No 'Royalty' in loss
By Dave Shelburne, Staff Writer
FONTANA - Antelope Valley stretched its best-ever wrestling season into the
Southern Section Div. V Dual Meet championship match Saturday, but the Antelopes
were no match for another area program that was extending its own school-record
Royal of Simi Valley defeated the Antelopes 44-21 to win a second consecutive Div. V title in the 16-team single-elimination tournament held at Kaiser High.
"They come to compete as a team, always," Royal coach Richard Carrillo said. "We have have our standout individuals, but when it comes to the team, those kids will live and die for the team always."
Unlike last year's drama, when Royal closed with three consecutive pins to pull off a comeback for its first section championship, the Highlanders led almost all the way against Antelope Valley.
After surrendering an opening decision to the Antelopes' Myron Castro at 160 pounds, Royal reeled off five consecutive victories to build a 23-2 lead.
Another A.V. win - by 112-pounder Matt Najara - was followed by four more consecutive wins by Royal, the third of those clinching the title with four weight classes remaining.
Jason Hambel provided the championship clincher with a decision at 130, and Mike Dicato (171), Chad Davidson (189), Miguel Rivera (215), Tim Brown (275) and Gerald Figueroa (103) combined for the early pace-setting streak by the Highlanders, who finished the season 11-1.
Kevin Dunn (119), Mike Dumele (125), Hambel and Daniel Lemos (135) combined on the second streak for Royal, before the Antelopes closed out the match with consecutive wins by Eric Timson (140), Tim Javines (145) and Justin Marks (152). Antelope Valley (16-4) was making its first appearance in a section Dual Meet final after winning its first Golden League championship since 1987.
"We went past my expectations," said Antelopes senior captain Timson, who won four matches Saturday to improve to 34-3, "At the beginning of the season, I wasn't even thinking league champs, because we had like half the team we have now."
They did so with a big assist from 145-pounder Tim Javines, whose major decision in the final weight class of the semifinals gave the No. 3-seeded Antelopes a 36-35 comeback victory over No. 2-seeded Cajon of San Bernardino, which took a 13-0 record into the match and a 35-32 lead into the last bout.
"I knew that I had to win so we could get to the finals," said Javines, who has gone 34-6 as a senior.
"He's been wrestling with a bum shoulder," Timson said, and he put a lot of heart in all his matches. He knew what he had to do and he did it."
Highland, the three-time defending champion the Antelopes knocked off to complete their undefeated league season, wound up Royal's toughest opponent of the Highlanders' 4-0 day at Kaiser.
The Bulldogs, trailing 28-15 with four matches to play, rallied with a major decision by Josh Purpus (125) and a pin by Paul Petros (130) before before Daniel Lemos of Royal provided the victory-clinching pin at 135 in what wound up a 34-30 Highlanders victory.
"I wasn't nervous at all," said Lemos. I just knew I had to get the job done. When it comes to CIF, you just gotta go."
Royal defeated Azusa 67-0, Highland and Morro Bay 45-24 on its way to the title match. Antelope Valley got past Nipomo 39-26, Magnolia 40-29 and Cajon in its march to the final.
Marmonte League runner-up Thousand Oaks defeated Sierra Vista 52-15 before losing to Cajon in the quarterfianals 57-14.