LATHROP — It was good while it lasted.
Lathrop won the first two bouts Wednesday night before visiting East Union went on a tear and won the Valley Oak League wrestling match 52-18 at Lathrop High.
“The first couple of matches I threw in two first-year wrestlers,” Lancers coach A.J. Reindel said. “I didn’t know what they had and I let them go for it.
“That gave them the momentum and then Enrique Mendoza came on and won a close match at 126 to get it going for us.”
Mendoza helped turn the tide for East Union (3-0 VOL) when he battled to a tough 6-4 overtime win over Mysson Harrell.
Jason Betlej (132) followed Mendoza with the first of three Lancers pins in the next four matches by himself, Joe Luna (138) and T.D. Diaz (152).
Diaz’s pin came with three seconds left in the bout.
“Conditioning really pays off,” Diaz said. “You just get to that third round and it’s all about who has it more.
“I definitely had more left in the tank.”
East Union’s Jonathan Aguilar (182) had the quick pin of the night at 47 seconds.
“I don’t go into a match expecting it to be quick,” Aguilar said. “I never do that – I never underestimate my opponent. But if I see something open I just go for it.
“I saw he had his shoulder wide open and I took what I saw.”
Jason Betlej (132), Levi Huffman (170) and Jaysen Reindel (285) added pins for the Lancers with Anthony Contreras (145) adding a major-decision win and Ruben Gallegos (160) a win by decision.
Karanveer Singh (113) and Jamime Abida (120) started the night off for the Spartans (2-1) with back-to-back pins.
“I wasn’t expecting the pin,” Abida said. “But he was really tired and I heard my coaches and teammates tell me to keep driving so I just went for it.”
Lathrop had just one more win and that was by Isaac Blase (220) with a pin.
“It was a tough night,” Spartans coach Vince Garcia said. “East Union is a very tough team, very experienced.
“We are short of guys but East Union came into our house and took it to us. We need to work on a lot of stuff and hopefully we will get a little better and in the next couple of years come back and beat them.”
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Tyler Welch and Josh Craighead both had two pins for the Buffaloes and Jacob Welch, R.J. Rodriguez, Austin Arroyo, and Denovious Jordan had pins against the Cougars.