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Ripon secures 1st place going into TVL tournament
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HILMAR — Ripon closed the regular season with a 48-27 win over Hilmar in a battle between the Trans-Valley League’s remaining undefeated teams.

It’s the third time under 18th-year coach Glen White that the Indians (5-0) have finished in first place, but they shared their last two titles with Escalon. They can secure an outright championship by winning the TVL Tournament at their own North Gym on Feb. 11. 

But first is the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Team Duals this Saturday at Lincoln High in Stockton. Ripon seeks its second section title after winning it in dramatic fashion against rival Escalon back in 2012.

“We’re a little banged up, so we’ll see how this weekend goes,” White said. “There are some tough teams with Calaveras and Sonora there. We’re hoping to wrestle well again and then focus back on league.”

Heavyweight Owen Gollinger came through with big points for Ripon on Wednesday. Hilmar’s Clay Harden chose bottom to start the third period with both locked in a scoreless tie. Gollinger then flipped his opponent over and secured the pin.

Juan Rodriguez (145) started the night with a 2 minute, 7-second fall. Gregory Clark (154) and Diego Moreno (160) then squeaked out 8-4 and 14-11 decision wins, respectively. Jacob Rhodes (220), Andrew Huynh (108), Donny  Fontillas (128) and Anthony Latno (140) all won by fall.

“All the kids as a whole wrestled really well,” White said. “It’s always a hard match in Hilmar because they bring a huge crowd, but our guys came out and wrestled through it.”