By Steve Breazeale
DANA POINT— San Clemente wrestling head coach Mark Calentino admitted he was a bit uneasy about the Tritons chances before his undefeated team took to the mats against South Coast League rival Dana Hills on January 22. The veteran coach thought it might be a tossup as to who would walk away the victor.
But with a flurry of successive match wins, the Tritons prevailed, defeating the Dolphins 39-20 to claim San Clemente’s first dual meet title since 2009. San Clemente finished the dual meet stages with a 4-0 record and are 15-0 on the season.
Calentino and his coaches had the match scenarios drawn up as an even split before the night’s action, with San Clemente taking seven matches and the Dolphins taking seven. It would have to be an above average night for either team if they wanted the victory, according to Calentino.
Dana Hills jumped out to an early 9-0 lead after heavyweight Brandon Ramirez defeated San Clemente’s Tyler Maxwell by way of pin fall and 106-pounder Clayton Brock won his match against the Tritons’ junior varsity fill-in Victor Flener.
With momentum, and the home crowd, against them, the Tritons made their run.
Consecutive match wins by Danny Garcia and Mark Munoz put the Tritons on top 12-9.
After bumping their lead up to 27-16, San Clemente’s Tony Flores wrestled with Dana Hills’ Trevor Tribolet in the 170 pound class. The match went back and forth, with Tribolet taking an early lead until a late surge by Flores in the second and third periods ensured a 7-4 win, which gave the Tritons some much needed breathing room.
“We really had to wrestle well to make something happen and they stepped up. I think Tony (Flores) winning was a gigantic match,” Calentino said. “That was a match on paper we had (Dana Hills) winning…Flores just out-toughed him.”
The Tritons’ Ash Ryan continued his solid year by earning a 7-3 victory over Ryan Minoofar in the 195-pound class.
Austin Aceves (220 pound) provided the quickest win of the night by pinning the Dolphins’ Christian Clemente in 57 seconds, putting an exclamation point on the night for the Tritons, who now look forward to the South Coast League finals tournament on February 2.
Other match highlights:
126 pound- Grant Huntington (DH) def. Justin Kleinman (SC), 6-0
132 pound- Tim Parten (SC) def. Arryan Kianipey (DH), 7-2
145 pound- Brian Degenarro (SC) def. Hunter Dillon (DH), 8-4
152 pound- Austin Grimsley (DH) def. Rick Simpson 13-4
160 pound- Mike Marshall (SC) def. Nick Swanson (DH) 7-2
182 pound- Blaine Wagstaff (DH) def. Zack Adcock (SC) 16-2
Goals Prove Scarce as Tritons Draw with Tesoro
SAN CLEMENTE– There was certainly not a lack of opportunities for goals in the San Clemente girls soccer teams’ South Coast League matchup against visiting Tesoro on January 22.
The Tritons outshot Tesoro at a 20 to five clip, but settled for a 1-1 draw, keeping them in the middle of the pack in the league standings.
Despite the eye popping shot differential, the Tritons (8-5-5, 2-1-2 league) trailed throughout the first half, when an early goal by Tesoro (4-9-3, 0-4-1) in the eighth minute caught the home team by surprise. After a long ball out of the midfield found its way into the box, Tesoro’s sophomore midfielder Giannina Battaglia beat the Tritons goalie, Audrey Block, to the spot and flicked the ball over her head for a 1-0 advantage.
The Tritons would respond with a balanced offense, attempting shots from outside the box as well as building up for close range attempts. Tritons junior Kelly Jameson almost scored from distance on a rocket of a ball that clanged off the crossbar in the 12th minute. The ensuing rebound was collected by junior Ally Lynn but her shot attempt sailed wide.
The Tritons controlled most of the game, running their offense through junior forward Nikki Faris. But Faris, like her teammates, would have her fair share of issues with the crossbar throughout the game. After a nice run in open space and into the box, Faris sent an arching lob shot over Tesoro’s goalie and off the post in the 26th minute, coming inches away from scoring a goal.
It wasn’t until the 54th minute of the match that the Triton offense broke though for a goal on a corner kick. Sophomore Amanda Gerrain sent a low, curling ball towards the near side of the post that Faris whipped into the net with the flick of her head, tying things up at 1-1.
More and more chances would come the Tritons way and the ball stayed in their offensive third of the field for most of the second half. But Faris’ goal would be their lone scratch on the night.
“We couldn’t finish for sure. This was a crucial match and point in the season…We should have finished (some of the shots),” San Clemente head coach Stacey Finnerty said.
The Tritons now have a few days off before resuming league play against Aliso Niguel on January 29.
Triton Boys Hoops Prepares for Home Stretch
At the midway point in their league schedule the Tritons boys basketball team has yet to falter. San Clemente (14-8, 4-0) has already defeated every Sea View League opponent once and in the coming weeks, will get a chance to do so again.
The Tritons were set to play against Tesoro on January 23 in a non-league match. Results were not available at press time. They will return to league play on January 25 with a match against third place Dana Hills, who the Tritons defeated 64-58 on January 16.
Dolphins Upset Tritons in Double Overtime
The San Clemente girls water polo team, currently ranked No. 9 in the CIF-SS Division 2 coaches poll, lost 10-9 in double overtime to visiting Dana Hills on January 22. Dolphins junior Molly Wilbur scored five goals, including the game winner.
The Tritons (13-11, 2-2) now find themselves deadlocked with the Dolphins (9-14, 2-2) in the league standings. San Clemente was set to play El Toro January 23. Results were not available at press time.
Girls Basketball Remains Perfect
After taking a break from league play to compete in the Tony Matson Memorial Classic on January 21, the Tritons return to play against South Coast League rival Capistrano Valley on January 24. The Tritons (14-5, 4-0) are currently in first place in league while the Cougars sit at the bottom of the standings.
San Clemente is coming off a 44-26 non-league loss to Orange Lutheran, which took place on January 21.
Boys Soccer Preps for Big Finish
The Tritons boys soccer team was set to play a league matchup against Tesoro on January 23. Results were not available at press time. The Tritons (21-2-1, 2-0) entered the match riding a four game win streak. They will take the pitch again on January 25 in a league match against third place Aliso Niguel.