Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
The Demons started with a thriller.
The Durango High School wrestling team, in a team dual that came down to the final minute of the final match, opened the home season Thursday night with an edge-of-your-seat 42-36 loss at the hands of Bloomfield (N.M.).
“I don’t know how we lost, to be honest,” Durango head coach Doug Cuddie said after watching the visiting Bobcats win seven of the 12 contested matches.
“We expect our guys who have been around awhile to step up. (Thursday night), they didn’t,” Cuddie said.
“Some of the guys did ... Clay Dillon did, Lucas Sinnig did, Patrick Cunnion ... and Hunter Hall. Those guys showed up ready to go.
“But we need more of a team effort,” Cuddie said after the Demons gave up five pins to Bloomfield, including back-to-back pins in the final two matches on the card that brought the Bobcats back from a 36-30 deficit.
The Demons had taken the six-point lead in the back-and-forth dual on the 18 points from three consecutive Durango pins by Nick Tarpley (152 pounds), Sinnig (160) and Cunnion (170).
Cunnion, who executed a takedown seven seconds into his match, pinned Idai Marquez of Bloomfield in 54 seconds.
Tarpley, a returning state qualifier for the Demons, had an even faster first takedown – six seconds.
He worked on his takedown technique against Sheldon Begay. Tarpley alternated takedowns with intentional escapes when he allowed Begay to get to his feet.
Tarpley, undefeated on the season, piled up 12 takedowns and a 24-15 lead before pinning Begay 40 seconds into the final period.
Sinnig, a DHS senior, had the fastest pin of the match. He finished Tristan Prince of Bloomfield in 28 seconds.
“Last weekend, I just didn’t come out mentally prepared,” Sinnig said of the Maverick Duals in Grand Junction. “This meet, a home meet is a better environment for me. It was all mental for me out there,” said Sinnig, son of Roxanna and Steve Sinnig.
Durango’s other points Thursday night also came via pin.
Dillon, a former state qualifier for DHS, pinned Jonathan Begay of Bloomfield in 53 seconds of their match at 126 pounds.
Hall also had a pin. The sophomore pinned Danny Trujillo of Bloomfield with 14 seconds left in their match at 120 pounds. Hall was leading 11-3 at the time of the pin.
“It ... was very important (to get the pin). We needed to get pins,” Hall said.
“I was getting tired (in the third period), but I knew I trained hard. I tried to be mentally tough and keep with it,” said Hall, son of Laura and Randy Hall.
The Demons’ final points came when Matthew Lavengood, another returning state qualifier, won by forfeit at 113 pounds.
Bloomfield picked up one forfeit as well (106 pounds).
In other matches:
Troy Rightmire of Bloomfield pinned Dillon Anthony of DHS midway through the second period at 132 pounds.
Jacob Spencer pinned Durango’s Morgan Walts in the third period at 138.
Alex Portillo decisioned Garrett Marcum of Durango 7-5 in overtime at 145.
Jerome Abeyta of Bloomfield pinned Jack Madden in the first period at 182.
Paul Jaramillo pinned Demetre Cullison of Durango in the second period at 195.
David DeHerrera pinned Jordan McKnight of DHS in the second period at 220.
Orin Kennealy decisioned Daniel Gustavson of Durango 10-4 at 285.
“You can’t take anything away from Bloomfield, that’s for sure,” Cuddie said after the match that drew a large crowd to the DHS auxiliary gym.
”We ... had guys in a tough situation (at the end of the dual),” Cuddie said.
“Cullison ... that’s his fifth match ever. In a tough situation. The guy before him, Jack Madden’s a freshman, again in a tough situation,” Cuddie said.
The Demons will be back on the mats Saturday at the Delta Invitational.
“We need to get better,” Hall said.
“We just need to get that mental focus ... we’ll be fine,” Sinnig said.