152 pounds: Reed Van Anrooy, Roseburg (Ore.), dec. Shayne Tucker, Bella Vista, 5-3 OT
106: Matt Gamble, Porterville-Monache, dec. Adrian Camposando, Fresno-Central, 19-12
195: Mason Kumashiro, Los Alamitos, dec. Nicolas Johnson, Murrieta Valley, 6-5
160: Isaiah Martinez, Lemoore, tech fall Nick Fiegener, Folsom, 16-1
220: Spencer Empey, Reed (Nev.), dec. Garrett Ryan, Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), 4-0
170: Corey Griego, Hesperia-Sultana, dec. Peter Santos, Oakmont, 1-0
138: Anthony Valencia, St. John Bosco, maj. dec. Sergio Enloe, Poway, 18-5
126: Judson Preskitt, Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), dec. Vincent Gomez, Frontier, 6-4
145: Nikko Villarreal, Gilroy, dec. Victor Lopez, Poway, 5-3
182: Adrian Salas, Clovis, inj. def. Eric Morris, Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
113: Zahid Valencia, St. John Bosco, dec. Israel Saavedra, Modesto, 9-2
120: Mason Pengilly, Porterville, dec. Isaiah Locsin, Live Oak, 5-3 OT
HWT: Nick Nevills, Clovis, dec. Michael Johnson, Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), 4-0
132: Aaron Pico, St. John Bosco, dec. Javier Gasca, Kingsburg, 10-4
UPDATED, 8:21 p.m.: Final match of the night is at 132 pounds, where freshman Aaron Pico of St. John Bosco is taking on Javier Gasca of Kingsburg. Early takedown for Pico was called a bit early as the wrestlers went out of bounds, and after the referees confer, they'll wave it off. Still scoreless. If Pico, who's ranked No. 1 nationally, can join the Valencia brothers and win a state title, St. John Bosco will have a top-five finish in state and a chance at challenging No. 1 Clovis for the title there. That's a long way off, still, but Pico looks the part with a nice double for a takedown near the edge of the circle. He rides out the period and takes a 2-0 lead into the second.
Pico's choice, and he'll take neutral again. Nice throw-by for another takedown and a 4-0 lead for the SJB man. Gasca needs some points from bottom here if he's going to stay close. He sits out, but Pico gets back on top without much trouble. Eventually Gasca does work his way out for an escape about 45 seconds into the period, so it's 4-1. Pico tries a throw-by and leaves a leg open for Gasca, who shoots in nicely but can't lift it. Stalemate instead, and a restart with 50 seconds left. What a fireman's shot for Pico, who finishes it into a takedown.
Gasca gets an escape to start the third and trails 6-3, but Pico has another easy takedown to make it 8-3. Pico very, very good from his feet. Another Gasca escape, but he's yet to score offensive points yet. Gasca with a nice shot, but Pico scrambles out of it. Less than a minute to go now. Pico will finish off a dominating effort with another late takedown for a 10-4 victory. Two sophomores and a freshman are going to make St. John Bosco a factor in the state for at least a few years to come.
UPDATED, 8:08 p.m.: A couple of really good matches left, starting with a heavyweight battle between nationally ranked wrestlers that will decide the team title. It's Clovis' Nick Nevills, the 2011 state champ, with his team trailing opponent Michael Johnson and Wyoming Seminary of Pennsylvania by two points in the team race. The winner here gets at least four points, so this is it.
Johnson is a big dude with bleach-blonde hair. Nevills is just a big dude, but both these guys are athletic and light on their feet, too. Outside single for Nevills proves that, but Johnson scampers away quickly. That's the only close call in the first period, and it's scoreless to the second.
Nevills gets choice and goes down first. He's broken down by Johnson quickly but back up to a base and now to his feet. Johnson trying to bring him back down, but now Nevills senses an opportunity and steps around for a reversal and two points! A 2-0 lead for Nevills. An escape for Johnson would put him in OK position headed to the third, but he's got to get it. Easier said than done against Nevills. Restart with 46 seconds. Nevills breaks Johnson down. He's got to get up here, or he — and Wyoming Seminary — are in a tough spot. He won't, and they are. It's 2-0 Nevills through two periods.
