GARDEN CITY, Kan. — The Garden City High School wrestling team defeated WAC rival Dodge City in a dual, 37-30 to open up 2019. The dual went down to the final match of the night, just like GCHS coach Carlos Prieto predicted.
“I knew it was going to be a close battle,” Prieto said. “And I knew that it would come down to the last match and I think that’s why we decided to put that one last to kind of feature it.”
The dual started at 132 pounds with Garden City’s Diago Hernandez going against Dodge City’s Danny Rojas. Hernandez started strong for the Buffs, winning by major decision, 14-3. The Buffs would go on to win the first four matches of the night and jump out to a 16-0 lead.
Dodge City responded with three straight wins by fall including an overtime thriller between Dodge City’s Josh Bertholf and Garden City’s Elijahblu Ruiz-Hernandez. Bertholf won by fall in the overtime period to get the Red Demons on the board and start some momentum.
“That was huge for us to get those three wins,” Dodge City coach Lars Lueders said. “They all battled and it was a good dual overall, because where we were good, they were good.”
The Red Demons scored 21 straight points to go up 21-16, but the Buffaloes had an answer. Alex Rodriguez (195) and Tyler May (220) both got wins by fall and gave the Buffs a lead back, 28-21.
Dodge City’s Evan Darville, ranked #1 in class 6A won the 285 match, 6-2 over Fuji Chairez to pull the Red Demons within four, 28-24. Damiean Mendez got the win in 106 for Dodge City by fall to give Dodge City the 30-28 lead back in their favor.
The Buffs grabbed the lead right back after they were awarded six points in the 113 match after Dodge City was “open”, so the Buffs took a 34-30 lead into the final match of the night.
It all came down to the 113 pound match between #2 Silas Pineda of Garden City and #4 Couy Weil of Dodge City. The two were scoreless through the first two periods, as not much was happening on the mat. Pineda got a big reversal late in the third period to seal the victory with 22 seconds to go.