3 Wildcats earn trip to Masters

Vongni Yang, The Union Democrat

A week made almost all the difference for Sonora wrestler Bryce Sanguinetti.

The 152-pound junior and teammates Lucas Pallante and Jack Trent led the Wildcats Saturday at the Division IV tournament at Vista Del Lago High School and all qualified for the prestigious Masters meetnext Fridayand Saturday in Stockton.

Sanguinetti lost by fall to Kimball's Trent Nicholson in the Valley Oak League championship on Feb. 15, and on Saturday, the two faced off for the Division title.

Sanguinetti trailed by two, 4-2, with 15 seconds left in the match when he took down Nicholson to tie the score and send it to overtime. In the extra time, Nicholson earned a take down to win 6-4.

"Nicholson is ranked No. 4 in the section and No. 14 in the state," said Wildcat head coach Jon Abernathy. "With his performance, Bryce has placed his name in contention to be among the ranked wrestlers in his weight."

Sanguinetti won his first three matches to get into the final. He won by technical fall, 17-2, over Luis Torres, of Central Valley, he won 9-4 over Jeremiah Romero, of El Dorado, and then defeated Central Catholic's Galheil Dillard 8-4 in the semifinals before falling in overtime.

Sanguinetti has 36 victories this season and just four losses.

Pallante, the Wildcats 160-pound wrestler, won four of six matches to place fourth, the last qualifying position for masters.

He won by pin in his first match and was sent to the losers bracket after falling 3-2. Pallante bounced back with a win by pin in 44 seconds and then earned an 8-2 victory to get into the third-place match.

Trent, the VOL champion in the 182 weight class, also finished fourth, winning three of five matches. Trent lost his first match to the eventual champion Reggie Bland, of Central Catholic. He then went on a rampage and pinned three straight opponents to get into the third-place contest.

"Jack and Lucas both wrestle hard in all their matches," Abernathy said. "They performed well in tough weight classes."

Also for Sonora, Joey Johnson (126) and Paul Ravelli (170) each won two of four matches and came within one more win of advancing. Ravelli finished the season 24-8 while Johnson was 23-9.

Wildcats Kyle Mantzouranis (132) and Tyler Hammond (138) each earned a victory and were ahead in the two matches they both lost.

"Our kids wrestled with great effort this weekend with 7 of 9 making it to the second day," Abernathy said. "Freshman Matt Tarantino (junior varsity, 220) did a really good job in his matches. He will be a wrestler to watch in the future."

The Union Democrat
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