The Reno Tournament of Champions opened with teams

By Don Dreger Record-Courier assistant sports edit Published:

The Reno Tournament of Champions opened with teams having to face sub-zero weather on the way to Sparks Convention Center at 8 a.m. Monday.

But once inside, things heated up for 46 of the top high schools in the country.

By the end of the day, Ravenna had climbed to fourth place behind Choctaw of Oklahoma, Northampton of Pennsylvania and Huber Heights Wayne of Ohio. No official team scores were available though.

Choctaw had eight wrestlers in the quarterfinals, Northampton six, while Ravenna and Huber Heights Wayne had five each.

Ravenna was blessed with nine byes in the first round, so it took a while for the Ravens to gather themselves. Nine Ravens won in the second round, registering five pins, all useful for bonus points.

Heading into the last round of the day, Ravenna was able to send five wrestlers to today's quarterfinals. Mike Ramsey (130 pounds), Jeff Delaney (160), J.R. Shrewsberry (171), Brad Bauer (189) and Andy Hampton (215) all won and will continue in the championship round.

"They are correct when they called this the toughest tournament," said Ravenna coach Steve Reedy. "We have faced kids from all over the country. Good kids, many of whom will wrestle in college.

"We will benefit from this experience. It is enjoyable to watch kids step up to the level of competition and take the challenge. I think they found we can compete with the elite. It takes a lot of mental preparation."

Ramsey pinned his first opponent and then won a 9-0 major decision over Mike Odom of Midwest City, Okla.

Delaney, came from behind in both matches. He used a lateral drop for a 5-2 decision over Steve Klimkowitz of Madison, Ohio. Then in the third round, he was bitten on the finger after he had reversed Kyle Cornett of Choctaw, Okla., and applied a headlock. He won by disqualification.

Shrewsberry continues to surprise. He wrestled very solid, winning a 6-4 decision in the second round and adding a pin in 1:38 over Peter Pasque of Ponderosa County, Nev.

"Delaney and Shrewsberry only need matches to get better," said Reedy. "They were mentally tough."

Bauer made it look easy. A pin in 12 seconds in the second round, followed by a pin in 3:03 over Nate Jensen of Taylorsville, Utah, barely broke a sweat on the senior.

Hampton looked as impressive at 215 pounds. Two quick pins earned his spot in the quarterfinals.

"Both Bauer and Hampton look fantastic," said Reedy.

The biggest surprise was the defeat of Brandon Hayes at 119 pounds. He lost a 10-3 decision to Jose Leon of Santa Ana, Cal., in the third round. Leon was seventh in the California state tournament last season. There is only one class in California with over 700 schools competing.

Jeff Dunfee dropped a 10-1 decision to Reyes Gonzalez of Cimarron, Nev. Justin Wise lost by technical fall to Matt King of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Vince Zmith had the bad luck to face a two-time state champion from Choctaw in Tony Morgan. Morgan slipped a cradle on Zmith and pinned him at the 2:34 mark.

Hayes, Wise and Zmith are still alive in the consolations. Brian Hickman, Todd Wunderle and Joe Moser lost twice and were eliminated.

Dunfee and Keith Lara lost in the third round of the consolations and were eliminated. Lara wrestled in his first action since breaking his wrist.

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