Wrestling: Three win Masters’ titles; 18 headed to Bakersfield for state championships

By Steve Ramirez
Staff Writer
— South Hills’ Vincent Herrera, Glendora’s Haydn Scharbrough and Santa Fe’s Joey Davis had the CIF State wrestling championships as their seasonl ong goal.
They achieved it Saturday, while also adding the tile of CIF-Southern Section Masters champion after scoring individual titles at the CIF-SS Masters Meet at Temecula Valley High Schoolon Saturday.
The trio topped a list of 18 locals who earned trips to next weekend’s state meet, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
The three champions followed up victories at the divisional finals with Masters titles, with Herrera winning at 119 pounds, Scharbrough at 145 and Davis, the No. 1 wrestler in his weight class, at 152. La Habra’s Elder Cruz was runner-up at 215, losing to state No. 1 Tank Knowles of Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana.
Also qualifying for the state meet were South Hills’ Thomas Morales (sixth at 130), Jeff Vargas (sixth at 215) and Peter Nonu (sixth at 285); Northview’s Gilbert Nakatani (seventh at 119) and Bryan Salinas (seventh at 135); Chino Hills’ Christian Martin (sixth at 103) and Brody Goens (seventh at 171); Rosemead’s Matt Fregoso (fourth at 125) and Alberto Flores (ninth at 135); Arroyo’s Christian Betancourt (fourth at 112); Alhambra’s Hugo Perez (eighth at 112); Covina’s Kyle Acevedo (fourth at 130); West Covina’s Brad Ojala (eighth at 152); and Diamond Bar’s Brian Ryu (fourth at heavyweight).

“It’s a lot of hard work just paying off finally,” said Herrera, who followed up his victory at the Northern Division finals with a steady effort at Masters, scoring a victory by fall and a major decision before defeating Oak Hills’ Ray Delgado in the 119 final. “Hopefully, I can place (at state), or take it.”
Herrera took a 4-0 lead against Delgado, scoring a near-fall and takedown in the second period before getting a reverse with 1:14 in the third to push it to 6-3.
Scharbrough, who qualified for the state meet for the second consecutive season, continued a solid senior campaign by taking the 145 class. He rallied back from a 4-0 deficit in the final and pinned Littlerock’s Trevor De Vestern at 1:01 of the first period.
“That was a crazy match,” Scharbrough said. “Right from the beginning there was a takedown, and he got it. I was getting a little worried, but we’re both funky wrestlers, and I countered him, and squeezed as hard as I could to win Masters.”
Davis scored one of the bigger decisions of the day, beating 2010 state champion Matthew Hickman of Camarillo 3-2 in double-overtime to take the 152 title.
The junior, who’s ranked No.1 in the state, took a 2-0 lead with a takedown in the first period, and withstood two escapes from Hickman before countering with an escape of his own with five seconds left in the second overtime.
“I knew he couldn’t hold me (during the second overtime),” Davis said. “I had to ride him tough. I didn’t want to go overtime, but he was good defensively. I knew I had to get away.”
Knowles built an 11-3 lead before pinning Cruz.

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