Quartz Hill, Lo­bos meet in league show­down

Quartz Hill tops Lit­tle­rock, still un­beaten in GL

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By ALAN HENDRY Val­ley Press Staff Writer

LIT­TLE­ROCK — The Quartz Hill wrestling team rose to the chal­lenge of com­pet­ing for the Golden League ti­tle at Lit­tle­rock High on Wed­nes­day.

Quartz Hill and Lit­tle­rock were both un­de­feated and tied for first place, but the Rebels dom­i­nated the match, win­ning the first eight weight classes en route to a 55-16 victory over Lit­tle­rock.

The Rebels (6-0) clinch at least a share of the Golden League ti­tle with one match re­main­ing in the reg­u­lar sea­son. Quartz Hill, the de­fend­ing league cham­pion, will host High­land on Wed­nes­day and Lit­tle­rock (5-1) hosts Knight.

“We al­ways like to bounce on our lead as soon as we can, es­pe­cially this one. This was for the league ti­tle, so it was very im­por­tant to us,” said Quartz Hill se­nior Austin Shafer, a four-year var­sity wrestler. “We were very fired up and en­er­gized. It’s re­ally just wrestling smart. Not giv­ing up stupid mis­takes. Al­ways look for what you know, like cer­tain take­downs. What­ever you know how to do and is al­most a guar­an­tee of points, to give you that lead.”

Shafer started the match strong for the Rebels, scor­ing a first-pe­riod pin at 160 pounds.

Quartz Hill won 11 of the 14 weight classes and scored the first take­down in 12 of the matches.

“It’s good to know, be­cause it jumps our lead ahead and al­most guar­an­tees us our 28th league ti­tle,” Shafer said. “It’s al­ways nice to put another one un­der the belt. To win the dual, es­sen­tially you need seven pins and one win, be­cause there are 14 matches and a pin is the most amount of points you can get. With seven pins that puts you half­way, but they can still bounce back. With that eighth win that just sets you ahead and locks you in.

“It’s keep­ing your mind on the prize and know­ing what your goal is and think­ing that you’re wrestling for the team in­stead of for your­self. Be­cause you just want to get your team as many points as you pos­si­ble can and not get pinned.”

Quartz Hill’s Jae-Le John­son fol­lowed Shafer with a 17-0 win at 170 pounds, against Lit­tle­rock ju­nior Stan Arevalo, who had to wres­tle with a face mask be­cause of a bro­ken nose.

“A lit­tle credit to him, try­ing to wres­tle with a face mask and a bro­ken nose lim­its your mobility and your eye sight,” said Lit­tle­rock coach Mike DeVestern. “You’re out of your comfort zone. I’ve tried

wrestling with head gear one time with a hurt nose and I couldn’t take shots. I couldn’t do any­thing. It’s real hard to wres­tle. It might have been dif­fer­ent.”

Eli­jah Gut­man then had a 6-2 win over Lit­tle­rock’s Nick Moya at 182 pounds. Gut­man had a 5-0 lead in the sec­ond pe­riod.

Max­imus Mal­don­ado fol­lowed with a first-pe­riod pin at 192 pounds.

Alex Gil de La­madrid also had a first-pe­riod pin, at 220 pounds for the Rebels.

Luke Lam­barth won a 9-1 de­ci­sion at heavy­weight, against Lit­tle­rock’s Isa­iah Flores.

Quartz Hill ju­nior Zachary Burgdorf scored a sec­ond-pe­riod pin at 106 pounds.

“I feel like I wres­tled strong. I could have done bet­ter on my picks, but other than that it was a good match,” said Burgdorf, a third-year var­sity wrestler. “It feels re­ally good. I feel like we were a lit­tle be­hind in some places, but to­gether we did great. I think we just want to get here, get a win and get out. It means that we won league. It feels pretty good walk­ing out with such a high score.”

Pey­ton McCanna had a 13-0 victory at 113 pounds, giv­ing the Rebels their eighth con­sec­u­tive victory to start the match and a 40-0 lead against Lit­tle­rock.

“Our team tends to rise to the oc­ca­sion re­ally well,” Quartz Hill as­sis­tant coach Saad Ul-Has­san said. “They han­dle ad­ver­sity well. We knew Lit­tle­rock is al­ways a tough team and they were go­ing to come out and wres­tle us hard. We just had to match that in­ten­sity.

“We started off the dual with one of our cap­tains, so that got us a lot of mo­men­tum mov­ing for­ward. A lot of time in dual matches, you keep that mo­men­tum, you keep car­ry­ing it. You keep that en­ergy and it makes big vic­to­ries.”

Lit­tle­rock se­nior Johnathan Bartlett scored the first victory for the Lo­bos, a first-pe­riod pin at 120 pounds.

“They out­wres­tled us,” DeVestern said. “They were the way bet­ter team tonight. We wres­tled real flat, re­ally flat. Flat on our backs ac­tu­ally. Three of my guys I thought were go­ing to pull out the wins came up short. Two of them got pinned and one lost.”

But Quartz Hill’s Tris­ten Mitchell fol­lowed with a 7-3 win over Lit­tle­rock se­nior Adrian Castillo at 126 pounds.

Lit­tle­rock’s Auther Capis­tran won a 13-2 de­ci­sion at 132 pounds, jump­ing out to an early 5-0 lead and cut­ting the Rebels’ over­all lead to 43-10.

Lit­tle­rock se­nior Dustin Luis Vasquez fol­lowed with a sec­ond-pe­riod pin at 138 pounds, in a match against Quartz Hill’s Jonah Eric­son that was tied 5-5.

The Rebels capped the match with two third-pe­riod pins.

Itai Hod-Tuszyn­ski had a 12-4 lead in his 145-pound match be­fore scor­ing a third-pe­riod pin.

Ma­son Fiala had a 7-0 lead at 152 pounds be­fore his pin in the third pe­riod.

“It’s a lit­tle bit­ter­sweet for me ac­tu­ally, be­cause the Lit­tle­rock kids, I work with a lot of them over the off­sea­son too, so they’re just as much my kids as the Quartz Hill guys, so it’s like a lit­tle fam­ily scuf­fle,” said Ul-Has­san, who was fill­ing in for head coach Ron Cole­man.

The Lo­bos are try­ing to win their sec­ond league ti­tle. Lit­tle­rock won the Golden League ti­tle in 2002.

“It’s up to High­land to knock off Quartz Hill next week, if they can do that it would be a three-way tie,” DeVestern said. “I’m re­ally dis­ap­pointed. I’d rather get eighth place than get sec­ond place. You train so hard. You don’t train to lose, you train to win and that’s dis­ap­point­ing.”

DeVestern said the Lo­bos have five fresh­men in his start­ing lineup.

“We did re­ally well for 19 kids on the team, re­ally well,” DeVestern said. “We pro­duce a lot of good stuff with the amount of peo­ple we have.”

ME­GAN WIDICK/Spe­cial to the Val­ley Press

TAK­ING A RIDE — Quartz Hill’s Max­imus Mal­don­ado, kneel­ing, swings around Lit­tle­rock’s An­to­nio Aguilar dur­ing the 192-pound match at Lit­tle­rock High on Wed­nes­day. Mal­don­ado was vic­to­ri­ous and the Rebels won the over­all match.

ME­GAN WIDICK Spe­cial to the Val­ley Press

FLIPPED Lit­tle­rock’s Stan Arevalo, back, tries to flip Quartz Hill’s Jae-Le John­son dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s Golden League match at 170 pounds. John­son won 17-0 and the Rebels won the over­all match.

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