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Weston Ranch finishes Placer Duals at 3-2
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AUBURN — Weston Ranch was thrown straight into the fire to kick off the Placer Duals Tournament Saturday at Placer High in Auburn, facing Galena of Nevada and Wood Creek of Sacramento, two top-notch outfits in its first two matches.

Although the Cougars fell, 47-30 to Galena and 43-30 to Wood Creek, Weston Ranch was able to rally from there, winning three straight to close the tournament.

Weston Ranch picked up wins over a mixed team from the Nevada schools (57-21), Rosemont (72-9) and Hiram Johnson of Sacramento (63-18).

“It was a good day,” Weston Ranch co-head coach Pat King said. “This was our 25th dual event and it’s always good to get the numbers up. Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time. We’ve got one more week of team before we head into the wrestle-offs.”

The Cougars will compete at the Sac-Joaquin Section Team Duals Tournament Feb. 7 at Rosemont High, with the Valley Oak League championships to follow a week later at Central Valley.

Saturday in Auburn, a number of Cougars turned in standout performances, none better than the one contributed by team captain Chris Contreras (189 pounds).

Contreras, a second-year wrestler, missed two weeks of action around Christmas and is just now hitting his stride on the mat.

With his only loss coming against the No. 4 wrestler in the section out of Wood Creek, Contreras went 4-1.

“No one works harder in the room than Chris,” King said. “There’s no question (he’s starting to peak).”

Travis Bowen went 3-1 with a bye, collecting two pins and a technical pin.

“Travis got teched in the first round against Galena,” Kind said. “To draw that team right out of the gate was definitely a wake up call for us.”

King said the opening round loss fueled Bowen (140) the rest of the way.

Ramon Cortez (171) had a disappointing night against Sierra and Oakdale last week, losing a pair of matches.

One of two seniors on the team, Cortez rebounded Saturday by going 3-0, winning all three matches by way of pin.

“Ramon had a horrific Wednesday,” King said. “He knows it, and we as coaches know it. So we worked him very hard Thursday and Friday and cleaned up a couple of mental mistakes he was making. He didn’t make those same mistakes today and it showed in his performance.”

King was also pleased with three freshman who made the trip and experienced their first taste of varsity action.

Daniel Guzman (103), JoeAnthony Gomez (135) and Tony Gomes (152) all picked up a win.

“They weren’t completely overwhelmed and they had a chance to see where they have to be at to compete at the varsity level,” King said. “It’s definitely a step up, and they finally got to see that. They came out hesitant at first, but became more aggressive as the day went on.”

— Brandon Petersen