The Central California Athletic League boys wrestling tournament turned into a battle between Turlock’s two high schools and when it was all said and done, Pitman and Turlock each had advanced 12 wrestlers into next week’s Divisional tournament.
The Turlock teams were both so dominant that they saw a Bulldog versus Pride matchup in six weight classes during the finals. Of those matches, Pitman came out with four wins to Turlock’s two.
The Pride captured nine first place finishes, while the Bulldogs saw three champions out of 14 weight classes.
“I’m happy with the kids. We had to shuffle our lineup a little this morning with some unforeseen circumstances,” said Pitman head coach Adam Vasconcellos.
“Pretty good performance from the Bulldogs, especially taking second place overall. We entered 12 and all 12 advanced,” said THS head coach Mike Contreras.
They each proved why they were the best as Pitman went 5-0 in regular season dual meets and Turlock followed up in second place at 4-1, losing only to Pitman in the regular season finale.
On Friday, Alex Talamante of Pitman at 106 pounds defeated Turlock’s Ethan Ward in a match that went into a decision.
Turlock High’s Egberto Davalos (113) defeated Pitman’s Julian Rosales in a decision in the final.
Pitman’s Izzy Tubera (120) won a major decision in the final over Gregori’s Elijah Montez.
For Turlock, aside from Davalos, it was senior William Giron (126) who defeated Conner La Rosa of Pitman in the final to capture the second win of the day for the ‘Dogs.
Adrian Heras (132) of Turlock High defeated Andrew Possess of Enochs in their final to secure the third win for the Bulldogs.
“The future is bright for the Bulldogs,” said Contreras. “Ward and Watson lost tight matches and both easily could have been champions. Only four seniors of the 12. The storm is coming.”
Aaron Lucatero (138) of Pitman fell to Ernesto Escobar of Modesto in the final to take second after a decision.
At 145 pounds, it was Turlock High’s Ben Watson against Jon Stout of Pitman and Stout was able to capture a 5-3 win.
Pitman’s Isaiah Ontiveros (152) dominated and controlled Zion Mahoney of Enochs in the final, 6-1.
Kendall La Rosa (160) of Pitman ended up winning via fall with 15 seconds remaining in the first period after handling Gregori’s Joseph Benevidas.
At 170 pounds, Khalid Ghani (Pitman) managed to take on Josh Quintana of Enochs and defeated him via pin with 28 seconds remaining in the second.
Tal Malhi (182) of Pitman then followed up by pinning Turlock’s Achilles Clarke in the third with 1:22 left on the clock.
Turlock’s Luis Macias (195) saw the best finish at his weight class from either school after taking third place.
At 220 pounds, Pitman’s Juan Mora defeated Turlock’s Julian Aispuro via fall with 28 seconds left in the second period after being up 7-1.
Then, at heavyweight, it was Pitman’s Emilio Gutierrez who did quick work and pinned Wyatt Williams of Enochs in the final with 54 seconds remaining in the first after he took an immediate 2-0 lead.
“We had 12 in the finals and nine champs, can’t really wrestle much better than that,” said Vasconcellos. “…I am excited for the next round. Everyone that showed up today wrestled the best they could, so nothing else we could do. The kids wrestled outstanding and I believe our kids lost one match I was hoping we would win, so when you wrestle that many matches and only one doesn’t go your way, can’t really complain about that.”
The Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II tournament will take place from River Valley High in Yuba City this weekend, at a time yet to be announced, starting Friday morning and ending Saturday afternoon.