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February 17, 2010 > Logan wrestlers win MVAL

Logan wrestlers win MVAL

By Gary van den Heuvel
Photos By Mike Heightchew

Days after wrapping up the Mission Valley Athletic League title, the James Logan High School wrestling team had to settle for a second place finish at the North Coast Section Division I team duals championship at Dougherty Valley on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Following dominating wins over San Leandro High (by a score of 58-9) in the quarterfinals and Antioch High (41-29) in the semis, Logan fell too far behind eventual champion De La Salle to make up the deficit before falling 37-33 in the finals.

De La Salle clinched its victory in the 12th match when Tommy Baldacci (140-pound division) beat Logan's Sarbuit Sepla, 9-2.

Individual winners for Logan against De La Salle were Kaliftani Pole (285-pound division, by pin), Matt Haney (189 pounds), Alan Chan (152 pounds, by pin), Tony Bennett (145 pounds), Nolan Kajiwara (135, by pin), Danny Mai (130 pounds) and Artemio Flores (103 pounds).

Two days before the NCS team duals, Logan completed its sweep of the MVAL, dominating Newark Memorial, 61-11, to run the table with a 6-0 league record. Colt winners against the Cougars were Flores (by pin), Godoy, Diego Facundo (by pin), Mai, Santiago (by pin), Haney and Pole (by pin). Five other matches were Newark forfeits.

The loss was Newark's second league defeat and dropped the Cougars to third place at season's end. 152-pound undefeated super-sophomore Victor Pereira was one of two Newark winners against Logan; Jon Pratt (145 pounds) was the other.

Mission San Jose locked up second place with a season-ending 54-21 win over the visiting Kennedy Titans (February 10) on "Senior Night," the last time that graduating Warriors Benson Zhang, Nathan Ellebracht, David Wilson and Elliot Espinoza would compete in their home gym.

Against Kennedy, Mission freshman Vinny Pathania (105 pounds) competed in his first varsity match and won by pin fall in 40 seconds. Wei Kuo (132) was dominant, earning a 19-3 technical-fall win. Zannain Shafi (137), Leo Yang (142), Wilson (154) and Michael Lee (162) pulled off consecutive pin-fall victories. Ellebracht was unable to compete in his last home match, settling instead for a forfeit win. Espinoza (191) and Corbin Lee (114) also won their matches. Kennedy individual winners were Isaiah Cortez (127 pounds) and Gabe Rodriguez (121).

Mission's second-place finish (5-1 in the MVAL) qualified them for the NCS duals, and they opened with a 45-24 win over Foothill, who accumulated 18 of its points on Mission forfeits. Wilson, Zhang, Yang, Michael Lee and Will Booth were impressive in victories. The Warriors came a cropper in the quarterfinals, a 56-15 loss to East Bay Athletic League champ De La Salle. Kuo and Corbin Lee (both by pin falls), and David Wilson were Mission's only winners against the Spartans. In the consolation match, the Warriors gave up 18 points in forfeits in a 43-36 loss to Hayward Area Athletic League champion Castro Valley.

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