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Prep Wrestling: Victor Valley wins another dual title

VICTORVILLE • Not many teams have been able to come close to beating the Victor Valley wrestling team this year.

Turns out the best in Division 3 didn’t offer much of a challenge either.

The Jackrabbits punctuated a day of dominance with a 46-16 rout of defending champion North Torrance in the finals to win the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 Dual Meet Championship on Saturday night in front of a raucous home crowd.

“The kids stepped up,” Victor Valley coach C.T. Campbell said. “I told them this was our place and we (had) to get it as a team. One guy has a bad match, we have to step up. And that’s what we did all day. They wrestled their butts off today, they really did. I’m really proud of them.”

Victor Valley, the top-seeded team in the tournament, had a bye in the first round, defeated Hemet 51-27 in the second round and smashed Paloma Valley 52-13 in the semifinals before running off a big win over North Torrance to wrap up its second straight dual championship. The ’Rabbits won the Div. 4 title last year.

“Winning it at home is the best part,” said 174-pounder Blake Fifer. “Winning on our mat, under our lights, in front of all of our fans, that’s really cool.”

Victor Valley got off to a slow start in the final, falling behind 13-0 after three matches. But Efrain Velasquez (142 pounds) got the Jackrabbits on the scoreboard with a decision and his victory started a run of seven straight wins by the ’Rabbits, resulting in 31 unanswered points.

“I knew we were down 13, but I just know that nobody has 14 kids like we do,” Campbell said. “It was tough, but I knew with our 14 kids someone was going to pick each other up.”

Logan Howell (149) followed Velasquez with a third-period pin and Michael Lopez (156) recorded a technical fall to give the Jackrabbits a 15-13 lead. Jonathan Oliveira (164) got a first-period pin and Fifer got a major decision to keep the Jackrabbits rolling.

“They’re consistently solid all the way through,” North Torrance assistant coach Eric Gould said. “Whereas we might have some weight classes where we’re not as strong, they were just more consistent and that made the difference.”

Victor Valley can now claim back-to-back team championships, but it has another chance to repeat this postseason. The Jackrabbits won the Coastal Division Individual Championships last year and will go for another Individuals title starting Feb. 15 at Oak Hills.

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION DIVISION 3 DUAL MEET CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Victor Valley
FINALS
VICTOR VALLEY 46, NORTH TORRANCE 16
110 — Ruiz (V) dec. Kusei (N), 12-10.
117 — Preciado (V) pinned Vo (N), 1:05.
124 — Gurrola (N) pinned Ruvalcaba (V), 3:12.
130 — Fujimoto (N) major dec. Morales (V), 11-2.
136 — Carrejo (N) dec. Mazziotti (V), 8-3.
142 — Velasquez (V) dec. Barranco (N), 9-1.
149 — Howell (V) pinned Choi (N), 5:36.
156 — Lopez (V) tech. fall Hyun (N), 17-1.
164 — Oliveira (V) pinned Ramirez (N), 1:26.
174 — Fifer (V) major dec. Engen (N), 17-3.
186 — Portis (V) dec. Bamunuarachi (N), 5-4.
199 — Gutierrez (V) dec. Maglasang (N), 9-3.
224 — Campbell (N) dec. Cruz (V), 5-0.
HWT — Rosario (V) won by injury forfeit.

Kyle Glaser can be reached at kglaser@vvdailypress.com or at (760) 951-6274.


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