Pin placement eludes Woodcreek wrestlers

Timberwolves let Del Oro get away, lose SFL dual meet 37-29
By: Robbie Enos/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Kevin Burrage attacked the midsection of his opponent and thrust Kyle Morris onto the mat for a forceful pin in the second period.

The 152-pound match was the second of the night, and it set the tone for Del Oro High School as the Golden Eagles took an early 19-0 lead against host Woodcreek and defeated the Timberwolves 37-29 on Wednesday night in a Sierra Foothill League dual meet.

Woodcreek’s top performances were from 125-pounder Quinn Walker, 189-pounder Kevin Wedman, 112-pounder Josh Banegas and 103-pounder Jimmy Gomez. Walker scored a first-round pin over Ryan Huntzinger, Wedman pinned Kevin Love in the second round, and Banegas easily defeated Connor Van Liew with a second-period pin after gaining an 11-point advantage.

Gomez scored an 11-0 decision over Issac Blackburn, but Woodcreek coach Doug Mason was disappointed Gomez couldn’t come up with a pin. Blackburn found himself in difficult positions but managed to squirm his way out and avoided allowing six points.

“We did pretty good, but we expected (Gomez) to pin the guy,” Mason said. “A little bit of a disappointment there. He had a couple of technique blunders, but that’s all right because we can correct that. He’s young and he’s a freshman and he’s got a lot of future on him.”

The Timberwolves won six matches with three pins, while Del Oro had six wins and two pins. Woodcreek forfeited the 171 and heavyweight matches. Other Woodcreek winners via decision were Austin Mason (135) and Angelo Ciaraglia (140).

Mason said Woodcreek needs to improve at finishing opponents and collecting critical pins.

“We just need to work on our techniques,” he said. “Our takedowns weren’t very good, and we weren’t pinning people when we should have. We have to work on turning people and taking people down.”

Del Oro won several close matches. Dustin Mollard earned a 15-8 decision over Carl Gross in a gritty ground battle at 215 pounds. The score was tied at 7 after the second period, and both contenders were exhausted in the third. Mollard made a final move to Gross’ legs for a takedown and held on.

The Golden Eagles tacked on another impressive win at 119. Woodcreek’s Sean Merigold carried a 4-2 lead into the third period against John Zeiour, but Zeiour battled back with a takedown. An escape gave Merigold a one-point advantage. The close battle ended with an uproar from the Del Oro crowd when Zeiour pinned Merigold in the final minute.