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CHS wins pair of matches, inches closer to berth to sections team duals
Dawgs improve to 4-1 in WAC standings
Bulldog senior Abel Morales won both of his WAC dual matches and finished in eighth place at Pitmans Rumble in the Jungle Tournament this past week. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity wrestling team improved to 9-3 on the year and 4-1 in the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet standings after beating Los Banos and El Capitan this past week.

The Bulldogs couldn't afford to lose either match.

"If we beat Livingston on Wednesday, we'll qualify for team sections," Ceres High head coach Steve Festa said. "We haven't done that in a while."

Ceres High spoiled Los Banos' Senior Night with a thrilling 33-31 win on Jan. 27.

The Tigers battled back from an 11-point deficit before falling to the Bulldogs.

"We haven't had much success against Los Banos the past two years," Festa said. "They have a good program and coach."

Diego Diaz helped propel Ceres High past Los Banos despite losing his match at 170 pounds.

Diaz lost by decision (6-4) to Paul Reyes. Reyes was awarded three points for the win.

"Diego fought off his back," Festa said. "He didn't give up the pin. He secured the victory."

Freshman Spencer Nelson trailed 4-2 prior to winning by pin (3:22) over senior Dalton Brooks at 160 pounds. Nelson gave the Bulldogs a 33-28 lead heading into the last match of the night.

Down 24-28 in team scoring, John Alba won by decision (6-5) over Fernando Mendoza at 152 pounds to cut the deficit to one point.

Abel Morales won by pin (0:58) over Joey Perry at 220 pounds.

Rudy Gonzales won by forfeit at 285 pounds.

Tyler Fleming won by pin (0:53) over Devin Vaca at 106 pounds.

Luis Camarillo won by pin (0:54) over Chris Kyles at 120 pounds.

Daniel McElwain lost by pin (0:53) to Josh Strauss at 182 pounds.

Conner Johnson lost by major decision (11-0) to Daniel Fernandez at 197 pounds.

Brian Becerra lost by decision (8-3) to Christian McEntire at 113 pounds.

Aaron Page lost by decision (6-4) to Max Pugh at 126 pounds.

Brandon Ramirez lost by pin (2:52) to Victory Leal at 134 pounds.

Aiden Moore lost by decision (10-4) to Isaiah Jimenez at 138 pounds.

Daniel Raya lost by decision (4-2) to Josh Bustamante at 145 pounds.

Ceres High defeated El Capitan 52-18 on Wednesday in Merced.

The Gauchos dropped to 8-4 overall and 2-3 in the WAC.

"We carried the momentum over to that night," Festa said.

CHS 11th at Pitman
Ceres High placed 11th in a field of 39 with a team score of 65 at Pitman High School's Rumble in the Jungle XI on Saturday in Turlock.

"It was a tough tournament," Festa said. "We got a little beat up."

Gonzales finished in sixth place in the 220-pound division.

Becerra (113s), Alba (152s) and Morales (195s) all took eighth in their respective weight classes.

Ceres High will host Livingston on Senior Night today at 7 p.m.