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Honkers hang on
Check out a collection of shots from the Yuba City-River Valley wrestling showdown by clicking here.
Tuesday night's Tri-County Conference meet between River Valley and Yuba City started with the seniors from both teams being honored before the match.
In the end, however, it was as a junior who wound up stealing the show.
With the Falcons clinging to a 32-30 lead, Yuba City heavyweight Christian Diaz put the exclamation mark on a wild night by recording a dramatic first-round pin in the final match of the evening, leading the Honkers to a thrilling 36-32 victory over their cross-town rivals in the final dual meet of the season for both schools.
It was quite the ending and the scene afterward was similar to that of a walk-off home run with Diaz being swarmed by his teammates and carried off the mat on their shoulders.
"He was going to throw me, so I just tried to work his legs and get him to the ground," Diaz said of his win. "I've never been a part of something like that. I worked really hard just for this match and I just wanted to wrestle hard for my team."
For one coach, at least, the ending was perfect.
"You can't ask for more than that," Yuba City coach Erik Lambert said. "Both teams wrestled well and in a great rivalry like this, it's always good to see it go down to the last match."
While the heavyweight bout decided the outcome, the match of the evening came in the 145-pound division where River Valley's Robert Adamson and Yuba City's Roberto Saavedra locked horns.
Saavedra went up 5-0 in the first round and nearly notched a pin until Adamson reversed to make the score 5-2. Adamson carried the momentum into the second round where he nearly had Saavedra pinned just as the buzzer sounded.
Adamson then pulled off a takedown to up the score to 10-5 and although Saavedra pulled a reversal with 20 seconds remaining, the River Valley senior was able to hold on for a 12-7 decision in his final match in front of the home crowd.
"I think that was my best match of the season — if not my whole high school career," Adamson said. "I knew Roberto was a good wrestler so I just wanted to stay calm and not rush anything. I just stayed off my back as much as possible."
Lupe Hill (119), Bryce Malugani (135), Julian Saavedra (160) and Josh Wallace (215) each recorded pins for Yuba City. Wallace's pin cut River Valley's lead to 32-30 and set the table for Diaz's heroics.
River Valley received pins from Bryce Cooper (130), Cody Sapp (152) and Connor Wick (189). Christian Magenheimer (171) won by tech fall, while freshman Dalton Dazo (112) and Tim Webb both won by decision. River Valley also forfeited the 103-pound match.
"The kids have come pretty far the last few years so we're a program on the rise," said Lambert, who added that the two programs are friendly with each other and often end up hanging out together at tournaments. "We're both from Yuba City, so hopefully in a couple years it will be RV and YC going 1-2 in league,"
In junior varsity competition, the Honkers received pins from Brandon Pierce (103), Cole Parrish (160) and Karm Sran (171). Jack Eads (160) won by decision for Yuba City and Danny Shehan (189) and Wes McMahon (189) both won by pin for River Valley.