Wrestlers wrench up Livingston in dual meet

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comJanuary 25, 2013 

The end of the wrestling dual season is drawing near, and the Los Banos wrestling team is at full steam after a 74-3 victory over Livingston Wednesday night, with only one LB wrestler losing his match.

"And we shouldn't have lost that one match either," said Los Banos coach Josh Adams. "He (Phillip Martinez)lost a couple of points at the end, and couldn't really do anything.

"They came out ready to roll. We changed our approach to dual meets this year, and it's kind of paid off. It was senior night, so it was a pretty cool deal for our seniors."

The win set up a showdown between the league-leading Tigers and a Pacheco team in its first year with seniors. The dual match is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

"Finally allowing them to have a full complement of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen -- it's hard to compete with juniors on down," Adams said. "Now they have a full lineup. Obviously, we're coming in as a favorite, but there's some weights they could win, some that we could win, and we need to finish our conference championship in duals."

Los Banos faced Dos Palos in a dual on Thursday; results were unavailable at press time.

The Tigers spent the weekend split between several tournaments -- seven wrestlers went to the Battle for the Belt in Temecula, while a full roster went to the Mid-Cals in Gilroy.

In Temecula, Dretel Blackwell and Tyler Felix made it to the second day before they were bounced from the consolation bracket. In Gilroy, Gavin Melendez and Marcus Rico made the second day before suffering a similar fate.

"We saw some good competition," Adams said. "Overall, we were impressed. That was the last big meet to see some state-level kids. Kind of a last hurrah."

Dos Palos sent a contingent to Gilroy as well, with Juan Jiminez taking third in the 184-pound bracket. Jesus Valdez came a point away from placing in a 7-6 consolation loss. A win would have put him in at least the eighth-place match. Fellow Bronco Jesus Cardoza also came a match away from placing after making the quarterfinals of the championship bracket.

Meanwhile, LB and Pacheco sent their girls contingent and JV wrestlers to the Enochs Tournament.

"The girls kind of had a rough time," Adams said. "Taylor Silva went 0-3, and she's one of the our best wrestlers. There were some tough girls there."

Adams is looking for Silva, at 114 pounds, and 145-pounder Carla Diaz, to make some noise at the Sac-Joaquin Section girls masters Feb. 1 and 2 at McNair High.

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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