Johnson is going to choose to be on top here, thinking his only chance is to turn Nevills. Stalling warning on Nevills, and a quick one. Restart with 1:18. Nothing close to a turn yet, and that's what Johnson is going to need to win this match. If Nevills doesn't get turned, Clovis wins its fourth straight Doc B. Johnson working for a half-nelson, but Nevills will have none of it. 45 seconds and counting. Nevills to his feet and around again for another reversal, and that should about do it! 4-0 led for Nevills into the final 20 seconds. He's riding tough again and has Johnson broken down, and that'll be that. Nevills wins 4-0, and Clovis wins its fourth straight Doc B, 180-178 over the No. 2-ranked team in the country, Wyoming Seminary Prep.
UPDATED, 7:55 p.m.: There are three matches left in this national showcase of high school wrestling, starting with the 120-pound final between Isaiah Locsin of Live Oak and Mason Pengilly of Porterville. Pengilly on the board first with a takedown near the edge of the circle, and now he's turned Locsin, the top seed, but apparently only for a one count. Looked like the referee counted twice, which would have been two big nearfall points, but they're not awarded. First period expires with Pengilly up 2-0. This would be a big win for the Porterville Panther, who owns a win over Vincent Gomez early this season among some other big victories.
Locsin is down for the second and out with an escape point. It's 2-1. Pengilly shoots again, but Locsin sprawls away and they work their way out of bounds. Pengilly very active from neutral, but it costs him here. Locsin sprawls out of the way and is quickly around for a takedown. 3-2 for Live Oak into the final minute of the second. A Pengilly escape would be big, because he could then go down in the third with a chance for the lead. Pengilly sits out off a restart, but Locsin has the tight waist and breaks him down to the mat. 30 seconds left. Pengilly can't get out, and he'll enter the third down 3-2.
Pengilly down for the third, of course, and he's got his escape about 20 seconds in. 3-3 our score. A minute and a half, and a takedown probably wins it. Out of bounds and a restart with 1:11 left. Pengilly is shooting a lot more than Locsin, but some of them are ill-advised. Locsin is quick with the sprawl and usually has the upper hand in these scrambles. Out of bounds again with 30 seconds. Now an outside cradle for Locsin, but we're OB again. 19 seconds, still tied 3-3. Nice low single from Locsin. Can he finish? Clock inside of 10. He's driving, driving, but Pengilly has his arms locked around Locsin's waist and doesn't give up the points. Overtime.
Another nice single from Locsin to start OT. Pengilly hanging onto a foot and now somehow contorts his body around Locsin's! He's going to get the takedown and a 5-3 victory with a brilliant scramble.
UPDATED, 7:43 p.m.: I was off doing a few interviews, but the 113-pound final is between state champion Zahid Valencia of St. John Bosco and Modesto's Israel Saavedra. It's 2-1 Valencia late in the second period. That's a good spot for Saavedra, a freshman who already took out Wasco's Isaiah Hokit in a 1-0 semifinal this morning. Now a takedown for Valencia will push his lead to 4-1 as the second period comes to an end.
Valencia down for the third, and he's out and now with another takedown for 7-1. What was once a close match is no longer. Another takedown before the finish for a 9-2 final for Valencia. Both St. John Bosco brothers have looked really good.
UPDATED, 7:23 p.m.: That victory for Judson Preskitt gave Wyoming Seminary four points and the lead back — at least temporarily — in the team race, 178-176 over Clovis. But the Cougars, armed with six points from the forfeit at 182, need only a victory from 2011 state champion Nick Nevills in the heavyweight match to take home another Doc B title. That's the penultimate match of the night.
This one is the 145-pound final between Gilroy's Nikko Villrreal and Poway's Victor Lopez, who took out No. 2 seed Coleman Hammond of Bakersfield in the semifinals. Villarreal is the defending state champion, but Lopez equal to the task in a scoreless first period.
Lopez will go down in the second. He gets to his feet briefly, but Villarreal had a good tight waist and never let him up. Now Lopez out with a leg. He lets it go and settles for the escape and 1-0 lead. Now Villarreal with a nice shot and steps over for the takedown. The Gilroy man is up 2-1 with 30 seconds left in the second. Now he works for a half-nelson and has some back points. It's a two-count for two points and a 4-1 lead. That's how the period will end.
Villarreal wants neutral for the third. Not a ton of action, but now it's Lopez with the takedown to get within 4-3. He'll quickly let Villarreal go for 5-3 and has 30 seconds for the tying takedown. Instead it's Villarreal with a nice shot. Stalemate called with 4 seconds left. Clock will run out and Villarreall hangs on for a 5-3 victory.
