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Del Oro’s Branum, Oakmont’s Elliott on collision course in Division II wrestling meet

Host Golden Eagles have eight in semifinals Saturday
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Some of the best wrestlers in the state are competing in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II tournament at Del Oro High School, including Shayne Tucker of Bella Vista, ranked No. 1 at 138 pounds.

But there’s one weight class that’s a little — or a lot — more loaded than the other 13. That would be the 152-pound division, which includes three wrestlers ranked in the top 10 by www.thecaliforniawrestler.com.

No. 2 Austin Branum of Del Oro and No. 3 Jake Elliott of Oakmont are a semifinal win away from meeting in the final Saturday afternoon. Elliott won the 145-pound state championship last season, but Branum edged Elliott 4-3 on a late reversal in the Tim Brown Memorial final four weeks ago.

Elliott first must beat Andrew Tyson of Rocklin in the semifinals. Branum will wrestle Seth Avis of Casa Roble.

“That’s probably the area’s best, one that most people would pay to watch those matches,” Del Oro assistant coach Jerry Sinkey said Friday as consolation matches wrapped up.

The host Golden Eagles qualified eight wrestlers for the semifinals, which means a guaranteed ticket to the Masters meet next weekend in Stockton. Rocklin has four in the semis, Woodcreek four and Oakmont and Roseville three each.

Granite Bay has five in the semis, and 11 of its 12 will return Saturday, including Adam Wagner. Ranked ninth in the state at 152 pounds, he fell to Elliott 11-4.

“You have three of the top 10 guys in the state in the same weight bracket, and somebody has to have a good day,” Grizzlies coach Robert Cooley said.

Oakmont coach Dave Wells said Elliott and Wagner wrestled well.

“Jake was getting his takedowns when he needed them,” Wells said.

Also in the semis for Del Oro are Isaac Blackburn (106 pounds), Zach Ruybal (113), Johnny Zieour (132), Patrick Neu (145), Dylan Kainrath (170), Kevin Love (182) and Saul Meneses (285).

In the semis for Granite Bay are Sean Brown (120), Shane Saylor (126), Ian Mook (138), Cameron Smith (195) Kevin Blank (220).

Joining Elliott from Oakmont are Kaleio Romero (138) and Peter Santos (170), who won his only match Friday on a fall at 53 seconds. Santos, ranked 10th in the state at 160 pounds, will face Roseville’s Austin Finerty, who won decisions over Nelson Lund of Bella Vista and Presley Ramirez of Burbank.

Woodcreek’s Austin Mason will meet Tucker, and Romero will face Mook in the 138-pound semis. Timberwolves coach Doug Mason said Austin was “sluggish” in a 5-4 decision over Kyler Guether of Del Campo before “he really turned it on” in an 18-3 technical fall over Michael Anderson of Kennedy.

Woodcreek sophomore James Gomez moved into the semis at 106 with a bye and a pin.

“James Gomez just dominated his guy,” Doug Mason said. “He just was really moving well.”

Gomez’s semifinal foe, Michael Cole of Rocklin, pinned Stephen Gabriel of McClatchy and Zack Tweedy of Bella Vista.

Woodcreek freshman 113-pounder Cameron Young scored an impressive 9-7 victory over Aaron Asbury of Christian Brothers and will face Sawyer Mosel of Nevada Union in a rematch of last week’s Sierra Foothill League tournament, won by Young. Ruybal will meet Robert Ferry of Roseville in the other semi. Ferry won by decision and pin Friday.

Woodcreek will have another freshman in a rematch, as 285-pounder Dominic Balmer faces Del Oro’s Saul Meneses. Balmer beat Meneses 7-4 in their SFL dual meet but is still getting back into shape, according to Mason, after missing two weeks because of an illness.

“It will be interesting,” Mason said.

Sam Woods of Rocklin will face Manasey Hingano of Rio Linda in the other 285-pound semi.

Also in the semis for Rocklin are Shane Keefe (145) and Skyler Gonzales (160).
Blank could face Roseville’s Ryan Fratto for the 220-pound title. Blank advanced on forfeits and will tangle with Jake Minshew of Casa Roble today. Fratto pinned Zach Sidhu of Oakmont at 1:59 to advance to a semi against Reggie Johnson of Florin.

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.