Nipomo went 1-1 against Lompoc and Santa Ynez on Wednesday on the wrestling mat in a three-way meet – but the final contest between the Titans and Pirates ended with a rare twist at the NHS gym.
The final match ended in a 42-42 tie, which prompted the official to call both head coaches over to determine the winner. That was when a wrestling criteria was used to determine the victor – which pointed toward the Titans becoming the winner by matches 7-4.
For NHS head coach Kevin Kreowski, he’s never seen a contest end with an official’s criteria decision.
“It is the first time that’s ever happened to me in my 25 years of coaching,” Kreowski said. “But, it was a tough match. It came down to a tie. But I tip my hat to them (Santa Ynez). There’s great coaching over there and great kids.”
Nipomo got started with a win in the 113-pound class, as Damian Cortez won his contest by pin.
Richie Sandoval, however, got the Pirates their first mat win of the evening with his pinfall victory with 1:46 left in the second against Nico Mendoza.
Luis Riquelme (132-pound division) would return the momentum to the Titans’ side by winning via pin. Then in the 145-pound battle, Santa Ynez’s Emelio Soto and Nipomo’s Klay Funez engaged in a huge back-and-forth that saw leg hooks and reversals getting exchanged. But, Soto got the final leg hook in to control Funez – keying the pin in the third with 1:17 left.
The 220-pound class saw football players colliding in Santa Ynez’s Isaiah Smith and Nipomo’s backup quarterback Brayden Groshart on the mat. Groshart scored one takedown, but Smith managed to roll Groshart and mount him for the pin.
Even though the match ended with a rare official criteria decision, Kreowski said he likes the fact his team is establishing momentum for the LPL finals at NHS on Feb. 7.
“It comes down to numbers. But it (the win) does set the stage for hosting league. Our guys are fired up,” Kreowski said.
Lompoc 44, Nipomo 30
The Braves improved to 4-1 on the league wrestling mat by getting past the Titans in the first part of the NHS three-way contest on Wednesday.
Lompoc lost its first two contests in the 106 and 113 classes before Gracen Hayes broke the early skid. Facing Nick Gonzalez in the 120-pound division, Hayes got a last second reverse to help win by points 9-7.
Luke Gardner (126) followed Hayes’ win with his victory over Nico Mendoza, pinning him during the second period. Nate Barcelona (132), Dechlan Sparrow (182) and Isaiah Terrones (220) all won their matches for LHS.
Head coach Kyle Mayse was most impressed with the latter wrestler – whose final result got the LHS sideline and parents to erupt with glee.
“He made the difference,” Mayse said, who also pointed out that Hayes’ victory was another difference maker.
Lompoc made the CIF Southern Section Northern Regional Final that was held Saturday at Dos Pueblos.