Sierra High varsity wrestler Alex Patton was visibly disappointed after his taxing match with Bobby Guillory.
His shoulders slumped as the referee grabbed a wrist of each 119-pound competitor. Patton was surprised that it was his arm raised.
It turned out that Patton’s thrilling 5-4 win over East Union’s Guillory was the clincher for the Timberwolves, who went on to triumph 51-30 in the final team contest in Wednesday’s Valley Oak League double-dual match at Dalben Center.
Patton nearly blew a late 5-0 lead, as Guillory scored a two-point reversal and a two-point near fall all in the final 10 seconds of the match.
“I was just thinking, ‘Hold on,’” Patton said. “I didn’t want to let him pin me, and I didn’t want to do anything too risky.
“At the end I looked at the score, and I didn’t realize that I had won.”
Going into the 119-pound bout, East Union had closed in 42-30 with two matches remaining. The Lancers were two pins away from tying the score and possibly winning via tiebreaker.
Patton’s hard-fought decision — the only match in the East Union-Sierra showdown that wasn’t decided via fall or forfeiture — didn’t matter at the end, as freshman Keano Calderon posted an impressive pinfall victory in 3:26 in the final bout at 125.
The third party in the double-dual was mighty Oakdale — the conference’s defending champion and No. 4-ranked team in the state.
Guillory had a flair for the dramatic on this night. Earlier, he pinned Oakdale’s Jake Jacobson with just two seconds to go in their match.
The Mustangs, however, easily won, 65-18 — and that was with most of their stars resting. Oakdale also trounced Sierra, 67-3.
“We knew that going into the Oakdale match that was going to happen — they’re just a dominant team,” first-year Sierra coach Alex Nuanez said. “We thought we’d match up well with East Union, and a lot of our younger kids stepped up.”
Alex Nuanez, the coach’s son, was the lone Timberwolf to go 2-0. The 189-pounder edged promising sophomore Hondo Arpoika, 3-2, then pinned EU’s Aaron Golden in 1 minute, 57 seconds. Nuanez is the area’s only qualifier for the state tournament in 2010, and the first in his school’s history to do so.
East Union’s Felipe Duran (135) also won two matches, both by pin. In one of the night’s best matches, he came from behind to stop Sierra’s Brandon Carrier. Duran was down 6-3 early in the second period, but he scored a reversal and executed the fall in 2:52.
East Union senior Devon Woodall, the VOL’s heavyweight champion last year, clocked the fastest pin. Nick Baker, a natural 215-pounder for Sierra, scored a surprising takedown, but in one motion Woodall rolled off his back and stuck his opponent in 23 seconds.
“I just wanted to get in there and get some work in,” said Woodall, who did not compete in the Oakdale, as he was limited by a sore shoulder. “I have to take it a little slow right now, but I have to work my hardest when I get the chance.”
In other matches between East Union and Sierra:
• East Union’s Bobby Dominguez (112) pinned Bill Fishburn in 1:09.
• Sierra’s Alberto Loaiza (130) pinned David Mendoza in 1:23.
• Sierra’s Lucas Widmer (140) pinned Jose Maltez in 1:35.
• East Union’s Elliot Tripp (152) pinned Christin Yasay in 3:50.
• Sierra’s Jose Cortez (171) pinned Joey Keith in 1:20.
• Sierra’s Lucas Maestas (215) pinned Anthony Melena in 51 seconds.
“We had a chance there at the end,” East Union coach AJ Reindel said. “I had a couple of kids out of the lineup who, had they been healthy or have been able to wrestle, may have made a difference. But no excuses, they beat us and they’re a good team.”