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Bulldogs drop to 0-2 in league standings
Ceres High School's varsity wrestling team placed second in the Valley Oak League last year.

Los Banos won the Central California Conference championship a season ago.

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, the Bulldogs and Tigers faced off as newest members of the Western Athletic Conference.

Ceres High lost 52-15 to heavily-favored Los Banos at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"Every kid except for one had at least one positive in their match," Bulldogs head coach Jon Nowicki said while assessing his team's performance. "We just needed to work a little harder. We definitely need to get in better shape."

Ceres High dropped to 4-4 on the year and 0-2 in the WAC standings.

The Tigers moved to 2-1 and 2-0.

The Bulldogs won just three of 14 bouts against Los Banos.

Ceres High sustained several narrow losses, including two by one point and one by two points.

"We had a lot of competitive matches," Nowicki said.

Gabe Balderas, Wesley Schwieger and Nick Moran all picked up individual wins for the Bulldogs.

Balderas' second-round pin (3:04) of Andrew Cintora in the 112-pound division gave Ceres High a 6-3 lead.

The Bulldogs grabbed their second and final lead (12-9) of the dual meet when 125-pound Schwieger pinned Gabe Mendoza in the third round (4:34).

The Tigers took control with four straight victories.

Moran's 6-1 triumph over Eddy Madriz at 152 pounds cut the deficit to 30-15.

Los Banos dashed Ceres High's comeback hopes with five consecutive wins.

Ceres High's Bradley Bruton, Anthony Cleveland and Andrew Cefre did well in defeat.

Bruton lost 11-9 in overtime to Manuel Silva at 160 pounds.

Bradley led 6-4 at the end of the second round.

Bruton forced overtime with an escape in the closing 30 seconds of the final round.

Silva scored on a takedown in the extra period.

Bradley was exhausted afterwards. He had to cut four pounds earlier in the day. Bruton ate two peanut butter sandwiches after weighing in.

"He did a great job staying competitive in the match," Nowicki said. "He should have won. This is his first year wrestling. He'll learn."

Cleveland lost 4-3 to Peter Rodriguez at 189 pounds. The match was tied 2-2 heading into the final round.

"He (Anthony) kept it close," Nowicki said. "He surprised me."

Cefre lost 3-2 to James Robledo at 140 pounds.

Joey Bettencourt, Brandon Christeson, Gabriel Solis, Erick Garcia, Raj Singh, Nick Serratos, Ruben Sanchez and Victor Cruz rounded out the Bulldogs' starting lineup.

Bettencourt lost by decision (5-2) to Riko Quintana at 103 pounds.

Christeson lost by pin in the first round (0:27) to Kendal Klette at 119 pounds.

Solis lost by pin in the second round (3:03) to Jimmy Felix at 130 pounds.

Garcia lost by pin in the third round (4:22) to Mabel Flores at 135 pounds.

Singh lost by pin in the third round (4:37) to Jorge Munoz at 145 pounds.

Serratos lost by major decision (12-1) to Avi Sangha at 171 pounds.

Sanchez lost by pin in the second round (2:49) to Daniel Burkart at 215 pounds.

Cruz lost by pin in the second round (3:25) to Andres Quintero at 285 pounds.