Here’s my story from Saturday’s CIF-SS divisionals, which proved to be quite productive for area competitors:
South Hills High School, after finishing in a three-way tie in the San Antonio League and losing a coin flip, didn’t get the opportunity to compete for a CIF-Southern Section dual championship last week.
The Huskies made up for it Saturday, finishing a solid third at the CIF-SS Southern Division championships at Chaparral High. Redlands East Valley won the meet with 212 points, with traditional power Temecula Valley second at 192.5 and the Huskies third at 181. West Covina was fourth at 138.5.
The area had a solid day with three individual champions: Rosemead’s Matt Fregoso (121 pounds), Sierra Vista’s Jose Maldonado (137) and South Hills’ Trevor Behr (140). Arroyo’s Christian Betancourt (105) and Noel Blanco (147), South Hills’ Daniel Flores (114), West Covina’s Raymond Medina (171) and La Puente’s Jesus Vargas (215) were runners-up.
South Hills, led by Behr’s triple-overtime victory in the 140 final, qualified seven to next week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet at Temecula High. The Huskies had one champion, one runner-up and three third-place finishes. The top five in each weight class advance to next weekend.
“We actually had hopes of winning it,” South Hills coach Robb Froh said. “It just didn’t go our way. Redlands East Valley just wrestled (fantastic), but we had, what, seven placers? That’s not too bad. You can always hope for more, but overall for a team, we came in third. That’s not bad.”
Also qualifying for nextweek’s meet from South Hills were Vincent Herrera (third at 127), Jeremy Osborn (third at 154), Ronald Johnson (fifth at 162), Dakota Behr (fourth at 173) and Jeff Vargas (third at 217).
Other area qualifiers included Walnut’s Ritchie Taira (fifth at 105), Joey Meza (fifth at 114) and Marcus Jimenez (fourth at 162); West Covina’s Danny Arceo (fifth at 121), Jacob Depraect (fourth at 132), Chris Caballero (fourth at 137) and Bradley Ojala (fourth at 147); Bassett’s Chris Tavizon (fourth at 121); and Rosemead’s Alberto Flores (fifth at 125).
The Panthers’ Fregoso led the charge of area winners, dominating the 121-pound class with two victories by fall, one technical fall and a 15-6 victory over Downey’s Ivan Garibay in the final.
“I was the number one seed, so it was my expectations to win,” said Fregoso, who also won an individual title last season. “I just went out and wrestled my best and tried to get my second CIF championship.
“I just went into (the championship match) pretty confident.”
Maldonado and Trevor Behr, who matched his brother’s title from last season, didn’t have it quite as easy, but each came up big when it counted.
Maldonado used a takedown and reverse to build a 4-0 lead in the 132-pound final against REV’s Kyle Randall, but he gave up the advantage, and Randall rallied to tie it 5-5 on a takedown with 21 seconds left in the match.
Maldonado broke free for an escape with 11 seconds left before blocking two moves by Randall for the victory.
Behr’s victory was similar. He took a 4-1 lead in the 142-pound final, then saw Agoura’s Ben Wolfhaupter rally for a 5-4 lead before Behr tied it with two seconds left. He received a point when Wolfhaupter was penalized for a violation.
The sophomore then scored an escape before holding off Wolfhaupter in the third overtime.
Nick Jacobo won lower-weight MVP with a dominating performance at 105 and Frank Martinez won at 142 as Northview finished third at Pacifica High in Oxnard.
The Vikings qualified five for CIF-SS Masters, with Gilbert Nakatani (114) and Chris Auxier finishing second. Elvis Arce finished fifth at 154 for Northview.
Other area qualifiers included San Dimas’ Jacob Martinez (second at 121) and Chrystian Baneulos (second at 132), and Covina’s Kyle Acevedo (fifth at 114) and Keir Deville (fourth at 130).
Haydn Scharbrough (142) and Jacob Hoxsey (162) won divisional titles to lead Glendora to a seventh-place finish.
Miguel Lopez (173) finished fourth for the Tartans and qualified for Masters.
Bishop Amat finished 21st to lead the area contingent, which also included Charter Oak (23rd), Bonita (27th), Diamond Ranch (34th) and Wilson (35th). No area wrestlers qualified for next week’s meet.