Fri Jan 9th, 2015
Special to the Drum
Tags: 11th Annual Webb Toyota/Chevrolet Panther Classic, Bobcats, Class 2A, Farmington, Ignacio, Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse, Kirtland, La Jara Centauri, Meeker, Norwood/Nucla, Pagosa Springs Rocky Mountain Invitational, Paonia, Piedra Vista, Rocky Ford, Swink, wrestling
When Ignacio Wrestling sees its first action in the fledgling New Year, at the Jan. 10 Pagosa Springs Rocky Mountain Invitational, it will be carried in by some already well-earned momentum.
In the Dec. 30 “On The Mat” rankings, IHS cracked the Class 2A list at #7, behind [in order, first to sixth] Paonia, Meeker, Rocky Ford, La Jara Centauri, Norwood/Nucla and Swink, following a strong showing at Farmington, N.M., Piedra Vista’s 11th Annual Webb Toyota/Chevrolet Panther Classic on the 20th – the last item on the Bobcats’ pre-holiday itinerary.
At the 16-team, dual-based gathering inside Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse, Ignacio ultimately finished sixth, a 3-2 record finalized via a 39-36 loss to 4A Kirtland, N.M., Central in the ‘Silver’ bracket’s first-place meeting.
Having placed second in the tournament’s opening round-robin pool – four teams comprised each of Pools A through D, with the best in each then advancing to the ‘Gold’ bracket, the second-best in each to the ‘Silver,’ the third-best to the ‘Bronze’ and fourth-best to the ‘Copper’ – phase, IHS then booked a 48-30 win over a collective simply labeled ‘EXTRA’ in the Silver’s semifinals to set up the final test against the Broncos.
(The ‘EXTRA,’ meanwhile, fell 48-30 to Dove Creek, finishing fourth in the bracket and eighth overall.)
Unable to manage much in a 62-9 Pool D loss to PVHS, NMPreps.com’s preseason #1 in Class 5A, Cody Haga’s Bobcats recovered against New Mexico 5A’s Gallup Miyamura and Grants – putting down, respectively, the Patriots [the aforementioned poll’s #3 crew] 45-30 and the Pirates 48-27.
Piedra Vista, as expected by most, went 5-0 – including a 77-0 shutout of GHS – and locked up first place overall with a 66-9 rout of its junior varsity. 5A Aztec, N.M., finished in third after defeating in-state 4A Bloomfield 49-24.
Tenth in the preseason 5A rankings, Los Alamos, N.M., edged Grants [1-2 in Pool D] 31-30 in the ‘Bronze’ clincher to take ninth, while Dolores defeated 5A Espanola, N.M., Valley 27-18 to save third in the bracket and 11th overall. 0-for-three in Pool D, MHS managed to muster up a 42-30 win over 5A Farmington, N.M., to leave town with the ‘Copper’ crown, and 5A Gallup, N.M., held off Mancos, 30-24, in the bracket’s third-place dual.
Individual results for the Bobcats had not been fully reported by the Drum’s deadline, but of several matches noted online at ZiaWrestler.com, senior 152-pounder Iaasic Pena scored a 2-1 win over Miyamura’s Alias Starkovich (son of coach Ken Starkovich), junior 138-pounder Ethan Appenzeller pinned Patriot Josiah Shank 47 seconds into the third period, and sophomore 113-pounder Stocker Robbins blanked MHS’ Toshio Herrera 6-zip.
After attending the RMI, Ignacio will head west to Montezuma-Cortez on the 12th for a triangular against the Panthers and Mancos Blue Jays, and then east to Salida on the 17th for the Rob Mickel Memorial Invitational.
PANTHER CLASSIC FINAL STANDINGS
1. Farmington (N.M.) Piedra Vista; 2. Farmington (N.M.) Piedra Vista JV; 3. Aztec, N.M.; 4. Bloomfield, N.M.; 5. Kirtland (N.M.) Central; 6. IGNACIO; 7. Dove Creek; 8. ‘EXTRA’; 9. Los Alamos, N.M.; 10. Grants, N.M.; 11. Dolores; 12. Espanola (N.M.) Valley; 13. Gallup (N.M.) Miyamura; 14. Farmington, N.M.; 15. Gallup, N.M.; 16. Mancos.
WELCOME TO THE PARTY
The Cats joined the rankings after the previous No. 7, Burlington, dropped to 13th, with fellow newcomers Sedgwick County/Fleming, Holly and Wray replacing, respectively, Monte Vista, Buena Vista and Swink (the previous #10, bumped up to sixth – replacing Hotchkiss, which was knocked out of the rankings’ top 15) in the Nos. 8-10 spots.