Panthers dominate Scorps 61-4 in crosstown dual

Karl Schneider

FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista proved itself the dominant wrestling team in town with a 61-4 rout of Farmington tonight at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

Piedra Vista's Nick Rino, top, grapples with Famrington's Francisco Alvarez on Thursday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

The dual between the rival schools didn't carry the importance it had in past years when the two programs competed in the same classification, but both Farmington coach Jesus Mendoza and PV coach Michael Bejar said keeping the rivalry alive is a high priority for both teams.

"Farmington came to wrestle, and I take my hat off to them. I love it that coach (Mendoza) wants to keep this dual and this rivalry," Bejar said. "We have to have this healthy crosstown rivalry. It gets our kids excited, it gets their kids excited, and hopefully it works and helps them as much as it helps us."

PV's Jared Terry (285) and Matt Martinez (152) were bested by Farmington's Dante Norberto (285) and Aaron Newlon (152) over the weekend at the Cardinal Classic in Las Vegas, N.M., but both Panthers avenged the losses with victories tonight.

"We got some good wins for our seniors who lost last week," Bejar said. "Two of our seniors, Matt Martinez and Jared Terry, lost to those guys last weekend. We worked on some things, they turned it around and it showed."

Martinez's match with Newlon was the most thrilling of the night. Newlon was in control with an 8-5 lead late in the third period, but with less than 30 seconds left, Newlon slipped up and allowed Martinez to score on a reversal and get the pin for the win.

Piedra Vista's Matt Martinez, top, pins Farmington's Aaron Newlon on Thursday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

"That was all grit and heart," Bejar said of Martinez. "He put an exclamation point on it to end that match like that. It was good for him to finish his last match at home like that."

Farmington's Zach Valdez (120) registered the only points for the Scorps, earning a 16-4 major decision.

Piedra Vista will have a full week to prepare for the District 1-6A individual qualifying tournament on Feb. 11 in Albuquerque.

The Scorps will have a quick turnaround after the loss, competing at the District 1-5A duals hosted by Kirtland Central on Saturday.

Mendoza said his team's struggles against PV were the result of simply being outwrestled by the Panthers. He added that the mistakes the team made can be easily fixed during Friday's practice, giving him confidence the Scorps will be at the top of their game heading into Saturday.

"They're right where they need to be. We've set goals for ourselves all year long, and we've reached every goal that we've set," Mendoza said. "We have one more goal to reach, and that will be on Saturday."

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