Cimarron-Memorial wins Mountain Region wrestling title

Updated February 2, 2019 - 8:45 pm

Cimarron-Memorial’s Matthew Rodgers avenged three regular-season losses to Shadow Ridge’s Marc Williams by winning 3-1 in overtime Saturday in the 160-pound division to help the Spartans edge the Mustangs for the Mountain Region championship at Bonanza.

Though it was Spartans heavyweight Adrian Alonso’s 3-2 overtime win over Arbor View’s Faafetai Tuinei that clinched the title, 231-228½, it wouldn’t have been possible without Rodgers’ victory in the only head-to-head final between the top two teams.

“I knew I had to beat him,” Rodgers said. “He beat me three times before, it made me want to wrestle him even more. I knew I had to come out and wrestle aggressive and just put it on him. I just had to beat him once.”

Tied 1-1, Rodgers took a single-leg shot and followed with a duck-under to the outside of Williams to score the takedown and push Cimarron’s lead to 227-216½.

In the final match, Alonso caught a break when Tuinei was called for interlocking his hands while on top, which tied the score 2-2. Alonso then scored a point with an escape and held on for the victory.

“He’s a really good wrestler, he knows everything, he’s my toughest opponent,” Alonso said. “I love my team. They push me to 110 percent. I’m proud of this team, we push each other in practices and I’m just proud to be a Spartan today.”

The Spartans produced three champions after sending six to the finals, including Amado Castellon, who won his second consecutive 145-pound title with a 5-1 decision over Palo Verde’s Grey Garcia.

“What this was today was we entered 13 guys, 13 scorers, (and got) 13 in the top four — if that’s not team, I don’t know what is,” Spartans coach Mike Garcia said. “Matthew turned the corner clearly. He just stepped up, he did a phenomenal job. All these kids did.”

Desert Region

Realignment might have changed the participants, but it didn’t alter the fact that Green Valley sat atop the wrestling scoreboard for the ninth consecutive season when the Desert Region concluded.

The Gators, who won eight consecutive Sunrise Region titles, beat new rival and runner-up Spring Valley, 202-154½. Foothill was third with 132 points.

“Hopefully, now we can go back and win state this year,” senior 170-pounder Desmond Bowers said.

Bowers won his second consecutive regional title, pinning Gavin Brenkus of Bishop Gorman in 1:54. He was one of six Gators to win championships.

“I’d have preferred eight,” Green Valley coach Jon Ferry said with a smile. “But it’s hard to be disappointed with six individual titles.”

Steele Dias (120), Will Zernich (126), David Kalayanapr (132), Derek Reckfenwal (145) and Justus Scott (160) were Green Valley’s other winners. Two others finished second.

The Gators advanced nine wrestlers to the Class 4A state tournament.

“The (regular) season is a dress rehearsal,” Ferry said. “There are only two tournaments that matter: regionals and state.”

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