Buchanan vs Clovis Preview

The sport needs more duals. It also needs more duals that operate like full-blown events. It may not make sense to do it for every single dual, but for the bigger ones on a team’s schedule, I think so. This is the biggest dual on either team’s schedule as they are cross-city rivals and perennially within the top 3 in the state. Of course Buchanan is usually #1 and then Clovis is either 2 or 3 depending on the year. But I digress.

The point is that this has become the sort of event other big duals should learn from and take some notes from and create more of. It’s a party.

Of course a dual like Buchanan vs Clovis is most notable for the quality of the individual matches. This year is no different. There are a handful of weights featuring top 10 or even top 5 guys at each school. There are 6 wrestlers between the two schools ranked nationally (if you look at Flo and Mat Scouts. Mat Scouts does a better job with CA and last I saw has Sloan Swan ranked whereas Flo does not). So when it comes to CA competition this is as good as it gets.

And even with all of that being said, Buchanan enters the dual as a pretty big favorite. They’re loaded. As always. Case closed. Now duals don’t always work out how you expect, or have come to expect from tournament results. Momentum is a real thing. A run of bonus points where the match should be a decision on paper can swing things in a hurry. But, it’s hard to predict that so we do our best to point out where it most likely COULD happen but still generally stick to the chalk.

Where it gets more interesting, or from the perspective of someone like me writing about it, difficult, is predicting who actually wrestles where in the lineup. Coaches will move guys around, jockey for the best match-ups, and try to steal points where they can.

I have gone ahead and laid out the most “standard” lineup for each team based on the last time they each competed with their A roster. What actually transpires might be a bit different.

As you can see with this hypothetical dual lineup, Buchanan wins 8 out of 14 matches. They also would be expected to pick up bonus points in more matches than Clovis. But that’s harder to predict. So it’s possible even this exact 8-6 match count ends up 24-18 instead of 28-18, or Clovis gets a couple majors and it’s 24-20 or 28-20 and so on.

As a fan of the underdog, I like to look at where a team can make up ground and maybe it happens for them. In this case, I think the most likely weights to see a result flip are 113 and 152. The problem then becomes there are a couple weights Clovis should win that could go Buchanan’s way, 120 and 160 in particular.

To really have a shot here, Clovis has to win the ones they are favored and pull off a couple upsets along the way. It’s always doable, but not likely.

Another thing I will do here is try to find a different line up that might help them close the gap.

At the Rockwell Rumble, the Cougars brought Anthony Coelho to compete at 98 pounds. He took 3rd. So maybe he’s the choice at 106. Let’s get to it…

If Clovis assumes Rocklin Zinkin wins 106 no matter who is out there for them, then it could be Coelho – which then frees up Thunder Lewis to go to 113.

Lewis has a head to head win over Besmer, though he hasn’t faced Huerta this season if that’s who Buchanan goes with.

Either way, Lewis would probably be favored to win 113 and give Clovis the win there.

If Zinkin over Coelho is a pin for 6 points, the way the matches down the line work out, it probably leads them back to the same outcome. However, if Coelho can keep it to even just a major, it could keep it close through the 145 & 152 pair that figure to go heavily to Buchanan.

And then we get to the stretch run from 160 to HWT. This is where Clovis can try to get a little more creative potentially.

The biggest mismatch on paper is at 220. Kannon Campbell has already pinned the Clovis 220, Matt Miller, this season. However, Mark Marin would be a slight favorite over Campbell and that could be as much as a 9 point swing for the Cougars.

So we bump Marin up to 220. Then Tyler Hodges up to 195. Then Adrien Reyes up to 182. Then Joe Buck to 170. Sloan Swan is favored over Reyes and would be over Buck as well. Clovis would need him to keep it to a simple decision. So let’s say that happens. Then there’s a hole at 160.

At that same Utah tournament, they had Jordan Molina at 165. Perhaps he fills in that hole. The weight would flip to Buchanan but Clovis would be in position to sweep 182-HWT.

So what are we looking at now after this moving around: (the team in parentheses is the team I’m predicting wins these new match ups)

  • 106: Zinkin over Coelho (Buchanan)
  • 113: Lewis over Huerta (Clovis)
  • 120: Zinkin over Harris (Clovis)
  • 126: Toscano over Ornelas (Buchanan)
  • 132: Cabrera over Simon Cervantes (Buchanan)
  • 138: Lemus over Raiz (Clovis)
  • 145: Alexander over Good (Buchanan)
  • 152: Contino over Reynolds (Buchanan)
  • 160: Espinoza over Jordan Molina? (Buchanan)
  • 170: Swan over Buck (Buchanan)
  • 182: Reyes over Rocha (Clovis)
  • 195: Hodges over Trelles (Clovis)
  • 220: Marin over Campbell (Clovis)
  • 285: Limon over Dansby (Clovis)
  • Match Count: 7-7

So we found a possible configuration that closes the matches won gap to 7-7. The problem is that some of these become even more likely for Buchanan bonus. For example at 106 and 160.

And this bonus could be the 6 point variety. That runs the team score up to 27-21. Then we say 2 or 3 more majors in the mix and now it’s 30-21 or there abouts.

I should also mention a few of these I have going for Clovis could easily go the other way and then none of this matters.

Another option is to put Nikade Zinkin up against Joseph Toscano – and that might be the best single match of the whole 14. However, that makes Harris a favorite at 120 and Toscano would be the favorite over Zinkin.

This means Clovis could go from a potential net 3-3 team point split to 0-6. However, it’s the only realistic chance of possibly swinging it 6-0 in their favor between 120 and 126, if say Ray Rivera comes up big against Harris. This might be what they need to do. Swing for the fences.

I’ve said before duals are tough to write previews for because you really don’t know what the coaches will do when the match comes. We can guess or try our best to run through the options and then see where that leads.

It does look like Clovis will need to do some finessing and they have just enough horses to give them that puncher’s chance.

In the end, I have Buchanan winning by 6-10 but we’re in for a great night regardless. 

Dual Matches

Meet Todd Wightman

Based in Western PA. Right in the heart of WPIAL country, Todd brings an insider’s view from the country’s epicenter  of wrestling. He’s excited to build on the TKDWN tradition of starting with the story first. The athletes, the coaches, their families and supporters, there is no shortage of stories to tell. And Todd will bring his unique perspective to help us continue to deliver top notch content for the world’s greatest sport!