Village News Reporter
Fallbrook High School junior Devin Huntington reached the championship match in the Jim Londos Memorial wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 14, at Orange Glen High School in Escondido.
Huntington was in the 140-pound bracket. He pinned his first three opponents before losing a 6-4 decision to Eliel Santiago of Mission Hills High School in the final.
"He had a very good tournament," Fallbrook head coach Tom Brockson said.
The Jim Londos Memorial granted an additional two pounds per weight class. When Fallbrook wrestled a Valley League dual meet Thursday, Jan. 12, at Escondido High School, Huntington won his 138-pound bout by decision. Fallbrook forfeited six of the 14 weight classes due to the lack of a wrestler while losing five other matches on the mat. Nic Brockson won his 113-pound match by pin, and Xavier Pacheco won a major decision victory in the 120-pound competition.
Six Warriors wrestled at the Jim Londos Memorial, limiting the Warriors to 14th place in team points among the 23 schools who scored but second among the seven teams which filled fewer than eight weight classes.
"We still did pretty well," Brockson said.
Huntington began his day by pinning Tyler Abalos of Del Norte High School with two seconds remaining in regulation. Huntington then pinned Armando Murillo of San Ysidro High school 1:38 into the second period. Huntington's pin of Escondido's Zane Villanueva occurred at the end of the second period.
A wrestler is given one point for an escape; two points for a takedown, a reversal or a near fall lasting two to five seconds and three points for a near fall of at least five seconds. The two-point margin in the final gave Santiago the decision victory.
Huntington received a medal for second place.
"He wrestled a very good tournament. He was very clean, very few mistakes," Brockson said. "It was good to see him put everything together."
Nic Brockson took third in the 115-pound division. He pinned Alejandro Gurrola of Mar Vista High School 1:27 into the third period of their opening match. Brockson then won a 7-0 decision victory against Calan Doi of Mission Hills.
The semifinal between Brockson and Ethan Vinoray of Patrick Henry High School ended 45 seconds into the second period when Vinoray pinned Brockson. Brockson continued the double-elimination tournament in the losers' bracket and began that phase by pinning Brawley's David Garcia 1:22 into the second period.
Felipe Martinez of Del Norte was Brockson's formal opponent in the third-place match. However, the CIF has a limit of five matches in one day and Martinez had previously wrestled five matches so he defaulted to Brockson.
"We're pretty happy," Brockson said of Nic Brockson placing third.
The double-elimination format doesn't apply in the losers' bracket medal rounds, and Fisher Phillips ended the Jim Londos Memorial with sixth place in the 128-pound bracket with one of his three losses being by default due to the five-match limit. He lost his first match when San Ysidro's Nicholas Gonzalez pinned Phillips with 10 seconds remaining in the second period. Phillips began losers' bracket competition with a 6-1 decision win over Joseph Thomas of Ramona High School. Phillips then pinned Rafael Sanchez of Castle Park High School 30 seconds into the third period. Phillips next won a 6-0 decision against Adrian Stroyer of Westview High School.
The win over Stroyer assured Phillips of a medal for taking one of the top six places. The winner of the match between Phillips and Isaiah Morales‑Haleman of Mission Hills advanced to the match for third and fourth place, but Morales‑Haleman won a 10-2 major decision against Phillips.
Had Phillips won, he would have only received fourth place, as his match against Morales‑Haleman was his fifth of the day. Alex Adler of Patrick Henry had only wrestled four matches and was given fifth place while Phillips received the sixth-place medal.
The tournament was the first for Phillips.
"He did very well," Tom Brockson said.
Pacheco had two wins and two losses in the 122-pound bracket with the latter loss being in the match whose winner advanced to the medal rounds. Daniel Wilson, who wrestled at 134 pounds, also won twice and lost his second match one bout before the medal rounds.
A wrestler can compete in the weight division immediately above their scales but cannot wrestle in a class below their weight. Normal junior varsity wrestler Tony Cortez not only wrestled in the Jim Londos Memorial but did so at a weight class above his actual weight range, although Cortez lost both 147-pound matches.