The Jim Londos Memorial wrestling tournament was held Jan. 13 at Orange Glen High School, and two Fallbrook High School wrestlers placed.
Ricardo Lopez earned fifth place in the 108-pound bracket. Fisher Phillips took sixth among 140-pound wrestlers.
Fallbrook coach Tom Brockson entered three wrestlers in the Temecula Valley Battle for the Belt tournament Jan. 12-13 at Temecula Valley High School and three grapplers in the Jim Londos Memorial. Fallbrook also had a dual meet Jan. 11 at home against Escondido, although the Cougars returned home with a 54-18 victory. "They're a more rounded team," Brockson said of Escondido.
Nic Brockson competed in the 126-pound division at the Battle of the Belt tournament. He began by pinning Christian Pecina of Oak Hills High School (San Bernardino County) 1:22 into that match. Brockson then pinned Ezra Orozco of Murrieta Mesa High School with 1:36 elapsed in the first period. Ricardo Ponce of Redlands East Valley High School, who eventually placed fourth in the division, relegated Brockson to the consolation bracket with a 14-8 decision victory.
Brockson's first consolation match was a 9-2 decision win over Jessie Pena of Birmingham High School (Van Nuys). In last year's CIF San Diego Section all-division masters tournament Patrick Henry's Ethan Vinoray pinned Brockson in the 115-pound division's third-place match; at this year's Battle of the Belt tournament Vinoray eliminated Brockson with a pin 11 seconds into the second period of their consolation bracket match.
Daniel Wilson was Fallbrook's 132-pound matman at the Battle of the Belt. In his first match, he was pinned by Vacaville's Ryan Espiritu, who eventually placed third, 1:44 into the first period. Wilson then won two matches by first-period pin, taking down Thomas Vargas of Silverado High School (Victorville) in 57 seconds and Chris Dale of La Costa Canyon in 1:16. Austin McSwain of Etiwanda High School (Rancho Cucamonga) eliminated Wilson with a pin 52 seconds into the second period.
Devin Huntington won his first 144-pound match in Temecula before losing twice. He won a 9-7 decision over Xander Rivas of Bonita High School (Laverne), lost by technical fall when Atascadero's Kaden Pryor obtained a 17-1 advantage, and lost a 5-3 decision to James Kurcz of Corona Del Mar High School.
Lopez began the Jim Londos Memorial with a first-round bye and then pinned Jacob Tate of Oceanside 1:37 into their bout. Division winner William Costa faced Lopez in the semifinals and won by pin with 27 seconds remaining in the second period. In his first consolation match, Lopez faced Evan Baker of Escondido, who won a 13-11 decision.
"He had a tough round," Tom Brockson said of Lopez. "He should have been wrestling in the third-place match."
Tate won that third-place match against Baker. Lopez faced Jordan Lozano of El Camino in the fifth-place match and pinned Jordan four seconds into the second period.
"He battled back," Brockson said.
Phillips also reached the semifinals, pinning Oceanside's Benjamin Castillo with 23 seconds left in the second period and Aiden Duschane of Otay Ranch five seconds into the third period. Justin Ayala of Southwest High School (El Centro) pinned Phillips 1:06 into the third period of their semifinal match. Vista's Jeremiah Vander Meulen pinned Phillips at the end of the first period of their consolation semifinal. Del Norte's Steven Castaneda won the fifth-place match by pinning Phillips at the end of the second period.
"Fisher looked good," Brockson said.
Jacob Sorden was one match away from placing in the Jim Londos Memorial. The 122-pounder pinned Bredon Eilers 1:24 into their first-round match. Eventual weight class champion Elijah Hosseini of Scripps Ranch pinned Sorden with 47 seconds left of regulation time in the quarterfinal. Sorden's first consolation bout was an 18-5 major decision win over Orange Glen's Joshua Leon. The path to third place for Ramona's Logan Barrera included a 13-11 decision win over Sorden.