By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sierra, EU wrestlers prevent gold sweep by Oakdale
East Union’s Trinidad Diaz throws Oakdale’s Francisco Perez to the mat before pinning Perez in the championship match at 160 pounds. Manteca’s Dominic Day throws Oakdale’s. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL /The Bulletin

OAKDALE – Final score: Oakdale 12, rest of the Valley Oak League 2.

The Mustangs had all 14 weight classes covered Saturday in the finals of the VOL wrestling championships at Oakdale High and only lost two – one to Sierra’s Joshua Faustino and the other to East Union’s Trinidad Diaz.

Faustino (285 pounds) drew a first-round bye and defeated East Union’s Justin Mount in the semifinals, setting up a championship bout with Oakdale’s Eric Degraaf.

Degraaf found out in a hurry why Faustino was undefeated as he got pinned in a scant 22 seconds.

“I felt great,” Faustino said. “To be honest he was strong, but I feel like I was a little stronger.”

It took Diaz (160) a little longer than Faustino in his championship match. Diaz too had a first-round bye and defeated Weston Ranch’s Elijah Johnson in the semifinals before posting a second-round pin over Oakdale’s Francisco Perez for the gold medal.

“This feels pretty good,” Diaz said. “The brackets changed a bit and I expected somebody else, but it really doesn’t matter who is across from me.

“I just have to go out there and get the job done.”

The only other local wrestler to come close in the finals was Manteca’s Armon Bayford (220). 

He lost to Oakdale’s Ben Molina 3-0 and got the silver medal, even though Molina did not take Bayford down as Molina got one point via escape and was awarded two points for stalling.

 This was not Bayford’s first encounter with Molina.

 “I have battled him two or three times before this,” Bayford said. “And every time I get closer and closer. He only beats me by a little.

 “I know I can take him down and I know I can get those shots off. I just need to go back to the wrestling room and prepare for next week.”

 East Union’s Bradley Phippen (106), Michael Vargas (120), Tyler Diaz (126) and Joe Luna (138) finished second; Michael Hudson (113), Joe Patton (132), Anthony Salcido (145) and Conner Galloway (170) were third and Ciaran Kemptner (152), Alex Alexander (182) and Mount finished fourth.

 Diego Rodriguez (113), Dominic Day (132), Landon Gomm (152) and Joshua Craighead (182) finished second for Manteca. Joshua Saylor (152) was third and Dylan Gase (138), Joseph Farrell (170) and Dominik Neuharth (195) were fourth.

 Sierra’s Mison Hosmer (170) was second, Brendan Ramos (126) and Benjamin Wheeler (152) were third and Gabriel Balleza (220) and Thomas Rowe (145) finished fourth.

 Justin Ordner (182) and Ron Mendoza (195) finished third for Weston Ranch and Billy Pham (132) and Johnson were fourth.  

 The Top 4 finishers advance to the two-day Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championships beginning Friday at Atwater High School.


Trans-Valley League

 HUGHSON – The Ripon girls won the inaugural girls championship and the Indians boys finished fourth as a team at Hughson High School.

 Marissa Hernandez (108), Alyssa Oliver (116), Ashley Espinoza (126), Katelyn Cardoza (131), Melissa Perez (137), Riley Rangel (143), and Kaylee Medeiros (150) all brought home gold medals for the Ripon girls.  Andrea Fierro (101), Jaylynn Fisher (113) and Avery Thomason (126) finished second.

 The Indians girls will participate in the two-day SJS South Regional beginning Friday in Ceres at Central Valley High School.

“The Ripon girls will be ready to wrestle and continue to hold themselves to a standard they want to continue for years to come,” Ripon coach Eric Barriga said.

 Andrew Huynh (115), Caleb Johnston (184) and Chris Speed (287) finished third for the Indians boys and Dalton Taberna (122), Justin Swilley (134) and Rajveer Singh (140) were fourth.

 The Top 4 boys wrestlers advance to the two-day Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championships beginning Friday at Calaveras High School in San Andreas.


Western Athletic 


 MODESTO – The WAC held its boys and girls league meet at Beyer High School. 

 Lathrop’s Sebastian Iniguez (170) finished second for the boys and Justin Munoz-Romero (285) finished third and will compete in the two-day SJS Division IV championships beginning Friday in Orangevale at Casa Roble High School.

 Kristina Rose (137) and Amelia Latifi (150) finished second for the Spartans girls with Tammy Pham (111) placing third and Nielyn Castaneda (121) and Impreet Kaur (131) were fourth. 

 The Lathrop girls will participate in the two-day SJS South Regional Championships beginning Friday in Ceres at Central Valley High School.


Boys basketball

Weston Ranch 66, 

Oakdale 47

 The Mustangs (1-9 Valley Oak League, 15-11 overall) were held to single digits in each of the first two periods.

 Gavin Wilburn flirted with a triple-double for the Cougars (10-0, 25-1) with 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Quentin Booker added 12 points and Devin Small 11.

 Weston Ranch enters the last week of the season with a two-game lead over second-place Central Catholic with two games two play, both on the road. The Cougars travel to third-place Manteca on Tuesday and close out the VOL campaign at Sierra on Thursday.


Manteca 67, Kimball 56

 The Jaguars (4-7, 13-13) led by a point at the end of the first quarter, but the Buffaloes (7-3, 18-8) rebounded in the second quarter to lead 32-24 at halftime. 

 Jorge Cedano led Manteca with 18 points and five assists followed by Isaiah Victor (12 points, five rebounds), Domonick Victor (10 points, eight rebounds), Miguel Sequeria (10 points, six rebounds) Rashawn Ballard (10 points, six rebounds) and Jordan Burciaga (eight points, eight rebounds).  

 Kimball’s Kai Ballungay earned high-point honors with 20.

 The Buffaloes have a firm grip on the third and final automatic VOL playoff spot, one game behind second-place Central Catholic. Manteca hosts Weston Ranch on Tuesday and East Union on Thursday to round out the league schedule.