Servite, Villa Park wrestling teams perform well at Five Counties Tournament

FOUNTAIN VALLEY — A pair of Orange County wrestlers turned in dominant performances at the Five Counties Tournament on Saturday at Fountain Valley High School.

Another county wrestler won in overtime and match involving two OC wrestlers ended in controversy.

Servite, with seven wrestlers placing among the top eight, finished fourth and was the highest finishing OC team in the prestigious tournament for the second consecutive year.

Villa Park had four medal winners and finished sixth and the host Barons, with three medal winners, took seventh.“I thought we wrestled extremely well over the last two days,” Servite coach Alan Clinton said.

Wrestling powerhouse Gilroy placed nine wrestlers, including three who won titles, to win the tournament with 310 points.Selma, winners of last season’s Five Counties, finished second with 256.

One of the most anticipated matches of the finals, and a match the lived up to its billing, was the 170-pound final between Trabuco Hills’ Trey Munoz, the No.1 ranked wrestler in the state, against Selma’s Christian Rodriguez, ranked No.2.

Rodriguez led 4-3, but was called for stalling with 15 seconds left in the final period.

By rule, Munoz was awarded a point, forcing the match to go to overtime, where the first points win it.

Seconds into overtime, Munoz shot quickly and scored a single-leg take down to win the match 6-4.

“He was trying to slow me down,” said Munoz, a 2018 state finalist. “He didn’t take an offensive shot the entire match. I think he was wrestling more defensively and trying to stall me out.”

Villa Park 220-pounder, Mike Ruiz, continues to demonstrate the skill that could very put him in a position to win a state title.Ruiz, who won the high-caliber Mann Tournament in December, was in charge from early in the first period and came away with a 13-7 victory over Durham’s Jacob Christensen to capture the title.

Ruiz avenged his second round loss to Christensen last year’s Five Counties Tournament In the 160-pound championship, Fountain Valley sophomore Max Wilner, ranked No.4 in the state, used his speed to earn a 13-4 major decision victory over Lemoore’s William Kloster, who is ranked No. 5 in the state.

“He was stocky,” Wilner said of Kloster. “I felt like I could use speed to my advantage.”

The 132-pound final was the only championship match between a pair of OC wrestlers, Aliso Niguel’s Ali Kaveh and Servite’s Josh Medina, Kaveh was ahead 11-9 in the final seconds of the third period, when Medina scored 2 points and was attempting to pin Kaveh, but was called for an illegal move Clinton argued to no avail that the move was legal.

Kaveh was awarded a point and won 12-11.

“That’s the way life is,” Clinton said. “Things happen. It happens in every sporting event. We just got to get up tomorrow and be ready to go.”

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