JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald
The Demons worked on their time-management skills Thursday night.
They also worked on local rival Bayfield High School to the tune of a spirited 43-26 dual wrestling victory at the Durango High School wrestling gym.
“You can’t wait around,” Durango head coach Doug Cuddie said of the Demons’ new quick-attack strategy.
“You have to go out there and attack guys who are as good as you are or a little bit better,” said Cuddie, who cited valuable lessons the Demons learned last weekend against premier competition at the Top of the Rockies Tournament on the Front Range.
“I’ve been going back to this a lot. If you are not attacking, they are attacking you. This is one of the things we learned against those teams. And I think we got in that mode,” Cuddie said after the Demons struck quickly with the first takedown in a majority of the Thursday-night matches – including the six that ended in Durango pins.
“We got some pins when we needed to ... and Garrett Marcum gutted out a good match,” Cuddie said of the 145-pound bout against the Wolverines’ Joe Zink.
Marcum, one of four DHS seniors honored Thursday night, staged a huge, momentum-swinging comeback in the third period, eventually holding on for a noisy 10-8 decision over Zink, a former state qualifier for the Wolverines.
Tied 3-3 entering the final period, Zink went ahead 4-3 on an escape. But then, in a matter of 15 seconds, Marcum scored two points on a takedown and three more on a near fall to lead 8-4. Zink closed within two points before another Marcum takedown sealed the decision in a match that featured more flips than a Kiwanis pancake breakfast.
“Garrett ... coming up with that match was pivotal,” Cuddie said of the Marcum win that offset an early lead by the Wolverines.
“He hasn’t been feeling well. He had missed practice this week. But he came out and said he wanted to wrestle ... and he did a good job,” Cuddie said.
“He (Marcum) had to really battle for that one,” said DHS teammate Daniel Gustavson, who scored a second-period pin over Matt Cerdes at 220 pounds.
“That kind of turned it all around,” he said of Marcum’s win. “I was jumping up and down on the sidelines.”
Gustavson, son of Catherine and Dan Gustavson, said the Demons intended to come out aggressively against the Wolverines.
“I was ready to go,” he said.
So were his teammates.
Matthew Lavengood pinned Tyler Winch of Bayfield in 32 seconds of their 113-pound match.
Nick Tarpley pinned Bayfield’s Ian Hermanns in 38 seconds (152 pounds).
Jordan McKnight pinned Dom Brittain of Bayfield in 39 seconds (195 pounds).
Patrick Cunnion pinned Bayfield’s James Young in 1:30 (170 pounds).
Hunter Hall posted an 18-7 major decision over Bayfield’s Tyler Beebe.
Lucas Sinnig of DHS won by forfeit at 160 pounds.
Bayfield won the closest decision of the dual when Colter McMenimen held on for a tense 2-0 victory over Durango senior captain Clay Dillon at 126 pounds.
The angular McMenimen wiggled away and executed a reversal in the second period for the only points of the match.
“Colter wrestled well,” said Bayfield head coach Todd McMenimen, Colter’s dad. “He’s been looking for a little redemption on Clay since Pagosa (Springs). He lost the opening round at Pagosa to Clay.”
The BHS coach said he was pleased with the Class 3A Wolverines and their performances against the Class 4A Demons.
“I thought we represented ourselves very well,” he said.
Bayfield scored impressive wins from Allec Rodriguez, who pinned Durango’s Henry Dorr in 1:38 at 132 pounds, and Drake Rhodes, who scored a major decision (15-0) over Durango’s Morgan Walts at 138.
“I was tickled there with (Michael) Goodman at 182,” coach McMenimen said. Goodman, trailing 4-0, rallied to pin Durango senior Demetre Cullison midway through the opening period.
“That (comeback) was the swing of the night,” the Bayfield coach said. “Overall, I was pleased all the way through.”
He said Zink wrestled a strong match in the loss to Marcum.
“I thought Joe outwrestled Marcum ... but that’s the way it goes sometimes. He just came out on the short end of the stick,” McMenimen said.
He, like Cuddie, said he appreciates the wrestling rivalry with Durango – one that produced a large and attentive crowd Thursday night in the Demons’ auxiliary gym while the varsity basketball programs hosted archrival Montezuma-Cortez in the main gym.
“It’s a good rivalry,” Cuddie said. “We respect Bayfield. It’s always a good atmosphere when we wrestle Bayfield.”
The Wolverines will be back on the mats for a dual against Ignacio at the Sun Ute Community Center at 6 p.m. today.
The Wolverines and the Demons will join the Ignacio Bobcats and eight other wrestling teams Saturday for the annual Butch Melton Invitational at the Sun Ute Community Center at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.