DENVER — Martin Selby is the most intellectual wrestler at the Pepsi Center.
The Boulder senior can usually key on his opponents’ weaknesses, their favorite moves, and any other flaw they may have.
But he takes it one step further when he can pick up on their breathing habits.
“By a way a guy breathes earlier in a match and how he is pacing his breathing, a lot of times you can tell if he is a guy who is going to wear out really fast or a guy who won’t wear out as fast.” said Selby, the lone Panther in the Class 5A state wrestling tournament. “A lot of times, the good ones, it comes from having spent a lot of time wrestling and just being physical in general.”
Selby rallied from a 4-2 deficit after two periods to beat Arapahoe’s Diego Garcia 9-5 and advance to the quarterfinals at 152 pounds.
Selby (35-7) will face Arvada West’s Taylor Bergquist (30-5) in the next round.
Selby, who has made a habit of coming from behind especially in the third period, opened the final two minutes of the match with takedown to draw even and earned five more near-fall points soon after.
“I had to be smart with him and use the sort of tactic I have all season of wearing guys out and capitalizing on opportunities as the match goes on,” he said. “One thing I did better in that match, after he took me down in the second, I was good at immediately turning that around and evening up the score by reversing him.
“Earlier in the season, I had a tendency, that if a guy took me down, I would wait out the entire period and not start scoring until later.”
Centaurus sophomore Forrest Lalaguna gave up the first five points of the match to Pine Creek’s Geoff Curtis and was never able to dig out of that hole.
The regional champ got back in the match in the second period, narrowing the gap to 5-3, but Curtis lay prone and defensive in the third, making it impossible for Lalaguna to equalize the match.
“He didn’t really wrestle that match, but when he saw an opportunity he took it,” said Lalaguna, who will move into the consolation round at 182 pounds. “Otherwise he was flat and really defensive and I really couldn’t work much.”
On a positive note in the 182-pound bracket, Fairview’s Cito Balsells recovered from an early penalty point against Castle View’s Hudsen Marker and pinned the Sabercats junior in 1:46.
Fairview 138-pound senior Melvin Gutierrez took 2:42 to pin Grand Junction’s Isaac Rider in stride.
“No one at the state tournament is going to be easy, everyone here is for real,” Gutierrez said. “I’m not upset with the way I wrestled, that kid is tough. I’m okay with it, I;m still top 16 in the state and I made it to state. There were kids that didn’t go that should have gone.”
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