UPDATED, 7:12 p.m.: Early takedown for Judson Preskitt of Wyoming Seminary against Frontier's Vincent Gomez. Gomez gets out, but Preskitt works for another takedown with about 50 seconds to go in the first period and now leads 4-1. Gomez isn't used to be out-quicked, but that's what has happened so far. He does work for a stand-up to get within 4-2 and now we'll have a stop for blood time for Preskitt. Back to action, and a lightning duck-under for Preskitt is effective, but the clock runs out before he can finish the takedown. 4-2 after one.
Gomez will choose down for the second, and Preskitt asks for neutral in exchange for the escape point. So 4-3 as we begin the second. Double-leg for Preskitt, but Gomez hangs onto his waist this time and works to a stalemate. Now Gomez will shoot, but Preskitt a good sprawl, and another stalemate. Score remains 4-3. Preskitt shoots, and Gomez sprawls and tries to work around, but Preskitt scrambles well. Still fighting, but it's preskitt who comes away with the takedown. He's out-scrambled his opponent thus far and leads 6-3. Stalling warning on Preskitt with 28 seconds left in the period. Gomez could certainly use an escape. He's to his feet but can't get out, and time runs out on the second.
Preskitt neutral for the third. Good shot from Gomez, but a scramble out of bounds before he can finish the takedown. That was close to two for Gomez. Preskitt might be tiring just a bit, but he's got a three-point lead to work with. Preskitt shoots, Gomez sprawls and tries to work around again. He can't break Preskitt's lock on his leg, though. Preskitt just resting on that leg, and he's called for stalling. That makes it 6-4, and now a takedown could tie it. 42 seconds left. Wyoming coaches were unhappy with that call. Another Preskitt shot, and Gomez trying to work around again. 15 seconds. Stalemate with 11 ticks. Gomez will have to work quickly here. He tries a duck-under, but nothing there. Time will run out, and Preskitt holds on, 6-4.
UPDATED, 6:58 p.m.: At 138 pounds, it's defending state champion Anthony Valencia of St. John Bosco against Poway's Sergio Enloe. These are two guys who could meet again at Rabobank in March, for sure, and two teams who will be in the title hunt as well. Valencia has the early takedown, and then the guys trade reversals before Valencia adds three nearfall points for a 7-2 lead after a period.
Enloe chooses down for the second period, looking for points, but Valencia is great on top — really, he's great everywhere. Works for the tilt and three more nearfall. It's 10-2 after two periods.
Valencia will choose neutral for the third, works another takedown and lets Enloe go. He'll try for a tech fall here, perhaps. Has another near-takedown, but they go out of bounds first. 46 seconds left, so the tech fall is probably not going to happen, but a dominant performance for Valencia nonetheless. He'll add three more takedowns to make it a 18-5 final. Dominant for the state champ.
UPDATED, 6:44 p.m.: Next up is the 170-pound final, between Peter Santos of Oakmont in Roseville and Corey Griego of Hesperia-Sultana. Good old-fashioned SoCal vs. NorCal battle here. Lots of circling and not too much action in the first period, which is scoreless.
Griego down to start the second, and he's out relatively easily for a 1-0 lead. Now more positioning up top. Both guys are trying pushes and pulls and drags, but not a lot of shots at this point. Santos finally takes a shot and Griego is hit for stalling. That could be a big call in a match like this. The second period will end with Griego up 1-0.
Santos will take down for the third. Griego locks the head and tries to run around into a half-nelson, but it's not there. Still, he's killed 30 seconds. Santos needs to get out to tie this match. He gets to his feet at the 1:20 mark, but Griego returns him to the mat. Down to a minute to go. Santos back to a tripod, but Griego continues to go heavy on the head. Now he nearly has Santos tilted, but he rolls back after just a one count. No nearfall. 30 seconds left. Santos to his feet, but Griego still has the head and he gets back to the mat and around the back. Out of bounds with just 11 seconds left. Santos quickly to his feet off the restart, but Griego scrambles well, and he's going to hang on for a 1-0 victory. Wasn't pretty, but it counts just the same.
UPDATED, 6:33 p.m.: It's an all out-of-state matchup for the championship at 220 pounds, between Spencer Empey of Sparks-Reed (Nev.) and Garrett Ryan of Wyoming Seminary (Pa.). But you know what? It's darn good wrestling, and we'll cover it anyway. By the way, Wasco's Sean Medley was third in this weight class, ahead of all California competition, which bodes well for his chances to place high again at state, where he was fourth as a junior.
