Oakmont’s Elliott evens score with Del Oro’s Branum
Jake Elliott avenged his only loss this season. Two days from now, Austin Branum just may get a return shot of his own.
Elliott, Oakmont High School’s state champion, joined Woodcreek 106-pounder James Gomez and Granite Bay 138-pounder Ian Mook as local individual winners at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II wrestling tournament Saturday at Del Oro.
Elliott defeated Branum, of team-champion Del Oro, 8-5 in the 152-pound final.
Elliott was coming off an injury when Branum beat him 4-3 in the Tim Brown Memorial final a month ago in Sacramento, using a reversal in the final seconds for the victory. Branum entered the rematch ranked No. 2 in the state at 152 pounds, according to www.thecaliforniawrestler.com. Elliott was ranked No. 3.
Branum drew first blood with a takedown in the first period, but Elliott escaped and recorded the next three takedowns. He secured the win with another takedown in the final seconds.
“It was down to the wire,” Oakmont coach Dave Wells said.
“I’m disappointed, but this gives me motivation because I know I’ll see him again (this) week,” Branum said. “I like seeing him early (in the postseason). I can talk to my coaches and come up with a game plan to shut him down next time.”
Elliott was one of six Oakmont wrestlers to qualify for the section Masters meet Thursday and Friday at Stockton Arena. While Wells was excited about Kaleio Romero’s third-place finish at 138 pounds — and the Vikings’ fifth-place team finish — the weekend ended on a down note when Peter Santos sprained an ankle while leading Dylan Kainrath of Del Oro 4-0 in the 170-pound title match.
“It’s the last match of the weekend, so let’s get this done and head on to Masters,” Wells recalled thinking before Santos pivoted wrong during a tie-up with Kainrath.
Wells said Santos initially couldn’t put weight on the foot but was walking by Monday.
“He lives to fight another day at least,” Wells said. “It’s nice to be on the scoreboard. We did well as a group.”
So did the other area teams. Granite Bay finished third behind Del Oro and Bella Vista and qualified nine for Masters. Woodcreek qualified six and Roseville five.
Gomez, a sophomore, successfully defended his Division II championship with a first-round pin of Valley’s Syria Rhodes in the final.
“It was pretty convincing,” Timberwolves coach Doug Mason said. “He really wasn’t challenged, which this week, he will be. He’s just peaking and wrestling really well right now.”
Woodcreek freshman Cameron Young continued to impress with a second-place finish to Del Oro freshman Zach Ruybal at 113. Young defeated Aaron Asbury of Christian Brothers 9-7 on Friday and then defeated Nevada Union’s tough Sawyer Mosel for the second time in a row in a rematch of the Sierra Foothill League tournament final.
Woodcreek senior Austin Mason lost to Bella Vista’s Shayne Tucker 6-4 in the semifinals. Doug Mason said Austin Mason had the state’s top-ranked 138-pounder on his back at one point but couldn’t keep him there. Tucker wrestled with an ailing knee and went on to lose the title match to Mook on an injury default.
“Tucker wasn’t 100 percent, but (Austin Mason) still wrestled well,” Doug Mason said.
Austin Mason and freshman heavyweight Dominic Balmer placed fourth. Finishing sixth for Woodcreek were Michael Contini (145) and Andrew Zumaran (160).
While Doug Mason said the Timberwolves “didn’t have a great second day”
following a strong Friday, Granite Bay coach Robert Cooley said it was the other way around for the Grizzlies.
“After the second, third round, we brought things back together,” Cooley said. “By the time we stepped out of there, we were pretty happy with our performance.”
Mook started with a 14-1 major decision over Tyler Babb of Casa Roble and defeated Romero in the semifinals.
“Gotta give Ian Mook kudos,” Cooley said. “He’s a senior and got a first place in his division.”
Shane Saylor placed second at 126 for Granite Bay. Adam Wagner rebounded from a loss to Elliott on Friday to place third at 152 with a 5-1 record, Sean Brown won three of four matches to take third at 120, Connor Guzman overcame an early loss to go 4-1 and place third at 182, and freshman Cameron Smith was third at 195.
Daniel Flinders (132) and Matt Berry (145) each were fifth, and Kevin Blank (220) was sixth.
Leading the way for Roseville were fourth-place finishers Logan Runner (106) and Austin Finerty (170). Runner won four of his six matches, and Finerty was 3-2.
Placing fifth for the Tigers were Robert Ferry (113), Austin Ash (160) and Ryan Fratto (220). Ash also was 4-2.
Justin A. Lawson of Gold Country News Service contributed to this report.
SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION MASTERS MEET
When: Thursday and Friday. Matches start at 9 a.m. each day.
Where: Stockton Arena