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Cougars can’t close the deal in section teams

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Cougars can’t close the deal in section teams

Brandon Mungaro was his usual dependable self, notching a victory in the Cougars’ 33-30 loss to Los Banos Saturday in Stockton.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED February 4, 2013 12:34 a.m.

STOCKTON – With lighter weights setting the foundation for the Weston Ranch Cougars to post a first-round upset and a likely route to the Sac-Joaquin Section Team Duals Championship match, the heavier weights crumbled, costing the Cougars in a 33-30 loss to Los Banos Saturday at Lincoln High.

The Cougars chipped away at an early Los Banos lead with the crème de le crème of its lineup. Weston Ranch posted key victories in the middle weights to put itself in prime position, but a pair of unfortunate losses, one by pin, proved to be the ultimate end for the Cougars’ season as a team.

“We knew that being down 24-15 after 160s we were in striking distance,” Cougars head coach Pat King said. “We figured with the lower weights doing their job we would rely a lot on our heavier guys. And for us to lose at 170 like we did in the last second and 182 getting pinned late, which should not happen ever, was the difference in the match.

“With how bad we wrestled we were still just three points away.”

If the Cougars could have landed one more pin along the way, or not have surrendered one, they would have been tied at 30-30 with the Tigers. The first deciding category would be matches won, which Weston Ranch held the 7-5 advantage in matches won.

The Cougars seemingly put themselves where they wanted to be when James Simerley scored an unbelievable one-point escape to still his match 6-5 with three seconds remaining. Simerley made an amazing grasp-breaking maneuver that won the match in grand fashion.

The Cougars got stellar efforts from Brandon Mungarao, Richard Navaratte, and Gerardo Gonzalez. The Cougars will have to put the loss out of the system immediately with the Valley Oak League Championships looming less than a week away.

“We’re going to go to that room and we are going to work hard,” Mungaro said. “We are definitely looking to have a couple of league champs.

“We wrestled tough today, but I know we can wrestle tougher than that.”

VOL mate Oakdale secured the team title with a win over Los Banos.

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