Late McNary move pins regional title

By Brian Forbes
Special to The Denver Post

Centennial - All of Curtis McNary's 20-minute conditioning drills paid off Saturday night.

Faced with a 5-3 deficit in the final 22 seconds of his 152-pound final, the Grandview senior pulled out the most memorable win of the Class 5A Region 1 tournament.

McNary rolled Arvada West's Ryan Sanchez on his back with seven seconds left to tie the match and got the pin with one-tenth of a second remaining.

It was a comeback so improbable, even McNary didn't think he had pulled it off.

"I looked up at that clock and I was looking up for one minute of overtime, but it wasn't up there," McNary said.

McNary, along with 145-pound teammate Jon Brascetta, are two of the six Grandview wrestlers that advanced at Arapahoe High School and will compete in the 71st annual state tournament at the Pepsi Center, which begins Thursday.

Grandview came in third in the team race with 174 points.

Three-time defending state champions Ponderosa won Region 1 with 243 points. The Mustangs maintained their favored status by advancing 11 wrestlers to state and crowning five regional champions.

Mustangs' returning state champion Ian Heinisch won the 189-pound bracket by pinning Palmer's James Gerstberger. Junior Jesse Snider won the 140- pound class and freshman Zeke Hofer won the 103-pound bracket, escaping an early miscue to get a major decision win over Grand Junction's Paul Scanga.

"I got my hips off to the side when I was going for the kill," Hofer said. "It was a dumb mistake."

Grand Junction finished second in the team race with 194 points and will send eight wrestlers to state, including 215-pound senior Justin Reed.

Reed improved to 36-2 this season after manhandling Cherry Creek's Marty Taffet for a 17-3 major decision. Reed twice got Taffet off his feet and slammed him down on his back.

"When you can pick up a guy and put him down on the mat like that, especially at the weight we're at, it does take a little out of the guy on bottom," Reed said.

Coronado star Henry Cejudo improved to 21-0 with his technical fall win over Adam City's A.J. Maestas in the 125-pound final.

Cejudo, who went 23-0 last season and won the 119-pound class, was in typical form - bursting like lightning for a takedown and then releasing Maestas so he can do it again.

Arapahoe's Bobby Strain won the heavyweight class to give the Warriors their only champion.

Of the five weights contested in wrestlebacks, four were won by the fifth-place finisher. Lakewood's Wayne Enockson (135 pounds), Rangeview's Brian Doyle (152), Grandview's Matt Lucherini (160) and Arapahoe's Robert Lanius (171) all advanced.