Firebaugh takes dual wrestling meet with Los Banos

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 6, 2012 

The Los Banos wrestling team was riding high after winning the Provart Invitational in Angels Camp last weekend when it welcomed Firebaugh to its gym for Wednesday's dual meet.

The Eagles quickly brought the Tigers back to earth with a 45-24 victory over the hosts.

"It was a little bit of a gut-check last night," Los Banos coach Josh Adams said. "But that's kind of what we want early in the season. As they say, it's not how you start, it's how you finish."

LB's earned victories from Tyler Felix (4-0 over Eric Manriquez at 113 pounds), Jacob Venegas (pinned Rene Camacho at 120), Riko Quintana (pinned Eric Coronado at 126), Noah Camacho (9-4 over Donovan Navarro at 152) and Marcus Carrillo (pinned David Martinez at 170).

"Firebaugh's got a pretty good squad. They've got some really good kids," Adams said. "We always like to dual someone early that's tough -- we lost the last two years to Turlock. So this is par for the course for us. I think it showed some things we need to work on."

Two of the middle weight matches came down to the last second. Jimmy Felix started the third period down, trailing Firebaugh's Aaron Mora 7-1, and earned an escape and a takedown to close to 7-4. After a Mora escape, Felix took him down once more, but couldn't get any more points in an 8-6 loss.

LB's Gabe Mendoza entered the third period tied against Fernando Serna. Serna, starting in the down position, earned a reverse and a takedown against a Mendoza escape to win 10-7.

Five LB wrestlers took home gold from the Provart Invitational -- Gavin Melendez, Josh Priest, Carrillo, Quintana and Jimmy Felix.

Like the basketball team, the wrestling team is hurting a bit from LB's deep football playoff run, with a few wrestlers just getting into the swing of wrestling season.

"I think they're getting their feet wet," Adams said. "We'll be all right next week. We've got the Madera South tournament this weekend, that's a tough one."

After Madera South Friday and Saturday, Los Banos hits the road to face Merced in a dual meet Tuesday, then at Central Valley to open the Western Athletic Conference dual season on Wednesday.

The Tigers are the defending WAC champions, both in duals and the WAC finals.

"Then we're leaving Thursday for Reno (Tournament of Champions)," Adams said. "Not a lot of time for practice."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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