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Tapia pins down victory for Santa Ana
SANTA ANA – Emilio Tapia saved his best for late in the third period of his 195-pound match for the No.5 Santa Ana wrestling team.
Tapia trailed Duncan Carlton, 8-2, in the third period. He managed to take Carlton down, turn him, and secured the pin at 5:56 of their match.
His victory helped the Saints hold off No. 8 Los Alamitos, 32-29, in a nonleague dual Thursday night.
"I never stopped fighting," Tapia said. "I said I was going to win, and I did. I was tired. He was tired, but I fought it all the way.
"I threw the half, ran it over and pinned him."
This is his first year on varsity, last year he wrestled on the frosh/soph level.
"My opponents are bigger and stronger this year," he said.
Tapia's pin gave the Saints a 32-20 lead with two matches remaining.
"That match was all about conditioning and a little bit of heart," Santa Ana coach Scott Glabb said of Tapia. "He has the heart. He doesn't give up. That kid might have been a little bit better than him technically, but it came down to conditioning and heart in that match."
Los Alamitos won the last two matches, Mason Kumashiro at 220 and Alex Redmond at heavyweight. But only Redmond's came by pin.
"They bumped their good kid (Kumashiro) up from 195 to 220s, and Anthony (Frias) took second at Westminster (last week), so I figured that one could go either way," Glabb said. "I knew we had to get through that match to win it.
"The Tapia pin was the key, right there."
Kumashiro defeated Frias, 12-10.
The dual started at 106 pounds with the Saints running off five consecutive victories to build a 20-0 lead. Sammy Sanchez, the county's top-ranked wrestler at 113, gave the Saints five points with technical-fall victory.
Also, Angel Mendez had an overtime victory at 132 for Santa Ana.
Starting at 138, Los Alamitos ran off a streak of four consecutive victories, cutting the deficit to 20-16. Jude Garate (138), Dicky Brown (145) and Ryan Spradlin (152) won their matches by decisions, and Max Bernbeck followed with a pin.
Santa Ana's Jose Salas (170) stopped that run with a pin, but Max Kumashiro's major decision victory at 182 moved the Griffins back into striking distance, 26-20, setting the stage for Tapia's pin for the Saints at 195.