Jonathan Nguyen and AJ Galvan provided the highlights for the Tokay High wrestling team in Wednesday’s Tri-City Athletic League match-up against West.
The Tigers also gained the edge with a half-dozen forfeit wins for a 69-12 victory over the Wolf Pack at The Jungle.
Nguyen, competing in the 113-pound class, faced West’s Robert Lopez. In the first round, Nguyen jumped out to a 7-2 lead on Lopez, using a mixture of takedowns and reverses for points. That led to a 9-3 score.
Then Lopez staged a mini-rally in the third round. He outscored Nguyen in the final two minutes, 4-2, but Nguyen hung on to post an 11-7 decision that gave Tokay (1-1 in the TCAL, 1-2) a 27-0 lead.
“We knew that he was going against their most technical wrestler,” said Tokay coach Ed Carlos of Nguyen facing Lopez. “That kid (Lopez) is not a push over. We knew that he had some experience coming in, but we thought we have more experience in match time. These are two good wrestlers wrestling, and Jonathan showed why he’s one of the better wrestlers in the (Sac-Joaquin) Section.”
Tokay, which is the defending TCAL champion, won three of the next five matches for a comfortable 45-12 lead over West. Winning their matches for the Tigers were Kristian Gonzales (120) by pin with 39.7 seconds left in the second round; Hashir Arif (126) by forfeit and Max Hittle (138), also by pin in the first round at 1 minute, 53 seconds.
After West’s Kalani Morroira (145) pinned Tokay’s Nathan Ferroni at 41.4 seconds remaining in the third round to make the score 45-12, the next exciting match took place in the 152-pound class between Galvan and West’s Chance Bills. The first round ended scoreless.
Then in the second round, Bills and Galvan battled to another tie but at 3-3. Moving into the third round, Galvan gained the advantage with a takedown for a 5-3 lead. Halfway through the round, Galvan locked down Bills. But the Wolf Pack wrestler escaped for a point and 5-4 score.
Galvan came through for the Tigers, as he slowly worked his way to pinning Bills, applying pressure on both shoulders that took nearly 15 seconds. That led to a pin with 28.7 seconds left in the round that upped Tokay’s lead to 51-12.
“I think he got a little excited by the crowd,” said Carlos of Galvan. “There were some positions he could’ve easily taken advantage of. At the end of the day, both guys were battling hard. AJ has been working hard and he’s in good condition.”
One of the last three matches were actually wrestled. Tokay’s Andrew Senner pinned Adrian Garcia with 28.7 seconds remaining in the first round for a 57-12 score.
The Tigers’ Taven Jones (170) and Jesus Martinez (182) won their matches by forfeit. Tokay’s JJ Mikhal (heavyweight) and Ellias Castro (106) also won their matches by forfeits.
Tokay will host Lincoln on Wednesday, Jan. 15 in what will be the Tigers’ final home meet of the season. Tokay closes out the TCAL dual meet season at St. Mary’s and rival Lodi.
“They are the team to beat,” said Carlos of Lincoln. “If we run the table, we can still defend our championship. Wrestling is bigger than the league championship, and that is something that the kids understand.”
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.