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STATE MEET: Green Valley sends six to semis, leads Division I

RENO — In any other match, Jared Brathor might have been upset about the reversal Chaez Mokiao scored with five seconds remaining in their 126-pound Division I quarterfinal in Friday’s state wrestling tournament.

This time, though, the Green Valley junior just shrugged it off, happy to be moving on to Saturday’s semifinals, still in contention to win his second consecutive individual state championship, and one of six Gators to reach the semifinals.

With 37 points, Green Valley leads Division I heading into today’s championship and consolation semifinals. Cimarron-Memorial is second with 31, followed by Spanish Springs (29), Carson (28), Centennial (26) and Liberty (26).

Despite the lead, Green Valley coach Jon Ferry said the Gators fell short of his expectations. They have nine wrestlers still alive and six in the championship semifinals, but Ferry said he had expected 11 to make it to today and eight to reach the semifinals.

“Everybody who is left has got to produce and make up for it,” Ferry said.

For his part, Brathor said that’s exactly what he expects today.

“I think we’re going to repeat and win state as long as we do what we know how to do,” he said.

Brathor, who won state at 113 pounds last season, just returned from a broken thumb a week before the Sunrise Region meet. He beat Mokiao 8-2 on Friday, losing the shutout on the late reversal.

“I probably shouldn’t have let him get that, but it is what it is, and just move on,” Brathor said. “I don’t feel 100 percent, but I feel good enough to get it done.”

Green Valley’s other returning individual champion, 113-pounder Sean Cannon, pinned Carson’s Sammy Mercado in 3 minutes, 8 seconds.

Cimarron-Memorial coach Mike Garcia was thrilled with his team’s performance. All of the Spartans’ seven wrestlers are still alive to win a medal.

“We got five into the semis and everybody won a match, so we’re real pleased with how we’re performing,” Garcia said. “I feel like we’ve done a great job.”

In Division I-A, Lowry heads into today with a substantial lead. The Bulldogs have 44½ points, and Virgin Valley is second with 26.

“We’re right where we expected to be,” Lowry coach Skyler Woods said. “We definitely feel confident about our matches in the semis. Our guys are going to get after it and get the job done.”

Virgin Valley advanced seven wrestlers to the championship semifinals and two to the consolation bracket.

Yerington and Battle Mountain are locked in a tight battle atop Division III. Yerington has 42 points and Battle Mountain 41. The top Southern team is Laughlin with 29 points.

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