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Turlock takes CCC crown with overwhelming victory
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Turlocks Ernesto Guiang controls his Merced opponent during the semi-finals of the CCC team duals on Friday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Turlock High solidified its position as the Central California Conference’s 2012 wrestling champions on Friday with another dominate performance in the league team duals at Buhach Colony High, accumulating 225 team points. The Bulldogs advanced 11 wrestlers into the finals, producing six individual champions (Rico McCombs, Rafeal Herrera, Isaac Bertalotto, Albino Orozco, Erick Parsons, and Ernesto Guiang) and five second placers (Julian Talamante, Jason Valdavinos, Kevin Scroggins, Ricky Flores, and Ricardo Garcia). Turlock also had wrestlers finish in third (Trevor Gray) and fourth place (Isaiah Mendoza).

Pitman High showcased some impressive wrestling as well, finishing with two individual champions (Logan Wolfley and Kyle Martinez), a second placer (Gabe Vega), two third place finishers (Hayden Maddox and Eric Ruezga), and a wrestler at fourth (Nick Roditis).

Turlock entered the team duals leading the CCC with an undefeated league record. Golden Valley High trailed the Bulldogs by a match and was in a position to become co-champs with a tournament win. Golden Valley finished second in the tournament with 145 team points. Before the final round Turlock led by more than 100 points.

Turlock and Pitman met twice in the final rounds. Both matches were decided by a point and were won by the Pride. Pitman’s Martinez squeaked out a 3-2 victory against Garcia but it was Wolfley’s 3-2 victory of Turlock’s Talamante in triple overtime that proved to be the closest and most exciting match of the day. Both Wolfley and Talamante tirelessly battled back and forth, finishing the first period 0-0 and the second and third periods 2-2. In the first overtime period each wrestler narrowly escaped multiple takedown attempts. Wolfley pushed through the grueling match with a bloody nose that caused numerous breaks in the match to finally score an escape point with two seconds left in the third overtime period, earning him a gold medal.

Turlock’s victories in the final round proved to be more overwhelming as McCombs and Orozco won by major decision and Parsons won via pin. Turlock’s success on Friday ensures 13 Bulldogs a place in next week’s Divisional tournament. Pitman will send six.