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Fourteen belts were earned Saturday evening in the Paul Berger Gymnasium at Fountain Valley High School. If you missed the action you can find full archives in FloArena. Here is your recommended viewers guide:
4) 152lb Semifinal: Sonny Santiago, St. John Bosco dec Tyler Badgett, Rancho Bernardo 6-4 SV
In a rematch of the California state final Sonny Santiago once again came out on top against Badgett. Badgett scored the go-ahead takedown with just over a minute to go. Santiago responded with an escape, and the two again went to sudden victory. Badgett seemed to have momentum headed to the overtime period, but it was Santiago using misdirection from his short offense to get to his single leg. A slick limp arm secured the takedown and victory for Santiago.
3) 132lb Semifinal: Devin Murphy, Selma fall Wayne Joint, Lemoore 3:48
Murphy took a lead at the end of the first period and never looked back. The position at the end of the first that gave Murphy the lead wasn’t without controversy. You can decide for yourself if it was a takedown. Murphy pressed the gas in the second and secured the fall after building a 7-1 lead.
2) 170lb Final: Cael Valencia, St. John Bosco dec Max Wilner, Fountain Valley 3-0
Valencia was up a weight from Doc B a week ago. That didn’t hinder him from picking up a second straight tournament title. A reserved match saw the two go into the second period scoreless. Valencia took control of the match putting a tough ride on Wilner. They were scoreless through two, but you could feel the momentum Valencia built with the tough ride in the second period. An escape and takedown in the third earned the belt for Valencia.
1)152lb Final: Chase Saldate, Gilroy dec Sonny Santiago, St. John Bosco 9-1
Plenty of reason to watch the final between the top two ranked wrestlers in the state and the nation from the previous set of rankings. It would be disingenuous to tell you I didn’t feel cheated after the bout. Santiago was injured in one of the first exchanges, and required two injury times to get through the first period. After the scoreless first it was all Saldate. I feel like we leave the bout having more questions than answers. Will their paths cross again? We can only hope both are at full strength if they do.