Aysia Cortez of Venture/Excel Academy won the 126-pound championship Saturday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Regional Invitational at McNair High in a thrilling 13-11 overtime match with Miranda Lamela of Pacheco-Los Banos.
Cortez was leading Lamela 11-9 with six seconds left in the third period when Lamela got a takedown to force overtime. Lamela took a shot at Cortez in the extra period but Cortez was able to counter with a takedown for the sudden-death win.
“It was really tough,” Cortez said. “I took it match by match and had to prepare for each opponent that came my way.
“I have to prepare for state. I am going to be trying hard and I am confident I will do my best.”
Cortez reached the finals with a first-round pin over Maddy Lyons of Del Oro-Loomis.
Seth Davis of Weston Ranch coaches Cortez as she is the only wrestler from Venture/Excel Academy.
“Her final match was overtime,” Davis said. “Lamela took a shot but Aysia caught her. She is only a junior and I am really excited about her and hopefully we can make a good run at the state tournament.”
Joining Cortez in the two-day State Championships beginning Friday, Feb. 27, at the Visalia Convention Center will be Mia Hill (101) of Weston Ranch who finished fourth. Cougars teammate Wonderful DeConge (189) was a match away from qualifying and Samantha Hernandez (235) was two away.
“In the consolation semifinals Mia was down 5-3 with 30 seconds left and came back to win 6-5,” Davis said. “Wonderful and Samantha wrestled tough and we told them that a lot of people did not finish out the season like they did.”
Lathrop’s Stephanie Rosillo (150) was eliminated one match away from qualifying for state.
“Stephanie finished her wrestling career for Lathrop by wrestling her heart out for two days at a very tough girls sections tournament,” Spartans coach Vince Garcia said. “We’re very happy with the way she wrestled and honored to have had her and all our girls wrestle for us at Lathrop High.”
Ripon’s Victoria White was two matches away from advancing.
“Victoria did fine,” Ripon coach Glen White said. “She has a lot of work to do but she is only a sophomore. She has to get a little stronger and more aggressive against the tougher girls.
“But she had three first-round pins on Friday so we are really happy with that.”
Sac Joaquin Section
Boys Team Duals
Ripon started the day with a 48-31 win over Mesa Verde-Citrus Heights before losing 54-15 to eventual three-time champion Calaveras-San Andreas.
Donovan Fontillas (106), Branden Barnett (120), Gabe Beltran (132), Javier Hernandez (145), Gabe Barnett (160), Dylan Heald (170), Akash Bathh (195) and Tristan Smith (285) with all wins for the Indians against Mesa Verde coming via pin.
Heald and Fontillas had pins against Calaveras and Smith almost had one, eking out a 1-0 decision.
“We expected to win the first match and we were happy that Mesa Verde showed up because last year they didn’t show up and forfeited to us,” Ripon coach Glen White said.
“Calaveras is a tough program – they are well coached and have some tough kids. I wish Smith would have had a few more seconds because he just about had that kid on his back. But it was good to get that win.”