NEWTON — The Dodge City Red Demons boys’ wrestling team claimed a title Saturday at the 57th Newton Invitational Tournament of Champions at Ravenscroft Gym.
Sophomore Damien Mendez at 113 pounds topped top-ranked (KWCA, Class 6A) Bishop Murray of Washburn Rural 8-3 in the championship match to improve to 29-1.
After a scoreless first period, Murray took the lead with an escape in the second period. Mendez scored a takedown at the 32-second mark of the second period. Murray scored another escape only to be taken down again with nine seconds remaining. Mendez added two more takedowns in the third period to secure the win.
“I just focused on my shots,” Mendez said. “I wanted to stay aggressive. I’ve been working to get better this year. I’ve competed in some national tournaments and so on.”
Mendez said he faced Murray three times last year. Murray won in overtime at regionals, but Mendez won the Class 6A state title, while Murray was third. The two didn’t meet at state.
“We’ll be meeting at regionals and state,” Mendez said. “It will be a tough match-up, but we’ll see.”
Goddard won the 24-team field with 213.5 points, followed by Blue Valley Southwest at 190, Maize at 183.5, Olathe South at 159.5 and Washburn Rural at 159. Dodge City was 12th at 91.5.
The Red Demons claimed two other medals. Garrett Edwards was fifth at 145 pounds and Luke Barker was sixth at 152 pounds. Edwards opened the day in the consolation semifinals, falling to Trig Tennant of Arkansas City 5-3.
In the fifth-place match, Edwards scored an 11-3 major decision over Connor Padgett of Maize. Luke Barker at 152 pounds, clinched his medal with a 9-5 decision in the fourth consolation round over Dawson Chavez of Andale.
Barker followed in the consolation quarterfinals with a third-period pin over Bobby Thomas of Olathe South. In the consolation semifinals, Barker dropped a 7-5 overtime decision to Chance Price of Winfield. Barker dropped another 7-5 decision in the fifth-place match, falling to Daniel McMullen of Blue Valley Southwest.
Rudy Hernandez finished the tournament 2-2 at 138 pounds, falling to Isaiah Holmes of Goddard in a 13-3 major decision. A 3-1 overtime loss to Brent Escareno of Eureka in the fourth consolation round at 160 pounds, ended Marcelino Otero’s tournament at 2-2.
At 182 pounds, Ryan Parga was pinned in the fourth consolation round by Levi Allen in the second period, ending his tournament 2-2.
Heavyweight Cody Terrell was pinned in the fourth consolation round by Maximus Shannon in the second period, ending the tournament 2-2.
At 170 pounds, Jashon Taylor lost by medical forfeit in the fourth consolation round to Alec McCuan of Hutchinson, ending the tournament 1-2.
Dodge City results Saturday results
113 — 1. Damian Mendez (4-0): F. W Bishop Murray, Washburn Rural 8-3.
138 — Rudy Hernandez (2-2): C4. L Isaiah Holmes, Goddard 13-3 maj.dec.
145 — 5. Garrett Edwards (4-2): CSF. L Trig Tennant, Arkansas City 5-3; 5th. W Connor Padgett, Maize 11-3 maj.dec.
152 — 6. Luke Barker (): C4. W Dawson Chavez, Andale 9-5; CQF. W Bobby Thomas, Olathe South 4:57; CSF. L Chance Price, Winfield 7-5 OT; 5th. L Daniel McMullen, Blue Valley Southwest 7-5.
160 — Marcelino Otero (2-2): C4. L Brent Escareno, Eureka 3-1 OT.
170 — Jashon Taylor (1-2): C4. L Alec McCuan, Hutchinson medical forfeit.
182 — Ryan Parga (2-2): C4. L Levi Allen, Hutchinson 2:25.
HWT — Cody Terrell (2-2): C4. L Maximus Shannon, Arkansas City 1:46.