So bright

The spotlight finals at Moon Valley are always one of the highlights of the year.

The annual Moon Valley Invitational hosted 32 teams from around the state this past Friday and Saturday.

Saturday night's tournament finals were full of dominating performances as well as some major upsets. The finals were highlighted mostly by Corona Del Sol, which had seven wrestlers out of the 13 weight classes competing for a title.

The finals started off at the 106 pound weight class with a pin for Corona Del Sol's Zack Kvavle over Desert Vista's Ernie Del Rio III.

Following the 106 bout was a close match at 113 that was won in overtime by Desert Vista's Tariq Hornbuckle.

Hornbuckle had one of the most impressive runs of the entire tournament, coming in as an unseeded sophomore and defeating the number five, four, and one seeds on his way to the finals. He then met the number two seed Anthony Schultz, whom he defeated with a takedown in overtime.

Perhaps the closest finals match of the night was at 138 pounds.

The crowd was treated to another overtime sudden victory match where Boulder Creek's Sheldon Cole defeated Centennial's Bryce Saylor.

In the final seconds of regulation, Saylor took an 8-7 lead after Cole was hit with a 1-point technical violation for locking hands. After some discussion, the officials reversed the call which gave the one point back to Cole, and sent the match into overtime. Cole was then able to secure a takedown for the win.

Two of the most dominant individual performances from the tournament came from Desert Edge's Brandon Courtney (126) and Desert Vista's Chad Porter (195). Both are returning Moon Valley champions as well as state champions.

Courtney had five pins, two forfeits and a technical fall on his way to the finals, where he pinned Corona's Cole Bernstein to claim his third Moon Valley title. Courtney is a senior who has committed to wrestle at Arizona State University.

At 195, Chad Porter had nothing short of a dominating run, pinning all of his opponents on his way to another Moon Valley title. Porter has made the Moon Valley finals all four years of his high school career, and has won three of his four matches under the spotlight.

At the conclusion of the tournament, Desert Edge's Courtney received the Outstanding Wrestler award for the lower weight classes while Desert Vista's Porter received the award for the heavier weight classes.

Other champions for the tournament included Isaac Santillan of Mesa (120), Stone Crooks of Boulder Creek (132), Hunter Carmona of Corona Del Sol (145), Jaren Savage of Tempe (152), Alejandro Torres of Marcos de Niza (160), Nick Ruffalo of Corona Del Sol (170), Curtis Stevenson of Thunderbird (182), Leon LeGrange of Snowflake (220) and Tyler Collins of Cactus Shadows (285).

At the end of the night it was Corona Del Sol who ran away with the team title, scoring almost 100 more points than the second place team, Desert Vista. Following Desert Vista was Boulder Creek in third, Mountain Ridge in fourth, and Erie in fifth.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.