Panthers split duals with Rio Rancho, Cleveland

Karl Schneider
PV's Ethan Salazar flips Rio Rancho's Xavier Salazar during a dual on Tuesday at Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista wrestling team got its first taste of District 1-6A tonight when the Panthers hosted Cleveland and Rio Rancho for a pair of duals at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

The night had its share of ups and downs for the Panthers, who picked up a victory via a tiebreaker over the Rams before getting downed by the Storm 48-17.

No one had a better night for PV than senior 160-pounder Hosman Caraveo.

Against Rio Rancho’s Orion Gutierrez, Caraveo and Gutierrez were knotted at 0-0 after the second period ended. To start the third, Caraveo gave Gutierrez an escape rather than eat up time in the final period, making it 1-0 Gutierrez.

Caraveo then took over, earning a pair of takedowns to pick up a 4-2 decision.

“I lost to him in Las Cruces. It was a close match I lost by 3 points, so I knew this match was going to be tough. I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I was going to have to grind it out and scrap with him. I knew I had to fight and bring it to him,” Caraveo said of the match. “After beating (Gutierrez), it boosted my confidence. I know he’s going to be my challenge for state and district. He’s the guy I have to beat to be on top.”

Piedra Vista's Hosman Caraveo wrestles Rio Rancho's Orion Gutierrez during a dual Tuesday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

Against the Storm, Caraveo recorded a fall over Leo Godina.

“He’s put some great matches together,” PV coach Michael Bejar said of Caraveo. “He’s getting to a different level and he’s going to keep getting better with his work ethic, and that’s what you’ve got to have.”

In the first dual of the night, PV and Rio Ranch went back and forth from start to finish.

PV took a 34-28 lead with one match left in the dual.

In the final match, the 285-pound weight class, Rio Rancho’s Elijah Goodwin put PV’s Jared Terry on his back to earn the fall and tie the dual at 34.

After a brief delay to refer to the rulebook, the Panthers were awarded the victory based on the number of matches won, winning eight of the 14 matches.

Piedra Vista's Diego Sanchez-Morales, top, wrestles Rio Rancho's Alex Emmer on Jan. 3 at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

In the dual against Cleveland, the Storm took command early, winning the first three matches of the night by fall to jump out to an 18-0 lead.

But Wes Rayburn (138) and Nick Rino (145) picked up a major decision and technical fall, respectively, followed by Caraveo’s win by fall to cut into the deficit.

With the team down 21-15, Sergio Quintana (170) scored a late takedown in the third to earn a 4-2 decision and get the Panthers within 3 points of the Storm.

“Sergio had a great match. It was fight, and he weathered the storm and got after it. He bent, but he didn’t break,” Bejar said. “Good things happen when you do that and wrestle all six minutes. That’s what we want, that’s the kind of fight we want to make us better.”

But then Cleveland took over, winning by fall in the next four matches, along with a point deduction from PV for unsportsmanlike conduct, to secure the victory.

PV will be off until Jan. 10, when the Panthers travel to Albuquerque for duals against district foes Cibola and Volcano Vista.

Bejar said after tonight’s performance that he wants to see the Panthers be more aggressive and capitalize on the opportunities they’re given moving forward.

“We have to beat them to the punch. That’s the bottom line. We have to beat them to the punch and get after them,” he said. “We’ve got to wrestle with more physicality and more urgency. People aren’t going to lay down for us, and when we get someone on their back, we have to put them away.”

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.