Defending state duals champ Cerritos holds off Comets with late escape

Palomar's Nick Kimball scores a near fall in the first period vs. Isaiah Leyva. Kimball eventually won by technical fall. (Hugh Cox Photo)
Palomar's Nick Kimball scores a near fall in the first period vs. Isaiah Leyva. Kimball eventually won by technical fall. (Hugh Cox Photo)

SAN MARCOS (10-10-2018) – Randy Gonzalez's escape at the horn in his 285-pound match with Palomar's Oscar Solano on Wednesday night gave the defending state dual champion Falcons an epic 24-19 victory over the Comets in the teams' Southern California Wrestling Alliance Southwest Conference opener.

Gonzalez and Solano were tied at 3 points apiece and it appeared Gonzalez and Solano would go to an overtime period, in which a win by Solano would have given Palomar a stunning 22-21 victory.

But Gonzalez broke loose from Solano with a burst of energy just as the buzzer sounded, culminating a back-and-forth night in which the Comets, trailing 14-8 after the first five bouts, had tied the match at 14 points apiece when Mace Anderson pinned Cerritos' Jeff Dozier in 2:02 at 165.

After Zack Gonzales decisioned Cameron Cox 11-5 at 174 to put the Falcons back in the lead 17-14, Nick Kimball answered for Palomar by handing Isaiah Leyva a 17-2 technical fall loss at 184. That gave the Comets a 19-17 lead just two bouts remaining.

Jarrod Nunez's 18-4 major decision over Kalani Sorensen at 197 pounds put the Falcons back on top 21-19, sending the match to the heavyweight bout.

In the night's opening match, Josh Mendoza's pin victory in 6:57 over Palomar's Art Baeza at 125 pounds drew first blood for Cerritos at 6-0, but Raul Ortiz defeated Jose Espinoza by major decision 17-4 at 133 pounds and Eric Reyes defeated Nick Camacho by major decision 13-4 and 141, putting the Comets on top for the first time 8-6.

Josh Brown decisioned Nathan Navida 10-4 at 149 pounds, giving the lead back to Cerritos 9-8, and Larry Rodriguez' 17-2 technical fall victory over Palomar's Jessy Diaz at 157 stretched the Falcons' loead to 14-8.

That's when Anderson and Dozier stepped on the mat and the rest is history.

Coach Brody Barrios' Comets and coach Donny Garriot's Falcons will be among the favorite teams when Palomar hosts the Southern California Duals back at The Dome, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The winner of Saturday's tournament will move on to face the Northern California champion for the 2018 state duals title.

CERRITOS 24, PALOMAR 19

125 – Josh Mendoza (Cerritos) pinned Art Baeza in 6:57

133 – Raul Ortiz (Palomar) won by major decision over Jose Espinoza, 17-4

141 – Eric Reyes (Palomar) won by major decision over Nick Camacho, 13-4

149 – Josh Brown (Cerritos) won by decision over Nathan Navida 10-4

157 – Larry Rodriguez (Cerritos) won by technical fall over Jessy Diaz, 17-2

165 – Mace Anderson (Palomar) pinned Nick Dozier in 2:02

174 – Zack Gonzalez won by decision over Cameron Cox 11-5

184 – Nick Kimball (Palomar) won by technical fall over Isaiah Leyva, 17-2

198 – Jarrod Nunez (Cerritos) won by major decision over Kalani Sorensen, 18-4

285 – Randy Gonzalez (Cerritos) won by decision over Oscar Solano, 4-3