RIALTO — Perhaps the
High wrestling squad’s best season in a generation came to an agonizing conclusion in team dual-meet participation a little earlier than expected.
The Titans held an 11-point lead late, but succumbed to an opportunistic Rim of the World unit and some questionable officiating in a 30-29 defeat in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division VI Dual Meet Championships at Carter High on Saturday afternoon.
A San Marino squad that won its first Rio Hondo League title since 1998 ends with a dual meet record of 7-1 and will now prepare for the following weekend’s Eastern Division Individual Championships at Hesperia Oak Hills High.
“One thing a former coach used to tell me was that there are three opponents you’ve got to beat out on the mat — your opponent, the clock and the officials,” San Marino co-Coach Joe Gallardo said. “I don’t want to make it sound like we got cheated, but we did pretty well against our opponent, we lost to the clock a couple of times and that ref was just not our side.”
Gallardo and company were most exasperated by a call and none call made within pivotal bouts late.
San Marino fell behind, 24-23, heading into the second-to-last bout at 224 pounds that featured Rim of the World’s Jacob Dark versus the Titans’ Nick Telleria.
Dark started the match with a takedown that bordered on being illegal.
“That was a suplay. It shouldn’t have counted and it costs us points,” Gallardo said.
Telleria never recovered, surrendering a takedown and near fall before being pinned in 1:24 to clinch the meet for the fourth-seeded Fighting Scots, 30-23, with a Rim of the World forfeit at the heavyweight class that cemented the 30-29 score.
“There just weren’t a lot of things going our way, starting with the ref,” San Marino 149-pounder Adam Padilla said. “It started with the cement mixer [senior Brian Chang] had.”
Perhaps the meet turned during Chang’s bout versus Nathanial Zuniga at 164 pounds.
San Marino held a 20-12 lead when Chang rallied from 6-0 deficit with a spectacular reversal and takedown that appeared headed for a pin when the referee halted the meet due to danger.
After arguing from both coaches that caused a five-minute delay, Chang eventually finished with an 11-8 win that put San Marino ahead, 23-12, instead of 26-12.
Those points haunted San Marino, which surrendered 7-1 and 10-6 decisions at 174 pounds and 186 pounds, respectively, as it only led 23-18.
Initially, San Marino built is advantage through the lower weights with victories for 117-pounder Evan Wick (11-4 score), 130-pounder Zander Wick (15-5), 142-pounder Dominick Magana (15-6) and Padilla (3-1) in going up 20-9.
“This was a good experience, I just wish I could have done more,” Evan Wick said. “I just missed my pin and it hurts to lose because for some of the guys, this is their last chance at CIF Duals and it’s heartbreaking.”
San Marino earned advancement to the second round after a 61-17 victory over Prep League champion Downey Calvary Chapel in the 11 a.m. opening round.
The Titans started out wobbly, getting pinned at the opening-round class of heavyweight and then having to forfeit at 109 pounds because of a certification issue.
Yet, the Titans launched a massive comeback, scoring 49 consecutive points behind falls from Julian Flores (124 pounds), Killian Vendler (136), Padilla (149), Daniel Walsh (156), Chang (164) and Michael Scott (174).