ARROYO GRANDE — The Paso Robles Bearcats wrestling team fell to 1- 2 in the Mountain League Tuesday night when the lost their dual match to the Arroyo Grande Eagles, 51-27.
The Bearcats wrestled hard and won four matches but also had to forfeit three weight classes putting them at a big disadvantage in the points total.
Paso Robles was also coming off a showing at the California Invitational Tournament at Morro Bay where they placed 27th out of more than 70 schools with 160-pound wrestler Nathan Garcia leading the way with a third-place finish in his weight class.
Tuesday night's match started off with a win as Bearcats freshman Joseph Marmolejo won his match 15-2. The young wiry wrestler was in control of the match the entire time but just couldn’t find the pin combination that worked to get the two extra points.
“I felt like I was doing pretty good,” Marmolejo said. “I wanted to get the pin so I could get the team points but I wasn’t able to because he was up in a ball.”
The Bearcats’ next victory on the mat came from another freshman, this time 128-pounder Peyton Kilber who wrestled the match of the night.
Much like Marmolejo, Kilber was in control from the second it began, tossing his opponent around the mat as he looked for
As the clock ticked down in the final round it seemed as if Arroyo Grande’s Nate Casey would outlast Kilber and only allow him four points but with 10 seconds to go Kilber got him on his back once more and recorded the pin with just 4 seconds remaining in the match to give the Bearcats six big points.
“It was pretty hard but I feel like he was just, I don’t really know,” Kilber said, “bridging really good and was just strong.”
PRHS junior Porter Tanner came into the night ready for redemption from the C.I.T. tournament where he wrestled the number 1 ranked 132-pound wrestler in the state, who also happens to be his cousin, Henry Tanner.
“The CIT, I went in a little too cocky, being ranked in state kind of got to my head,” Tanner said. “I made it to the quarterfinals and then went against Henry Porter, who is ranked number 1 in the state and it was an upsetting match. I ended up losing and I have never lost that bad before and it just kind of destroyed my whole tournament and I didn’t even wrestle in my next match.”
Tanner came out ready to take his frustrations out on Arroyo Grande and almost recorded a pin in the first 5 seconds of his match after tossing his opponent to the ground with ease. As was the case with Kilber’s match the referee was hesitant to call a pin for the Bearcats even as Tanner contorted his body all around his defender as he tried to survive the onslaught.
“When I threw him and the ref wasn’t counting my pin it was kind of weird because throughout the match they were calling our pins super fast and I’m out there and get him on his back and no pin,” Tanner said. “So I worked something else and got him on his back again and still no pin and I was kind of getting annoyed and looked at my coaches because they weren’t counting any of our pins. Once I finally got it I was kind of relieved in a way.”
Tanner is undefeated in league and is currently ranked number 36 in the state.
Senior Garcia did not get the chance to touch the mat on Tuesday night as the Eagles forfeited the 162-pound weight class but did put together the strongest performance of any Bearcat at the C.I.T. finishing third in his weight class. Garcia’s lone loss in the tournament came in the semifinals at the hands of Will Kloster of Lemoore who is currently ranked fifth in the state.
“It was a good match,” Garcia said of his match with Kloster. “I felt that I was better on my feet, he couldn’t take me down, but I got a few of them. But he ended up getting on top and that’s where I lost control of the match.”
This weekend the Bearcats will head to Gilroy for the Mid Cal Invitational.