This is also a big match in the team standings: With the injury default by Wyoming Seminary's Eric Morris at 182 pounds, WSP needs to win probably two of its other three finals to overtake Clovis. The heavyweight match, which is Clovis vs. Wyoming Seminary head-to-head, might be the determining factor. Anyway, Ryan had a nice single-leg in the first period but couldn't quite finish it, and now Empey has a reversal about 35 seconds into the second period for a 2-0 lead. He's riding very heavy on Ryan's head. Doing a nice job continuing to look for pinning combos, too, so stalling won't be an issue. Final 30 seconds of the period now, and this would be an important ride-out for the wrestler from Nevada. He's got it and leads 2-0 heading to the third period.
Ryan's choice, and he'll take neutral. Hoping for a tying takedown, and he wanted no part of bottom position again. Lots of circling going on in this big-mah match. Now a nice shot from Empey. Ryan bear-hugs him around the waist and nearly flips him over, but Empey stays with it and has the takedown and a 4-0 lead. Now more riding into the final 45 seconds. Looks like Spencer Empey, a Nevada state champion, is going to take the title at 220 pounds, and that's a win for Clovis, which now needs only a win from Nick Nevills at heavyweight to all but guarantee team victory. The final here: Empey 4, Ryan 0.
UPDATED, 6:22 p.m.: Lemoore's Isaiah Martinez, I believe looking for his third straight Doc B title, is up next against Folsom's Nick Fiegener. Martinez has two early takedowns and now tilts Fiegener for three back points and a 7-1 lead after a period. As great as wrestlers like Darrell Vasquez and Alex Cisneros were, it's hard to imagine a wrestler dominating the state as much as Martinez has over the past three years. Rarely does he have a close match, even against elite competition. An escape and another impressive takedown in the second period for a 12-1 lead. And here comes another tilt for two more back points. It's 14-1. Wrestling Martinez is not fun, no doubt about that. The second period will end, but it's just a matter of time before we have a tech fall, I think.
Fiegener will choose neutral for the third period, and a single-leg shot will end it for Martinez. Some subdued applause from the crowd, which I think is more in awe of Martinez than anything else. 16-1 the final.
UPDATED, 6:13 p.m.: The 195-pound final is next, between Mason Kumashiro of Los Alamitos and Nicolas Johnson of Murrieta Valley. It's a takedown for Kumashiro in the first period, but escapes to end the first and begin the second have Johnson back even midway through the match. It's 2-2. Another takedown for Kumashiro gives him control of the match, this one on a nice double-leg shot. Johnson out to make it 4-3 with 45 seconds left, but it'll be tough for him to win this one without some offensive points. Instead, it'll be another double-leg for Kumashiro — just before the wrestlers go out of the circle. 6-3 advantage. Johnson again to his feet before the end of the period, and he just does back out in time for an escape at the buzzer. Still, it's a 6-4 lead for Kumashiro into the third.
Kumashiro of Los Al is down here. For how much he's dominated the match, the margin is still just two points. We'll see if Johnson can do any work from the top here. Doesn't seem like he can match up with Kumashiro on their feet. Kumashiro works his way up but he's returned to the mat by Johnson. He's riding well, but with just 51 seconds left, time is going to run out on him if he can't do more work. Now Johnson works for the cradle, but Kumashiro stands up again, and Johnson has to bring him back down. 35 seconds left. Kumashiro warned for stalling. He's content to let the clock expire at this point. There's another stall, and it's 6-5, but only a few seconds left. Mason Kumashiro will hang on for the victory, 6-5.
UPDATED, 5:59 p.m.: It's less an indictment of Central Section wrestling, which is among the best in the country, and more of a credit to the folks at Clovis who run the Doc B that the next final, at 106 pounds, will be the only all-Central Section matchup tonight. A few years ago, many of these finals were that way, but this is the only one: Central's Adrian Camposano vs. Monache's Matt Gamble. It starts quickly, with Camposano shooting for a takedown, but he's reversed 30 seconds later by Gamble. Now a scramble, and Gamble collects two back points before losing control and being reversed by Camposano. Now off a restart, Camposano gets in bad position again, and Gamble reaches back for the headlock! That's a reversal and he's working for a late fall in the first period. Camposano fights it off and gets to his feet, but that was a five-point move at the end of the period for Gamble, who leads 9-4.
