Blue Devils rattle the nest, but Cardinals get the win

By From page B1 | January 31, 2013

The Davis High wrestling team continued its conference narrative of up-and-down swings in momentum on Wednesday in a 30-20 loss at the hands of Laguna Creek.

It was the final dual meet of the season for the Blue Devils, who finished the Delta Valley Conference slate at 1-4. Though it was the closest margin of defeat, the outing followed a similar path to previous league matchups at The Cage. 

The overall trajectory of the young team has been a roller-coaster ride, just with a little bit more dipping than ascending. Despite some strong performances in weekend nonconference tournaments, DHS suffered a loss at Franklin last week, and fell to Monterey Trail and Elk Grove earlier in the DVC campaign.

But the Devils’ losing record doesn’t mean there aren’t individual wrestlers giving great effort and getting good results. This was exemplified Wednesday by junior 106-pounder Elias LoBuono-Gonzalez, who kicked the night off by netting a fall in the first minute of the second period in his battle.

Neither side fielded 113- and 120-pounders, and Davis’ Adrian LoBuono-Gonzalez was on the ready at 130 pounds. Following his brother’s example, Adrian LoBuono-Gonzalez had the stomach of his opponent, Benedict Juan, glued to the mat for most of the bout’s three rounds before registering a pin with 20 seconds left on the clock.

Next, freshman Quinn Davies carried the DHS momentum further upwards as the young athlete was quick on the assault. His multiple takedowns and near-falls led to a 13-6 victory at 138 pounds, which put the Devils ahead 16-6.

But Laguna Creek responded with a string of victories in the middleweights, besting Davis’ Tanner Carr, Connor Spann, Ricardo Briseno and Jonathan DeSideri. With the four-match stretch of wins, the Cardinals climbed to a 24-16 lead.

Francisco Cisneros broke the skid, using continuous aggression to take the upper hand in his match. With 10 seconds remaining in the engagement, the Devil standout landed a takedown that brought him to 12-4 and finished off a major decision win.

That left sophomore Marvin Grant in a familiar position: battling with the weight of DHS victory on his shoulders, but the passive tempo of his bout with Russell Williams saw the matmen tied 1-1 in the third round.

With overtime imminent, Grant finally let loose. Unfortunately, his attack came in the form of words — his frustration coming from a perception that Williams wouldn’t engage — and earned him a misconduct penalty in the final minute. The point lost allowed Williams to triumph.

The tension between the two wrestlers erupted into pushing and shoving after the match, and escalated to a Blue Devil coach being ejected by the referee.

“We need to retain composure, respect for the sport and the community,” said Davis head coach Ty Brown. “We have to represent ourselves in the right way, so that’s what — first and foremost — we’ll be working on.”

The contest concluded with an earnest effort from Devin Sanchez, who traded blows for three rounds but ended up losing to the Cardinals’ 220-pounder in a 10-5 decision.

With the end of the match came a hurried team meeting with Brown, and afterward the coach reflected on the overall performance of the Blue Devils.

“Most of our kids wrestled pretty tough,” Brown said. “We had a few times when emotions got the best of us, which is something we’ll make sure to rectify going forward.

“Again, we always want to come out on top in dual meets and there were a few matches (Wednesday) that could’ve gone in our favor. That’s just how the cookie crumbled.”

The local matmen now prepare for the DVC championships, set for Feb. 9 at Franklin.

Brett Johnson

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