By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
West Covina High School didn’t win a CIF-Southern Section dual wrestling championship Saturday. But Bulldogs coach Donnie Stephens wasn’t too disappointed, either.
West Covina, despite missing one key competitor and having another athlete wrestle with an injury, enjoyed a solid day at the Division 2 meet at Canyon Springs in Moreno Valley. The Bulldogs upset No. 1 seed Corona Centennial, 39-35, in the second round before losing to Royal, 36-28, in the semifinals.
“It was an emotional day,” Stephens said. “Royal is a great team, and I can honestly say that is the only time I can remember a loss and say it was actually fun. I told the boys I’m not too disappointed, because they did everything I asked.
“It was an emotional roller coaster, to beat the No. 1 team, then lose to No. 5. But we weren’t supposed to (advance to the semifinals). I couldn’t be more proud of my team.”
The Bulldogs were able to beat Corona Centennial after getting two emotional victories from Rick Ortiz at 112 pounds and Richard Santoyo at 103. Ortiz battled through an injured shoulder to get the victory.
West Covina opened the tournament with a 56-9 victory over Norwalk.
Northview, which usually gears for the individual tournament, lost in the first round to Temescal Canyon at Los Alamitos High.
The Vikings sat state hopeful Frank Martinez, who is the top 140-pound contender in the CIF State rankings.
“We have some injuries, so we decided to send half our varsity, half our (junior varsity),” Northview coach David Ochoa. “We have a decent chance next week so we want to regroup and see what we can do. There will be five schools who can win it, and I think we’re one of them.”
Bishop Amat, which steamrolled through the Miramonte League, advanced two rounds at Cajon High in San Bernardino.
The Lancers, getting two wins each from Rodger Rodriguez (103), Anthony Avila (189) and Daniel Kane (heavyweight), beat Perris 35-18 in the first round before dropping a 45-24 decision to Redlands East Valley in the second round.
Kane’s two wins were by fall.
“We didn’t have the horses to knock (Redlands East Valley) off,” Bishop Amat coach Tom Pierre said. “We’re inexperienced. We have just three starters from last year and they all won both their matches.”
Charter Oak lost to Paloma Valley, 56-12, in the first round.
Host Sierra Vista advanced two rounds, beating Santa Paula in the first round before losing to No. 1 seed Morro Bay in the second round.
The Dons received strong efforts from Anthony Soto (119), Luis Hernandez (160) and Nathan Carillo (171), who all won by fall against Santa Paula.
Bloomington beat Morro Bay in the final.
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