Camposano down for the second, and the top seed needs points. He quickly steps out and around Gamble for a reversal to cut the lead to 9-6, but he's been falling to his hips too easily from top position and nearly gets reversed again. Instead, he'll let Gamble go for an escape. 10-6. Gamble shoots into a cradle and has a takedown. Camposano gets out of it — but now he's back in, and it's more back points for Gamble. Gamble has been patient, and Camposano has made enough mistakes to give him points. It's 14-6 Gamble with about 45 seconds left in the second. A nice granby by Camposano nearly has him around Gamble, but Gamble kept the leg and potentially dangerous was called before any points were awarded. Camposano is out off the restart for an escape, but the period is going to end with Matt Gamble ahead 14-7.
Gamble down for the third. He granbys for the reversal and is in complete control now, up 16-7. Escape Camposano for 16-8. Now a takedown for Camposano, and he lets Gamble go. Needs a bunch more takedowns to go that route, though, and there's only a minute left. Camposano nearly had another, but they're called out of bounds to a chorus of boos. Not sure it would have made that big of a difference. Camposano gets another takedown and tries to move Gamble on his back, but Gamble sits on his head and eventually works through to a reversal and a wild 19-12 decision. Those two will see each other again, and let's hope every meeting is as entertaining as that one. Whew.
UPDATED, 5:48 p.m.: Shayne Tucker and an out-of-stater Reed Van Anrooy from Roseburg, Ore., are going to get us started here. Both guys amped up from the get-go, so much so that they forgot to put their anklets on and had to be stopped a few seconds into the first period. After a lot of hand fighting, Tucker fights for the first takedown, but he's reversed by Van Anrooy a few seconds later and we're tied, 2-2, after the first period.
Van Anrooy down to start the second. Tucker gets heavy on his head and is riding well, but now he's a bit too high. Stalemate will be called as Van Anrooy tries to shuck him off the top. Exactly a minute to go in the second. Caution on Tucker off the restart. Now Van Anrooy quickly to his feet and fights off Tucker's hand for an escape and a 3-2 lead. Takedown for either guy would be big here. 30 seconds left in the period. More hand- and head-fighting, each guy trying a few half-hearted shots. Tucker tries a late duck-under but gets nowhere, and the period will end with Van Anrooy ahead 3-2.
Tucker down for the third, needing an escape to tie the score. He's up quickly against Van Anrooy's tight-waist, and he eventually spins around for the point. We're tied with 1:45 left. Lightning-quick outside single from Tucker, and he's behind Van Anrooy. Can he finish? They're near the edge of the circle, and the crowd is calling for the takedown, but it's not given and now Van Anrooy scrambles his way back in front of Tucker and they're out of bounds. Good shot, good defense. Another shot by Tucker gets nowhere and they're out of bounds. Now another. Tucker definitely the aggressor right now. But here's a bit of a wild one, and VAn Anrooy's sprawl gives him good position before they scramble out. 10 seconds left. We're headed for overtime at 3-3.
In the overtime, more shots from Tucker, and Van Anrooy is finally called for stalling.. Now he gets aggressive and works for a cradle position. Working it, working it, time running down — and now he's got the leg and a takedown, with six seconds left on the clock! Great match to get us started tonight, with Reed Van Anrooy the champion at 152 pounds.
ORIGINAL POST: I'm here at Clovis High School for one of the (if the not the sinlge) best high school wrestling tournaments in the country, the Doc Buchanan Invitational. Teams from five different states are here, including Wyoming Seminary Prep School from Kingston, Pa., the No. 2-ranked team in the nation. The host, Clovis is ranked No. 9. Individual finals start in about five minutes, with Wyoming Seminary holding a slim 174-170 lead in the team score.
Bakersfield, Wasco and Frontier are also here and in the top 10 among teams: Bakersfield is seventh, Wasco eighth and Frontier 10th. But though those three teams had seven wrestlers reach the semifinals, only one reached the finals: Frontier's Vincent Gomez, who will wrestle at 126 pounds against Wyoming Seminary's Judson Preskitt.
The others lost, including No. 2 seeds Coleman Hammond and Kyle Pope of Bakersfield and Isaiah Hokit of Wasco, who all will probably tell you they're disappointed.
Just got some big news before the finals start: Wyoming Seminary 182-pounder Eric Morris, who's ranked No. 1 in the nation, is defautling his finals match to Clovis' Adrian Salas. I guess it's an injury, but it's a big boost to Clovis in the team race, because it's worth six points. That puts the Cougars up 176-174, though Wyoming Seminary has three more to go in the finals and Clovis just one — heavyweight Nick Nevills, who will go head-to-head with WSP's Michael Johnson.
I'll be back with live updates from the finals in a few minutes. We'll start at 152 pounds, with Bella Vista's Shayne Tucker taking on Reed Van Anrooy of Roseburg (Ore.).