By BRETT MARSHALL
SCOTT CITY — In most years, the annual Scott City-Garden City wrestling dual brings together two of the powerhouse programs in western Kansas.
When the teams met Tuesday night at the Scott City High School gym, the host Beavers were ranked No. 10 in Classes 3-2-1A while the Buffaloes held down the No. 3 spot in Class 6A.
Garden City left little doubt to where the upper hand was at the start of this season as the Buffaloes rolled to a 57-10 victory over a team that GCHS coach Monte Moser described as "young, promising and will get better when they get people healthy."
Indeed, the Beavers were missing several of their varsity grapplers but even then it might not have impacted the outcome of this year's dual as the potent Buffs took command beginning with the 125-pound division when Aaron Anguiano captured a 7-2 decision.
From there, the Buffs swept through the remaining 10 matches to win going away.
For Garden City's Anthony Gardner, a sophomore at 160 pounds, it was a homecoming of sorts as he had been a member of the 2009 Scott City team that narrowly lost a 36-34 match to the Buffs. Gardner lost a 10-1 decision to Derrick Ortiz then but now owns the varsity spot at GCHS.
This year, he won a 10-2 major decision over Manuel Carrillo, whom Gardner calls "one of my closest buddies. He would watch my back and I'd watch his. Wrestling him was tough. I hope to see him again and that we're wrestling in the finals. It would mean both of us are doing good."
Gardner said it was a much-anticipated evening for him as he returned to his former high school.
"It's nice to come back and see everybody and have some redemption," Gardner said. "The atmosphere was unbelievable. This was coming back and proving people wrong that I couldn't make it at Garden City."
GCHS head coach Monte Moser said he was proud of the way Gardner wrestled and handled the situation.
"That was a lot of pressure," Moser said. "He did really well and he scored and stayed in good positions. When you step out on the mat, the friendship goes out the window, but I couldn't be happier for Anthony."
In a night of few highlights for the Beavers, junior Clay Mulligan provided one as he won a 17-3 major decision over Aaron Anguiano at 119 pounds. Mulligan, a state qualifier in Class 4A last year, dominated Miguel Lucero throughout the match, opening a 6-2 lead after one period and 14-5 after two.
Mulligan, who has wrestled Club under Buffs' assistant Carlos Prieto, himself a Scott City native, said it was difficult wrestling against the wrestlers coached by Prieto.
"They know you, your moves, so you've got to do some different things," Mulligan said. "They know what's coming."
Three of the Buffs recorded first-round pins. Jonathan Heiman earned his pin with 42 seconds left in the first period over Zach Lightner at 152 pounds; Anthony Shockley pinned Jon Avritt at 171 pounds with 55 seconds left in the first and Aaron DeLeon notched his pin with 14 seconds remaining in the first over Jesse Eitel at 189 pounds.
In perhaps the most drama-packed match of the night Jason Carreon of the Buffaloes won a 2-1 decision in three overtimes against Scott City's Michael McEachern. Carreon had lost to McEachern a year ago in a 7-4 decision.
Garden City travels Friday and Saturday to the Colby Invitational. Friday, they will compete in pool play before the top teams advance into Saturday's finals. The meet begins at 1 p.m.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.