Millikan made history in dominant fashion on Saturday at Lakewood High during the Moore League wrestling individual finals. The Rams had a representative in all 14 matches, and picked up 11 wins. Both are school and league records.
“It feels really great,” Millikan coach Marshall Thompson said. “This is our best effort ever in a league final tournament as far as I can remember, and I’ve been here for 29 years. I think we might have won 11 matches before… I’m really proud of our guys because there’s a lot of other really tough wrestlers in the league, but our guys just preformed today.”
Millikan won eight matches via pin, while Diego Laverde (113 pounds), Robert Pallares (152), Edwin Samayoa (220) and Santos Salas (285) all won their second consecutive league titles. Junior and coach’s son Trevor Thompson won his third straight league title with a quick pin at 126 pounds.
“I’m not surprised we did this well,” Trevor Thompson said. “We fished second place in CIF (team competition) by one point. We’re going to remember that and use it for motivation.”
Wilson’s Andrew Rendon (132) and Brett Dowgiewicz (195) also won their second straight league titles, as did Lakewood’s Jetro Preciado (160).
The league finals were originally scheduled for Thursday at Compton High, but was moved to Lakewood on short notice because of construction. The referees were late for the lower level competition, but the event went off without a hitch after the delay.
“All of the parents in the Lakewood program really stepped up to be able to run this,” Lakewood coach Ray Gulmatico said. “We wanted to make sure that we could showcase what Moore League wrestling is all about. I think it turned out really well.”
106 pounds: Millikan’s Gavin Laverde def. Wilson’s Ryan Catbagan (PIN 3:38)
Defending league champion Catbagan took a 6-4 lead in the first period, but Laverde bounced back to take an 8-7 lead and then pulled off a snap-quick takedown to win.
113: Millikan’s Diego Laverde def. Poly’s Peter Khim (PIN 1:18)
Laverde was dominant and grabbed a quick victory.
120: Millikan’s Samuel Winters def. Lakewood’s Jamie Ramires (INJ)
Winters earned two near falls to take an 11-1 lead, and took the match after Ramires submit due to injury.
126: Millikan’s Trevor Thompson def. Poly’s Ethan Irizarry (PIN :44)
Thompson said he knew what to expect in this match, and it went as he thought it would.
“He beat some of our guys earlier this season, but I found a way to win by protecting my legs, sticking with cradles and getting him on his back early,” Thomson said.
132: Wilson’s Andrew Rendon def. Millikan’s Caleb Turner (6-3)
This was the most exciting finish of the night. Rendon trailed 3-1 with about 10 seconds left in the match, but used a takedown and near fall to steal his second league title.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Rendon said. “I just had to keep driving through and trying to score. He knew what I was going for, he prepared well, but at the very end I caught him when he got too high on the cradle. I just took advantage of it because I didn’t think he was going to go for the cradle.”
138: Millikan’s Kydyn Lima def. Wilson’s Griffin Hunt (PIN 3:12)
Lima used an early take down to grab a lead, and then pinned Hunt in the middle of the second period.
145: Millikan’s Alan Patino def. Jordan’s Miguel Topote (PIN 5:14)
Topote played good defense early, but Patino wore him down and led 12-2 when he pulled the winning move.
152: Millikan’s Robert Pallares def. Jordan’s Bradley Bartholomew (8-0)
Pallares was patient and strong in this win, and held the 8-0 lead though an active third period.
160: Lakewood’s Jetro Preciado def. Millikan’s Ethan Wendt (2-0)
This defense slugfest was decided by a second period takedown.
170: Millikan’s Dawson Hill def. Lakewood’s Todd Ritchson (3-1)
Hill took the lead late in the second period with a strong takedown, and held on for the win against the defending champion Ritchson.
182: Millikan’s Andrew Guerra def. Lakewood’s Ian Frilot (PIN 3:55)
Frilot started strong and had a 3-1 advantage after the first period, but Guerra tied it 3-3 in the second with a takedown, and completed the move with the pin.
195: Wilson’s Brett Dowgiewicz def. Millikan’s Michael Salas (4-3)
This was the most controversial decision of the night. The two great wrestlers were in a 2-2 deadlock for most of the match, and then Salas took a 3-2 lead on an escape point that the Wilson coaches argued against.
Dowgiewicz stayed more active in the even clash, and Salas was penalized for stalling with less than 10 seconds left in the match. The Millikan coaches argued the decision, but Dowgiewicz was awarded the victory.
220: Millikan’s Edwin Samayoa def. Wilson’s Cordae Jones (PIN 3:38)
Jones’ quickness helped him take a 2-1 lead in the first period, but Samayoa used his strength to retake the lead in the second period and win via pin.
285: Millikan’s Santos Salas def. Wilson’s Miguel Corona (PIN 3:27)
Salas also broke open a close match by wearing Corona down, and also won towards the end of the second period.
The CIF Southern Section individual competition is scheduled for Feb. 14-15.