Marina wins close one, forces Los Alamitos to share title


HUNTINGTON BEACH - All 14 of the night’s wrestling matches had been completed, but the winner of Marina vs. Los Alamitos still needed to be decided.

With the final score tied, 33-33, after a heavyweight forfeit victory for Los Alamitos’ Marquis Sablo, the teams had to follow the tiebreaking criteria.

It ultimately came down to Part E of the criteria for tiebreakers, which says “the team having accumulated the greater number of total falls, defaults, forfeits and disqualifications shall be declared the winner.”

Marina had four victories by fall. Los Alamitos had two forfeits and one fall, giving Marina the tiebreaker edge, 4-3, in the Sunset League dual.

“They said after our loss to Newport Harbor that they wanted to beat Los Al,” Marina coach Chris Rasmussen said of the team’s wrestlers. “I’m very proud of them.

“Team-wise, it has been a difficult season, but we’ve pulled together and we’re wrestling better than we have all year right now, getting ready for league finals.”

The Griffins, who were looking to cap a perfect dual season in league, trailed, 33-20, with three matches remaining.

Ethan Bakker (195) won by major decision, and Cullen Murray won at 220 pounds, 4-1. Sablo then received six points for the forfeit at heavyweight to tie the match.

Los Alamitos ends the league dual season as co-champions with Fountain Valley.

“I think it got to their heads a little bit,” Los Alamitos coach Kenny Torres said of being unbeaten in league going into Monday’s match. “I told them Marina was coming after them. I’m not sure they quite understood that. This will be a good learning experience.

“I knew it was going to be close. I thought it would come down to first points. All credit to Marina, they came out and wrestled us hard.”

The dual started at 106 pounds, and Marina won the first three matches, including two by fall (Derek Nguyen, 106, and Joshua Herrera, 113). TC Mizukami had a decision victory to give Marina a 15-0 lead.

Los Alamitos took its only lead, 20-18, when Derek Thome (154) had a 15-3 major decision victory.

Peter McCoy (160), Christian Keys (170) and Michael Ferrari (182) responded with victories for the Marina. McCoy and Ferrari won by fall for a 33-20 lead, setting the stage for the wild ending.

“This is a good win,” Rasmussen said. “It is very difficult to beat Los Alamitos. Kenny (Torres) is a great coach, and they always have a great program. It is not often that we’ve beaten Los Alamitos, and if it has to come down to the (tiebreaking) criteria, we’re happy to do that.”

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