Grizzlies pin down Lynch wrestling title
Shane Saylor stepped onto a wrestling mat Wednesday at Granite Bay High School knowing he needed a pin.
His Granite Bay team trailed Golden Valley of Merced by four points in the final of the 14th annual Mike Lynch Grizzly Invitational. The intensity for the championship dual meet was burning nearly out of control, fanned by overtime matches, a coach’s misconduct that cost Golden Valley a point and two teams suddenly locked in a back-and-forth dual meet after dominating four opponents in pool play and the semifinals.
But Saylor stayed calm. The junior 112-pounder pinned Raymond Lopez 58 seconds into the third period to give Granite Bay the lead again, sophomore 119-pounder Sean Brown followed with a tying reversal at the end of regulation and a takedown early in overtime for a victory, and the Grizzlies hung on to edge the Cougars 29-27.
“I knew we were down a little bit, and I knew I had to get the pin to win it, and so … went out there and did it,” Saylor said. “No better feeling. They’re very good.”
Brown said his 13-11 win over Blaze Fidler felt “almost like winning a state championship.” His was the second overtime match in the final, and he was the third Granite Bay wrestler to come back late to win.
“That felt even better to beat a team that was ranked higher than us, and they were a cocky team,” he said. “We beat them by wrestling and not the talk.”
The day took an emotional toll on Grizzlies coach Shane Dixon, who shuttled back and forth between running the tournament, his team and announcing scores and schedules between matches.
“They’re a great team. We’re happy to be in the same league with them,” he said of Golden Valley. “I’m really proud of all the guys.”
Dixon even found time to strategize with his staff during the final, keeping unbeaten Adam Wagner at 152 pounds after he wrestled up all day and choosing to forfeit at 171 so the Grizzlies could match Golden Valley strength for strength.
Ian Mook’s 3-1 overtime decision over Michael Alonzo at 135 was followed by Phil Vogley’s 10-9 victory over Sal Guizar at 140. Vogley trailed 7-0, but he came back to tie and scored a reversal with maybe a second to spare for the win. Tack on a point for coach’s misconduct, and Granite Bay had an 11 to minus-1 lead.
Wagner shut out Daniel Gonzalez 7-0, and Adam Godbey made it 20-2 when he escaped a near-fall situation and scored a pin over Markus Davis 1:29 into the second period at 160. Wagner was 4-0 on the day, and Godbey was 5-0 with four pins. Saylor and 130-pounder Andrew Broadland also went undefeated. Broadland began the final with an 18-2 technical-fall win over Julian Terry.
The forfeit began a string of five wins for Golden Valley, which took a 24-20 lead that could have been more. Granite Bay sophomore 215-pounder Kevin Blank avoided a pin and ended up losing a 13-9 decision to Will Sanchez.
“Several of our guys fought out of near-pin situations,” Dixon said. “Giving them six we had to save every point we could.”
Dixon attributed the growth to three practices last week that weren’t required “but heavily requested.” He said there were about 30 varsity and JV wrestlers in the room each day – extensive workouts that included conditioning, weights, technique and rounds.
“We’ve been working so hard,” he said. “We’re asking a lot from them, and they’re stepping up to the plate. And we’re seeing the rewards – those kinds of matches when they come out in overtime or they get themselves out of a tough situation where they might give up, hurt, get a win or save us three points.”
Bill Poindexter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIKE LYNCH GRIZZLY INVITATIONAL
Pool A: Golden Valley 66, Pleasant Grove 10; Lincoln 49, Roseville 25; Golden Valley 56, Lincoln 6; Roseville 36, Pleasant Grove 34; Golden Valley 62, Roseville 12; Lincoln 42, Pleasant Grove 26.
Pool B: Center 45, Atwater 30; Granite Bay 60, Sheldon 15; Sheldon 39, Atwater 35; Granite Bay 71, Center 3; Granite Bay 58, Atwater 15; Sheldon 36, Center 35.
Semifinals: Golden Valley 57, Sheldon 9; Granite Bay 62, Lincoln 10.
Third place: Lincoln 60, Sheldon 11.
Championship: Granite Bay 29, Golden Valley 27.
Other scores: Roseville 40, Atwater 28; Pleasant Grove 46, Center 27.