Wrestling: Falcons post 22-15 win over Palomar

Gabe Ballesteros opened the night with a pin, as the Falcons defeated Palomar, 22-15
Gabe Ballesteros opened the night with a pin, as the Falcons defeated Palomar, 22-15

With an early 13-0 lead on the verge of slipping away, the Cerritos College wrestling team came up with two big late wins, as they posted a 22-15 Southwest Conference win over visiting Palomar College on Wednesday. The win improved the Falcons record to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in conference action. The team will now travel to Reno, NV this weekend to compete in the Lassen Tournament.

Cerritos won the first three matches of the night, but the Comets came right back for three consecutive victories to get to within 12-9, with the Falcons losing a team point in the 165 pound match. After a 6-1 win by freshman Maxwell Kumashiro (Los Alamitos HS) at 174 pounds, the biggest win of the night came at 184 pounds. Freshman Jeremiah Gerl (Downey Calvary Chapel HS) found himself trailing 4-0 late in the first period against Drako Bogdanovich. Gerl, ranked #3 in the state, recorded an escape with :10 seconds left and after Bogdanovich shoved Gerl after he was out of bounds, a penalty point was added, making the score 4-2.

Gerl took that momentum into the second period, but trailed, 5-2 until he recorded a reversal with :18 seconds remaining to trail 5-4 heading into the final two minutes. An escape with 1:01 tied the match at 5-5, and with time running out and knowing he needed a takedown due to Bogdanovich having riding time, Gerl executed a takedown with :06 seconds left to win the match and it gave the Falcons a 19-9 lead with two matches left.

The Falcons clinched the win at 197 pounds when sophomore Christian Milian (Norwalk HS) escaped with a 7-6 win over Tyler Moulton. Milian held a 5-1 lead heading into the third period, but after a takedown from Moulton with :21 seconds left tied the match at 6-6, Milian had to avoid a quick escape and another attempted takedown. But Milian had the extra riding time point and came away with the win.

Others who won for the Falcons on the night included sophomore 125-pound Gabe Ballesteros (Mesa, AZ HS), who pinned Ty Mata in 4:28 to start the night. Freshman Dustin Kirk (Elisinore HS) followed that with a convincing 14-5 win at 133 pounds, with sophomore 141-pound Greg Barrera (Northwest, TX HS) recording an 8-4 victory.

125 Pounds - #6 Gabe Ballesteros (CERR) pinned Ty Mata (PAL), 4:28
133 Pounds - #2 Dustin Kirk (CERR) def. Travys Carus (PAL), 14-5
141 Pounds - Greg Barrera (CERR) def. Ricky Lule (PAL), 8-4
149 Pounds - #5 Junior Lule (PAL) def. #8 Michael Behnke (CERR), 5-3
157 Pounds - #3 Marshall Palmer (PAL) def. #2 Keanu Tom (CERR), 9-8
165 Pounds - #1 Shervin Iraniha (PAL) def. Tim Garnica (CERR), 12-5
174 Pounds - #5 Max Kumashiro (CERR) def. Wes Burreisci (PAL), 6-1
184 Pounds - #3 Jeremiah Gerl (CERR) def. Drasko Bogdanovich (PAL), 7-6
197 Pounds - Christian Milian (CERR) def. Tyler Moulton (PAL), 7-6
285 Pounds - Charlie Rassel (PAL) pinned Keith Thompson (CERR), 5:26

Photos by Daryl Peterson