Basalt wrestling goes 1-1 in home duals |

Basalt wrestling goes 1-1 in home duals

Basalt junior heavyweight Oswaldo Morales, left, wrestles against Cedaredge on Wednesday inside the BHS gymnasium. Morales won both his matchups in the two duals the Longhorns had.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

The physical improvements certainly stand out for Basalt High School wrestler Oswaldo Morales, but more than anything it’s the experience of being an upperclassman that has made the most difference this season.

“The biggest thing is probably my mentality,” Morales said. “As a wrestling team, we are trying to get away from excuses all together. I think it’s time we turn that corner.”

Morales, a junior heavyweight, has been one of the strengths for the Longhorns through the first few weeks of the season. He was one of two BHS wrestlers to win both of his matches Wednesday, when the Longhorns hosted Moffat County and Cedaredge in one of only two home meets this season.

“It feels good to come out here in front of a home crowd and win,” Morales said. “It’s also nice to see all the hard work paying off. It’s been a long way coming.”

Moffat County, one of the top teams in the state, made relatively easy work of Basalt, winning 65-15. Morales won his match, pinning Moffat’s Lee Graham, while Julius Vazquez gave BHS its other win, getting an 8-3 decision at 152 pounds over Mathew Moschetti.

Basalt also received six points via forfeit.

“We knew that was going to be tough,” Basalt coach Ryan Bradley said of the match with Moffat. “Cedaredge sent over a mix. They have a couple of guys who are super top ranked and they held them out because they have a huge tournament this weekend and they didn’t want to take the chance of getting them injured.”

The dual with Cedaredge was tightly contested, with BHS eventually pulling out the win. Morales, wrestling second in the dual, got the Longhorns on the board with a 3-1 overtime win.

“I kind of lassoed him into overtime, because I knew I could wear him out,” Morales said. “Once I get into overtime, I know I’m conditioned enough, I know I’m experienced enough to get that win. But getting there was a lot of work.”

Basalt also received wins from junior Albert Marquez (120 pounds), sophomore Nathan Rivera (126), junior Sander Elliot (145), junior Alex Alberto (170) and Vazquez.

“It was a great dual for us. They were at a good level,” Bradley said. “A lot of the matches were really competitive. One of the cool matches I thought was Sander Elliot pinning his opponent in the varsity match.”

The Longhorns have one more competition before the winter break, a tournament this weekend at West Grand. While mostly smaller teams, the tournament also will include Steamboat Springs and Buena Vista.

“It’s going to be a really fun tournament,” Bradley said. “I feel like we have a chance for some guys to walk away with some medals and we have some guys who are going to win it, I think.”

Basalt has one more home dual this season, a Jan. 31 matchup with Rifle.