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Cantu, Ivey dominate in Day 1 of state

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Cantu, Ivey dominate in Day 1 of state

Weston Ranch senior Alyssa Cantu, the state’s top-ranked 189-pounder, is in today’s semifinals in the CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships.

JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS/The Bulletin/


POSTED March 1, 2014 1:14 a.m.

Alyssa Cantu and Jasmine Ivey are in line to capture their second medals in the CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships.

The two seniors are in today’s winner’s-bracket semifinals after perfect Day 1 runs at the Visalia Convention Center on Friday.

Lathrop High’s Ivey placed third at this tournament a year ago and improving her standing will be tough. She is paired with Jasmine Mendoza of Overfelt (San Jose), the state’s defending 137-pound champion. The Sac-Joaquin Section is well-represented in the bracket, as Bear Creek’s Inesha West-Taylor and Maggie Douma of Napa are matched up in the other semifinal. Douma defeated Ivey in the CIF Northern Regional finale.

“She’s in a bracket where any of the top five girls can win it — every one of them,” Lathrop coach Vincent Garcia said. “It’s that stacked. The way Jasmine is wrestling right now, it looks like a good matchup if she continues to wrestle well.”

After an opening-round bye, Ivey pinned Nayeli Maldonado (Nipomo) in 1 minute, 22 seconds and stuck Rachael Butler (Foothill) in 4:53 in the quarterfinals. Butler, ranked fourth in the division coming in, had previously beaten No. 5 Ivey twice this year.

Cantu’s road to redemption has been a smooth one so far. The state’s No. 1-ranked 189-pounder improved to 23-0 on the season while running her pinfall total to 22. Her victims Friday were Alejandra Colin (Godinez Fundamental, 4:19), Sarina Silva (Newark Memorial, 3:17) and Central Section champion Kyra Allen (Sanger, 3:06).

Cantu earned a sixth-place medal in the state tourney as a sophomore but was eliminated on her first Day 2 match last year.

Also competing were Weston Ranch juniors Mia Hill (106) and Wonderful Deconge (235) and Sierra senior Victoria Burke (126). All three went 0-2.

“She’s a first-year wrestler and gets to state,” Sierra coach Alex Nuanez said of Burke. “Very proud of her.”

Action resumes this morning at 9 a.m. with consolation matches. Championship semifinals are scheduled for 12:20-2 p.m.

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