By Brian Reed-Baiotto
It wasn’t that Alta Loma fell short in Saturday’s 39-18 semifinal loss at the CIF-SS Division 2 team duals at La Quinta High School. It was Northview was just too good.
The Braves trailed just 19-15 after nine of 14 matches, but Northview went on to win four of the last five matches and then easily defeated
St. John Bosco in the finals round, 42-21, for the Vikings’ second consecutive CIF championship and the school’s 13th.
Michael Rodriguez (132) got Alta Loma out to a 3-0 team lead when he defeated Tony Arellano 9-4, and Jacob Leon (138) earned a 4-2 decision over Daniel Valles to give the Braves a 6-0 lead.
Northview sophomore state qualifier Bryan Salinas (145) got a late takedown to beat Eli Mack in a marquee matchup of two of the state’s best 145-pounders to get the Vikings to within 6-3.
Javier Arellano (152) gave Northview a 7-6 team lead when he won 13-2 over Joseph Rodriguez and the Vikings would not look back.
“I think they made a mistake in the seeding and this should have been in a final matchup, but Northview is just really good,” Alta Loma coach Tom Guenther said. “The dual was a lot more competitive than the final score might indicate, so I am really proud of my kids. We’re never happy anytime we lose, but we fought and have a lot to look forward to at CIF individuals.”
Steven Lopez (160) edged Alta Loma’s Matt Bumanlog, 3-2, and Jose Davila (170) picked up four team points for the Vikings with his 11-4 major decision over Mark Lewan to extend the lead to 13-6.
Eddie Bernal (182) got a pin against Alta Loma’s Mitch Harmon late in the third period.
Anthony Flores blunted a five-match win streak for Northview when the 195-pound standout won a 5-2 decision over Anthony Orozco.
Philip Fisher (225) got the Braves as close as 19-15 with his third-period pin of Nathan Bernal, but the Vikings went on to claim 20 of the next 23 team points and cruised into the finals.
“We’re not disappointed in ourselves because we left it all out on the mat and just got beat by a better team,” Mack said. “My match with Bryan Salinas was just a case of making a mistake late against a really good wrestler. I’ll have to make sure I don’t allow those kind of things to happen at CIF, Masters or state.”
Northview heavyweight Nick Auxier pinned Tyler Hopkins and Vincent Parra defeated Alta Loma’s Alex Hernandez 9-3 in a battle of two outstanding 106-pounders.
Erik Ochoa (113), son of Northview coaching legend David Ochoa, pinned Austin Cueto to extend the Vikings’ lead to 34-15.
The Braves’ Jesse Rojas (120) won 8-4 against Andres Estrada and Northview’s Carlos Garcia (126) closed out the semifinal round with a technical fall over Addison Parra.