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Woodalls 3rd place finish is the areas best at Big Valley Classic
Sierra High’s Jose Cortez could not hold off a late opponent, settling for a respectable seventh place finish in the Big Valley Classic in Stockton.
STOCKTON – The ending could have only been better for Devon Woodall if his first round pin would have come in the championship, but the East Union Lancer will accept an area-best third place finish in 4th Annual Big Valley Classic at the Stockton Arena.

Woodall defied the odds and won seven consecutive matches in the consolation bracket to end up as the tournament’s third-best heavyweight. Woodall was able to avenge the loss that sent him to the consolation bracket, when he beat Alex Horncliff 2-1 to advance to the third-fourth place match.

Horncliff snuck away with a one-point overtime win over Woodall Friday, but would have no such luck in their most recent bonus period, as Woodall wasted little time securing the win with a one-point escape.

“The difference in today and yesterday was him wrestling a little bit,” East Union head coach A.J. Reindel said. “(Friday) he scored first so he got to choose top or bottom, today I stressed to Devon it is about the way he wrestles. Today, he is clearly wrestling a little better.

“He could still do more, but he is wrestling more and giving himself more opportunities.”

Woodall capitalized on those opportunities, standing his ground in impressive fashion on his way to an impressive top-three finish.

“I came into this tournament looking for a first-place,” Woodall said. “But I let that championship slip away. So I definitely want to finish up with the third-place medal.”

Lathrop High’s Luis Oregel would get no closer than his Friday performance, drop a tough 5-0 decision in championship bracket action before falling in his first consolation match as well.

Oregel put together an impressive first day run, and was not the only area wrestler to miss out on a top-spot. Broc Westlake stopped Sierra’s Alex Nuanez’ attempt at the third-place 190-pound finish, scoring a win over the senior with a 3-2 decision.

Nuanez’ teammate Jose Cortez was stopped by Union Mine standout Mitchell Woods. Woods earned berths to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters his freshman and sophomore season and is off to a quality start this his junior season. Woods stopped Cortez 11-0 sending him to the seventh-eight place match which Cortez won via an injury default.