigers; had the bad luck of drawing the pool with Piedra Vista, losing 47-15 head to head with the Panthers. LLHS still performed well enough to make the final round but missed a higher finish due to point differential.

Placed in the fifth place match, the Tigers took care of host Moriarty 59-13 to claim fifth.

“Our guys battled,” said coach Stave Chavez. “There were some close matches, we had something not go our way. But we got some good mat time that’ll help us later in the season.”

Chavez said A.J. Sauceda, Miguel Alvarado and Roman Cervantes all performed well in the tournament.

Belen and Los Lunas both wrestle at the 32-team Joe Vivian Classic at Cibola High School Friday and Saturday.

Valencia finishes 12th at Al Salazar Invite

With a few holes still in their lineup due to injury and discipline issues, the Jaguars were unable to crack the top 10, but coach Lorenzo Carrillo said his team had a good weekend against tough competition at the Al Salazar Invitational in Santa Fe Saturday.

Santa Fe Capital took first in the meet, with Deming in second and host St. Michael’s took third.

“We were a little surprised at how tough the 4A competition was,” Carrillo said. “Capita was tough, so was Deming. I was surprised we didn’t do a little better. We need to work on some things.”

Only Nate Nash (152) finished in the top four, finishing third after defeating Marcus Trujillo of Roswell Goddard 3-2, just missing a spot in the final after losing in overtime in the semifinals.

Albert Sanchez (145) also did well for the Jaguars, said Carrillo.

“Everyone won more than they lost, but we couldn’t pull theough the back side of the bracket,” Carrillo said.

Valencia joins Los Lunas and Belen at the Joe Vivian Classic this weekend. Valencia travels to Belen Wednesday to face Belen in a dual match.