Monache wrestlers take first

Monache High School boys wrestling placed first at the Downey 32 Wrestling Invitational on Dec. 14-15 at Downey High School in Los Angeles.

Monache High School boys wrestling won the Downey 32 Wrestling Invitational on Dec. 14 and 15 at Downey High School in Los Angeles. 

With 33 teams in attendance, the Marauders finished as team champions with a score of 198.5 points. In a close race, Paramount finished in second with 196.5 points.

“Considering we only had 10 scoring wrestlers, out of a possible 14, I knew we had an outside chance of taking the tourney, but we would need a lot of pins and nearly all to place,” MHS head coach Arthur Demerath said. 

The Marauders did just that with eight of 10 scoring wrestlers finishing in the top eight and, one wrestler on team B also placing in the top eight for a total of nine placing. They also collected 28 pins en route to the overall championship.

Francisco Perez (132 pounds), Jose Flores (138), Hunter Avila (160) and Mark Cardwell (182) all placed first in their respective weight classes. In the 285-pound weight class Taven Avila placed third, Hunter Weimer (220) fourth, Anthony Estrada (145) seventh and Landen Cabeje (120) placed eighth.

Also wrestling were Yance Williams (170), who placed in the top 12, and Jacob Huber (106).

The wrestlers really stepped up on the second day. Monache was in second place after the first day and behind Paramount by 17.5 points.

“The kids knew what we needed was wins by pin to shorten the point gap, and they managed to pull within 5 points before the medal matches started.” Demerath added. That’s when the Marauders picked it up another notch.  

There were four Marauders in the finals, two going for third and two going for seventh. In the medal matches, the Marauders went 6-2 and had 5 pins and one win by technical fall. Those pins and one technical fall provided the extra points needed to overtake Paramount.

“I was very proud to see how the team came together rooting on each other during matches to dig deep and get the wins needed,” Demerath said. “Every wrestler helped win the title including those that didn’t place. Every point mattered and every one of them wrestled like it.”

Also for Monache, Hunter Avila (160) was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Middleweight Wrestler.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Sierra Pacific 61

Porterville 48

Porterville girls basketball took their first loss of the season with a 61-48 loss at Sierra Pacific High School Monday to the defending CIF State Division IV champion Golden Bears (9-1).

Jewelia Maniss led the team with 14 points and Nseije Ortiz had 13.

“We had a tough fourth quarter, got outscored 21-9,” PHS head coach Dave Kavern said. “Sierra Pacific is a very good team.” 

Porterville is now 11-1 on the season and play in the Dinuba/Orosi Tournament starting Wednesday. First game is against Mendota at 6:30 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Strathmore 86

Summit Charter 59

Strathmore boys basketball defeated Summit Charter 86-59 in their first game of the Milt Stowe Holiday Classic hosted by the Spartans Monday.

Andrew Gonzalez led the team with 20 points and hit three 3-pointers. James Anderson finished 13 points and Owen Patterson and Miguel Samano had 12 points apiece. Andre Bravo also had seven points.

“Our bigs really controlled the game tonight,” SHS head coach Justin St. Clair said. “Patterson and Anderson were very active in the paint. Gonzalez played great tonight on both ends of the floor. Great to get Bravo back, he adds to our depth and athleticism.” 

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