Granite Hills prepares for CIF mat wars with runner-up finish to Brawley at Holtville Invitational

Photo by Phillip Brents Granite Hills Collin Guffey remains the state’s No. 1-ranked wrestler at 165 pounds.

Last weekend’s 60th annual Holtville Rotary Invitational served as an appropriate preview for this weekend’s San Diego Section divisional boys wrestling championship tournaments.

Granite Hills placed second to the longtime desert power Brawley Wildcats while advancing seven grapplers to weight class championship matches (winning four).

The Wildcats, who will compete in this weekend’s Division III tournament at Montgomery High School, finished on top of the 32-team field with 262 points.

The Eagles, last year’s Division II champions who will be moving up to do battle with state power Poway in Saturday’s Division I tournament at San Marcos High School, were right behind with 260 points.

There’s obvious motivation for this weekend as Granite Hills was ranked second to Poway overall in the section while Brawley was third.

“Holtville didn’t end up as we wanted, but we did have a group of guys who had a good showing,” Granite Hills coach Jesse Sheard said. “Our goal for CIF is to get as many champions, Masters qualifiers, and state qualifiers as possible.”

Weight class champions for Granite Hills, ranked 12th as a team in the state, included:
• Abram Cline at 117 pounds.
• Sergio Porras at 154 pounds.
• Ryan Carroll at 161 pounds.
•Collin Guffey at 169 pounds.

Guffey (39-0) remains first in the state individual rankings while Cline is sixth.

Runners-up for the Eagles included:
•Emilio Escobar at 110 pounds.
•Jayson Suetos at 130 pounds.
•Junior Bumanglag at 179 pounds.

Additionally, Aidan Chur placed fifth at 136 pounds.

Cline won by a 3-2 decision over Cibola’s Diego Camarillo while Porras won by injury default over Mission Hills’ Israel Enciso.

Carroll pinned Carlsbad’s Harrison Koenig in 1:59 while Guffey pinned Helix Charter’s Kingsley Frank in 2:56.

Escobar lost ay a 5-1 decision to KOFA’s Daniel Alire while Suetos lost by a 14-6 major decision to Brawley’s Diego Arias. Bumanglag lost by a 5:44 fall to Holtville’s Seth Iten.

Eastern exposure

Nine East County teams participated at last weekend’s Holtville Invitational. Joining the Eagles on the mat were wrestlers from El Capitan, Helix Charter, West Hills, El Cajon Valley, Steele Canyon, Santana, Mountain Empire and Monte Vista high schools.

El Capitan (ninth in the team standings) had three place-finishers:

Gavin Ames (fourth at 219 pounds), Riley Jones (sixth at 130 pounds) and Marlon Ames (sixth at 194 pounds).

Helix Charter (13th in the team standings) had three place finishers:

Frank (second at 169 pounds), Ja’Kar Carter (second at 194 pounds) and Ahlijah Davis (third at 219 pounds).

West Hills (15th in the team standings) had two place-finishers:

Weston Druckerman (fifth at 161 pounds) and Preston Cortez (sixth at 289 pounds).

El Cajon Valley (16th in the team standings) had two place finishers:

Enrique Hernandez (third at 289 pounds) and Ahmed Shekaib Ameer Hussain (fifth at 179 pounds).

Brawley finished the tourney with three weight class champions.

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