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Cantu, Ivey land in top 3 at Visalia

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Jasmine Ivey (137) of Lathrop locks up with Napa’s Maggie Douma in the regional championship in Stockton on Feb. 8. Ivey went on take third at the state tournament in Visalia on Saturday and Douma...

JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS/Bulletin file photos/

POSTED March 2, 2014 8:27 p.m.

Alyssa Cantu and Jasmine Ivey both made their third consecutive appearance at the CIF 2014 State Girls Wrestling Championships this past weekend at the Visalia Convention Center.

Both Cantu and Ivey continued to etch their names in their high school’s history pages as both placed in the top three and brought home their second state medals.

Cantu, Weston Ranch’s 189-pound senior, lost her first match of the year in the finals, while Ivey – Lathrop’s 137-pound senior – won her third-place match after losing in the semifinals against the eventual two-time state champion Jasmine Mendoza of Overfelt-San Jose.

After taking sixth as a sophomore and not placing at all last year, Cantu bounced back with a dominant senior campaign and went unbeaten all the way until the state championship match.

“It was a good and bad experience,” said Cantu, who finished the season 27-1. “That was my first loss of the year…that was the bad part. I’m still disappointed, but I’m happy I made it all the way to the finals match undefeated.”

Cantu won all three of her matches by fall Friday. During the semifinals, Fremont’s Evien Evonne stood in Cantu’s way of making it to the title match.

“She was probably my toughest match of the season,” said Cantu, who was trailing 2-1 before pulling off the 3:55 pin. “She shot me and I ended up on bottom, and I’ve never been in that position before. But my coaches (Pat King and Seth Davis) always say ‘it’s easier to just give up.’ So that was in my head the whole time. I just kept fighting.”

Cantu’s win put her in the final against Jackie Quinones of Arroyo of the Southern Section, who captured the championship with a 4:39 pin over Cantu, who became the first-ever Weston Ranch girl to qualify and bring home a state medal in 2012.

Cantu trailed 2-0 during the first period after Quinones got a takedown. Cantu registered an escape to make it 2-1 in the same period, which was the score when she was pinned during the second round.

Ivey finished with her second straight third-place state finish after taking 16th at the state championships two years ago. She went 1-1 on Saturday after opening with a loss in the semis against senior Mendoza, who beat Ivey 4-0 and scored both of her takedowns in the second round.

Ivey, who finished the year 33-6, was knocked into the third-place match where she finished  her prep career with a 3-1 win over Tanaya Raives of San Rafael.

“I feel real accomplished,” Ivey said. “I didn’t give up at all.”

 Mendoza, who dealt Ivey her only loss at the tournament, went on to defeat Maggie Douma of Napa, who defeated Ivey for the CIF Sac-Joaquin/Northern Section championship on Feb. 8 at McNair High in Stockton. Mendoza edged out Douma, 4-3 in the finals match.

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