By RICHARD J. MARCUS
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
PETALUMA — There was drama until the final second in Wednesday night’s NBL dual wrestling meet between Maria Carrillo and Casa Grande at the Petaluma National Guard Armory.
The Gauchos (0-2), playing in their new adopted gym for the first time, hosted a full house of spectators who witnessed plenty of entertaining wrestling. The meet came down to the final match (120 pounds), squeaked out by Maria Carrillo’s Jose Delgado, 10-8, over Casa Grande’s Ian Bailey. Delgado’s win gave the Pumas a 39-37 meet victory.
“He (Delgado) got the takedown (for the final two points). It’s tough, he had to step in the hole and hold on,” Maria Carrillo (1-1) coach Tim Bruce said. “Jose wrestled really well. That match was a toss-up and could have gone either way.”
Bailey almost pinned Delgado with 10 seconds to go in the second period but Delgado wiggled out of the hold just as the period ended. Bailey led 8-7 after two periods but a surging Delgado scored three points in the third period to give the Pumas the meet victory.
“Their kid (Delgado) was being more aggressive (in the third period), and he wanted it more,” Casa Grande coach Louis Chavez said. “Ian didn’t seem to be executing his moves; it’s frustrating because I know what he can do.”
Each team won seven individual matches on the night. Casa Grande won the 113-pound match via forfeit and Maria Carrillo won the 285-pound match by forfeit.
A key turning point in the meet was the in the 220-pound division, the 10th match of the night. With Casa Grande holding a 25-24 lead, Maria Carrillo’s Montana Pawek pinned Casa Grande’s Jacob Jefferies 20 seconds into the match to give the Pumas a 30-25 lead.
“Montana at 220 pounds came through with a great pin and really helped us out,” Bruce said. “He came through for us.”
Another big match was in the 182-pound division featuring two highly regarded wrestlers. The Gauchos Sean O’Brien, a ranked North Coast Section competitor, defeated Maria Carrillo’s Jacob Groesbeck, 6-2.
“I can usually count on O’Brien winning,” Chavez said. “We are a young team so this is a learning process.”
Bruce said three of his four top wrestlers won their matches and that paved the way for the win. The three were Delgado, Evan Bluestone (126 pounds) and Ramon Contreras (170 pounds).
Even though Casa Grande lost its inaugural meet at its new home gym, Chavez said he was happy with the facility and looked forward to many future meets in the building.
“This is going to be a tremendous place (for meets),” Chavez said.
“There is room here and good support from the Armory.