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I-A WRESTLING: Boulder City takes first-round lead

Boulder City wrestling coach Jim Cox has told his team all season to focus on the moment, and the points will come.

That was certainly the case Friday night, as the Eagles raced to a 17-point lead after the opening day of the Division I-A Southern Regional Tournament at Spring Valley.

The Eagles have 84 points, and Mojave was a surprise second with 67. Faith Lutheran stands in third (64½) and Virgin Valley (63) is fourth. Defending state champion Pahrump Valley is 10th.

Cox said each wrestler has the “never quit” in them, and senior Kyle Gossard certainly lived up to the billing at 285 pounds. Gossard needed overtime before defeating Cyrus Bantug of Mojave, 3-1.

“I’m so proud of my team,” said Cox following Gossard’s win. “I tell them to not worry about points or standings — just keep wrestling and the points will take care of itself.”

Gossard is one of seven Boulder City wrestlers to make the semifinals.

Mojave will send five wrestlers into the semifinals.

“We are thrilled to be in the mix,” Rattlers coach Brad Burton said. “We are just trying to do things the right way and continue to move in the right direction.”

The Rattlers have 10 seniors among the squad, and Burton says the squad continues to mature.

“We’ve been through a lot,” Burton said. “We just continue to get better and better with each match. It should be interesting Saturday.”

Mojave’s Christian Collins (132), Mario Shelton-Poindexter (160), Tariq Banks (170) and Dai’jon Payno (195) advanced to the semifinals.

Faith Lutheran also sent seven wrestlers into the semifinals, including perhaps the biggest upset of Friday’s competition, as unseeded freshman Carson Cook stunned top-seed Kyle Anderson of Spring Valley in overtime at 138.

“It feels great to have a win like this,” said Cook, who meets Boulder City’s Tyler Rushworth in the semifinals. “I just stayed in the fight and I think my endurance paid off. I just felt like I had more in the tank than he did.”

Cox feels his Boulder City team has enough depth to make a serious run at the title.

“If we stay focused, we have a great chance to win,” said Cox, whose team finished sixth at state in 2015. “I know we have the talent and the depth to go far.”

Spring Valley and Virgin Valley each will send six into the semifinals.

“We will just keep things simple,” Cox said. “We will not worry about anyone else, just about the effort we bring to the mat. Its about putting forth the best effort possible, and the points will come.”

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