Wrestling: Cerritos defeated by Fresno City in State Team Duals

The Falcon wrestling team were state state runner-up for the Team Dual Championship
The Falcon wrestling team were state state runner-up for the Team Dual Championship

Looking to defend their CCCAA Team Dual State Championship, the Cerritos College wrestling team was defeated by visiting Fresno City College, 28-11 on Sunday night. The Falcons (13-4), ranked #2 in the state, competed without a pair of their starters due to injuries and didn't have enough firepower to match up against the #1-ranked Rams. Cerritos will now compete in the Southern California Regional Tournament, which will take place on December 2 at Bakersfield College.

197 Pounds - A draw of the weights came up with the championships starting at 197 pounds, which saw returning state champion David Van Weems (Corona Centennial HS) in a position he's unfamiliar with in the first period. After recording a quick takedown and near fall, Van Weems held a 6-0 lead over Marcus Macias. Right after Macias was able to escape, he got Van Weems down and on his back for a four-point near fall and led, 7-6. But that lead didn't last long, as Van Weems scored a reversal before the end of the period and went on to turn a 10-8 lead after two periods into a comfortable 17-8 decision.
Team Score: Cerritos 4, Fresno City 0

285 Pounds - In just his third match of the season after spending the season with the Falcon football team, returning All-American David Zavala (Lakewood HS) was still rusty in his match against Casey Jones, who is ranked #4 in the state. Jones got on the board with a takedown in the first period with 1:11 remaining, and although Zavala was able to register a pair of escape points to tie the match at 2-2 heading into the third period. However, he wasn't able to get the points needed to win, and suffered a 3-2 setback. Jones scored the game-winning point on an escape with 1:48 left in the third period. 
Team Score: Cerritos 4, Fresno City 3

125 Pounds - One of five top-ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes, the Rams Brandon Bettencourt was met with little resistance from #4-ranked Messiah Owens (Lakewood HS). Bettencourt recorded a pair of four-point near falls in the first period to take a 10-0 lead, which swelled to 13-0 after a two-point takedown in the second period. Owens was unable to record any results against Bettencourt in his 17-2 technical fall loss, which ended before the conclusion of the second period.
Team Score: Fresno City 8, Cerritos 4

133 Pounds - Top-ranked Isaiah Perez needed only 1:04 to pin Cameron Calhoun (Canyon HS), who was in the lineup due to an injury to #4-ranked Joshua Brown (Esperanza HS). Perez got a quick takedown and four-point near fall before finishing off Calhoun.
Team Score: Fresno City 14, Cerritos 4

141 Pounds - Presenting their third straight #1-ranked wrestler in the match, Fresno City's Aaron Mora was taking on #2-ranked Nick Camacho (Paramount HS), in what was anticipated to be the highlight of the evening. Mora got the best of Camacho in a 6-1 decision which saw him record a takedown with 1:40 left in the first period and rack up riding time throughout the remainder of the period. The score was 3-0 heading into the final period, where Mora padded his lead with a takedown with 1:08 remaining in the match and then received a riding point for his efforts to close out the scoring in the match.
Team Score: Fresno City, 17, Cerritos 4

149 Pounds - Competing without 2015 state champion Aaron Negrete (Calvary Chapel HS), the Falcons turned to Nick Dozier (Irvine HS) to take on top-ranked Dylan Martinez. Fresno City won their fifth match in a row, as Martinez posted a 19-4 technical fall win. It was a 10-0 score after the first two periods, which included a four-point near fall midway through the second period, and continued in the third period with Martinez posting three more takedowns, as well as a reversal to earn the win.
Team Score: Fresno City 22, Cerritos 4

157 Pounds - The Falcons were able to add to their team score, as #2-ranked Wyatt Gerl (Calvary Chapel HS) earned a 9-1 decision against Josh McMillon, who is ranked #7 in the state. Gerl received three of his points due to stalling from McMillon, but also recorded a pair of takedowns to pull out to a lead in the first period. Gerl went up 2-0 with 1:11 left in the first period before being awarded his first stall point in the match. He received another stalling point in the second period and then increased his lead to 6-1 on a takedown with :25 seconds left.
Team Score: Fresno City 22, Cerritos 8

165 Pounds - Taking on #1-ranked Victor Vargas of the Rams, #3-ranked Blake Vasquez (Fountain Valley HS) held a 3-2 lead in the first period after an escape and takedown erased a quick 2-0 deficit. A late takedown by Vargas before the end of the first period gave him a 5-3 lead and then added a reversal with Vasquez on top. It was a 7-5 score when Vasquez earned a takedown with 1:20 remaining, but once again, Vargas was able to get a reversal and went on for a 10-7 decision.
Team Score: Fresno City 25, Cerritos 8

174 Pounds - Trailing, 4-2 heading into the third period, Falcon Zack Gonzalez (Lakewood HS) recorded an escape point within the first four seconds and was able to take the lead with a takedown and two-point near fall in the first 45 seconds of the match against Miguel Ruiz. That gave him a 7-4 lead with :32 seconds left and despite an escape point for Ruiz, Gonzalez also earned a riding time point to finish off the match with an 8-5 win.
Team Score: Fresno City, 25, Cerritos 11

184 Pounds - In the final match of the night, Fresno City's Jay Johnson was able to come away with a 7-3 win over Angel Verduzco (El Dorado HS). Johnson took a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Verduzco picked up an escape point before the end of the period and then another one in the second period to tie the match at 2-2. Johnson regained the lead with an early reversal to start the third period and after another Verduzo escape point, he clinched the match with another late takedown.
Final Score: Fresno City 28, Cerritos 11

197 Pounds - David Van Weems (CERR) def. Marcus Macias (FCC), 17-8
285 Pounds - Casey Jones (FCC) def. David Zavala (CERR), 3-2
125 Pounds - Brandon Bettencourt (FCC) tech fall over Messiah Owens (CERR), 17-2
133 Pounds - Isaiah Perez (FCC) pinned Cameron Calhoun (CERR), 1:04
141 Pounds - Aaron Mora (FCC) def. Nick Camacho (CERR), 6-1
149 Pounds - Dylan Martinez (FCC) tech fall over Nick Dozier (CERR), 19-4
157 Pounds - Wyatt Gerl (CERR) def. Josh McMillon (FCC), 9-1
165 Pounds - Victor Vargas (FCC) def. Blake Vasquez (CERR), 10-7
174 Pounds - Zack Gonzalez (CERR) def. Miguel Ruiz (FCC), 8-5
184 Pounds - Jay Johnson (FCC) def. Angel Verduzco (CERR), 7-3

Photos by Daryl Peterson