Warriors lead area 2A wrestling teams
PHOENIX - San Pasqual may not have won any wrestling championships at the 2A state meet Saturday at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, but it came away with something to build on.
The Warriors fared the best out of the three area 2A teams, amassing 40 points to place 12th overall. Antelope was tied for 16th with 28.50 points, while Yuma Catholic was 25th with 12 points.
San Manuel won the 2A team title with 229 points, 12 more than Maricopa's 217. Morenci was third at 208.
"I was hoping for a little more, but it's my first time here and the first time for a lot of our guys," San Pasqual coach Russell Tidwell said. "You just had to feel your way through it, see what the competition was like."
While Antelope had only one wrestler competing Saturday, he turned in the best area 2A finish. The Rams' Jose Castro placed fourth in the 125-pound class.
Castro carried the Rams' flag during the tournament with four wins in five matches. He had two pins in as many matches on the first day, but began the final day by losing in the championship semifinals Morenci's Ray Morales.
Carlos rebounded in the consolation semifinals to decision Canyon State's Xavier Ramirez, 11-6, but lost to Jared Despain of Mogollen in the third-place match on a pin.
San Pasqual heavyweight Rigo Meza and Chance Kneece, perhaps the antithesis of heavyweight, paced the Warriors with twin sixth-place finishes in the heavyweight and 112-pound classes. Meza's tournament was hit or miss - each of his matches ended by a pin. He split six of them, losing the final two.
Kneece's run ended after three straight losses. He started the day in a championship semifinal match, but lost a 7-4 decision to Tony Viecelli of Morenci. He then lost a decision to Mogollen's Adam Crandell in the consolation semifinals and was pinned by Red Mountain's Orlando Haskan in the fifth-place match.
Tidwell was not pleased with the officiating in Kneece's last match.
"I completely disagreed with that call," Tidwell said. "But you hear that funny things happen at the state meet. It's too bad, because he was wrestling well."
San Pasqual's Matt Laurenzana and David Gutierrez both lost in the consolation quarterfinals, each only a victory away from guaranteeing a top-six finish. Laurenzana, a senior, lost a controversial 8-5 decision to Morenci's Jonathan Abrams when the scorekeepers and officials apparently lost track of the score. A delay and discussion ensued, but Abrams got the victory, thus ending Laurenzana's career.
Gutierrez, like Meza, won or lost by pins in all his matches. He ended by losing to Nathaniel Lail of Mogollen in a consolation quarterfinal.
"We were just that short (in those matches)," Tidwell said. "Matt's match was hard to take. They lost track of the score and nobody knew what the score was."
The Warriors combined match record was 9-14.
Antelope's combined match record was 6-14. Dustin Torres, Mark Jaime and Chris Salazar added wins for the Rams in early rounds before exiting.
Julio Hurtado, Yuma Catholic's only competitor remaining, lost to Meza on a second-round pin. Hurtado split four matches during the tournament.
Nick Taylor can be reached at email@example.com or 782-6520.