Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gunn Sports Update Feb 2013

Submitted by Miriam Rotman

Paly Dual meet
The scene at Robert Bow Gymnasium had become bizarre. One by one, a Gunn-Palo Alto wrestler came to the scorer’s table, only to be told that Palo Alto would forfeit the bout. After the fourth straight forfeit, sixth overall, the Titans had themselves a surreal 64-18 destruction of its rival, one that will go down as the most anticlimactic in school history.

Gunn (5-1, 3-0 Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division) had the match clinched after a forfeit win by James Perng at 120 pounds. Next came Eric Cramer getting a free six points at 126 pounds, his season record now at 18-0. Then it was brother, Ian Cramer, winning a forfeit at 132 pounds. Tavor Haharov’s forfeit victory at 138 pounds concluded what had to be an unsatisfying evening for Gunn coach Chris Horpel, his wrestlers and the 200 or so fans in attendance.

“That’s the first time it has ever happened to me and I’ve been coaching a long time, almost 40 years,” Horpel said. “I saw them warm up. They looked OK in the warm-up. All my kids thought they had matches. They were mentally getting ready, physically getting ready, only to have that happen. It’s a very strange thing.”

“We knew we were going to have some forfeits,” Paly coach Dave Duran said. “If something different happened early, we would have wrestled one other kid. The other kids, we weren’t going to wrestle. We had a couple kids with the flu. We are just thin.”

The match started with a forfeit win by Gunn’s Blaze Lee at 145 pounds. The Titans’ Darrion Yang made quick work of Paly’s Emile Wolfgramm, pinning Wolfgramm in 41 seconds.

Gunn’s Dino Soto and Paly’s Jordan Gans put on an entertaining bout at 160 pounds. Gans had a takedown and a 2-point near-fall to lead 4-0 after one period. Soto pecked away, getting to within 8-7 with a takedown to begin the third period. Gans scored a 2-point reversal before winning by fall at 5:03.

Paly’s Gary Hohbach looked strong in the 160-pound weight class, pinning Gunn’s Takeru Nishi at 1:53. The Titans’ Stephen Martin and Paly’s Erik Anderson went at it, though the score was only 3-2 in favor of Martin after a reversal early in the second period. Anderson fell into a trap and Martin took advantage, pinning Anderson at 2:31.
“I was waiting for a mistake by him,” Martin said. “When it opened, I took it.”

“Stephen Martin weighs about 172, but he likes wrestling up because he says they aren’t as good,” Horpel said. “But, the guy he wrestled was good, ranked fourth in CCS, and was built like a true 182-pounder. Stephen is much stronger than he looks.”

Gunn’s Sean Lydster scored a 12-0 major decision over Paly’s Alex Taussig at 195 pounds. The Vikings’ Andrew Frick and Gunn’s Harsha Mokkarala put on a good match at 220 pounds. Mokkarala led 3-1 after receiving a point for stalling on Frick in the third period. Frick answered with a takedown and a 2-point nearfall. Mokkarala escaped for one point, then got two points for an illegal hold by Frick, whorallied to pin Mokkarala at 5:40. That closed Gunn’s lead to 2218, but it was all Titans after that.

“I was trying to stay in with some hard tie-ups,” Mokkarala said. “I knew he was going to try and shoot. It’s all practice until the league tournament.”

Eric Calderon pinned Paly’s Nick Beeson at 2:47 in the 285-pound bout. Michael Abramovitch was given a forfeit in at 106 pounds, then it was time for Gunn’s Cadence Lee, one of the best female wrestlers in the Central Coast Section, to take the mat.

Lee wrestled James Giaccia at 113 pounds. Right around the time Giaccia took a 2-0 lead on a takedown, Lee screamed out in pain, her right knee injured. Lee took 1 minute, 15 seconds of injury time, but stayed in the match. She scored a reversal, then a 3-point near fall to end the first period. After a 2-point takedown to start the second period, Lee got Giaccia in a cradle, pinning him at 2:44.

“When your adrenaline is going, it’s amazing what you can do,” Horpel said. “I told her that if she winced at all, I was throwing in the towel. She, not only didn’t wince, but she came back and pinned him.”

Girls CCS
Gunn junior Cadence Lee won her third straight title at the Girls' Central Coast Section Wrestling Championships, going 3-0 with three pins during the two-day event that concluded Saturday at Oak Grove High in San Jose.

Lee finished off her impressive performance in the 103-pound division by pinning Kayla Walker of Leland in just 55 seconds in the title match -- a rematch of last year's finale -- while earning another trip to the girls' state championships.

Lee won her semifinal match with a pin in 2:29 and took her quarterfinal with a pin in 1:40. She finished with 28 individual points.

"I'm overall satisfied with how I wrestled, but I'm looking forward to improving some things in both State and the upcoming boy's league (finals)," said Lee. "I think I was just much more prepared and warmed up for my finals match thanks to one of my teammates who drove over to help me. I'll be going into the state tournament with confidence, but I'll make sure it doesn't negatively affect my wrestling."

At 138 pounds, Gunn's Jessica Sun lost in the finals by a pin. She reached the title match with a pair of pins.

Gunn's Grace Robinson finished third at 118 pounds by pinning Natalie Ruiz of Terra Nova in 41 seconds to help the Titans finish fourth in the team race with 76 points. Scotts Valley won with 109 points.

"We only had four athletes on our team, which is small compared to the other top girls' programs," said Gunn coach Chris Horpel. "Even still, all four wrestlers contributed by winning matches and three qualified for the state championships."
Lee will be joined by Sun and Robinson at the state championships at Lemoore High School in two weeks. Teammate Zee Peng (126 pounds) did not place, but scored six points with a second-round pin.
Mid-Cals Tournament
More than 90 percent of the 72 wrestling teams at the Mid-Cal tournament hosted by Gilroy finished behind Gunn-Palo Alto. That pleased Titans coach Chris Horpel. But it did not satisfy him.

“We always want to do better than whatever we’ve done — seventh was great, but we want to do even better than that,” Horpel said. “I just told the team we’re on the right path. We’re not there yet, but we’re doing all the right things. And a lot of those matches that we didn’t win in that tournament were within reach. I don’t have any complaints. We just have some work to do.”

The top finisher for Gunn was Stephen Martin at 184 pounds. The junior improved his record to 27-6, but lost a 5-2 decision to the eventual champion out of South San Francisco in the quarterfinals.
Martin bounced back with three wins in the consolation bracket, including a 6-2 decision against Palo Alto senior Erik Anderson, who finished eighth. Anderson also fell in the quarterfinals after recording pins in his first two bouts.

With a 7-5 overtime victory in his next match, Martin reached the third-place match, where he dropped an 84 decision to finish fourth.

“He was JV last year and now he’s really good enough to win the CCS(tournament) if he has a good day,” Horpel said. “He doesn’t know a lot of technique yet, but he’s just tough as nails. And he’s winning these matches just on grit and making the other guy break. … I think he’s a dark horse. Nobody really understands quite how good he is.”

Gunn senior Eric Cramer rebounded from a 12-5 semifinal loss to eventual 128-pound champion Victor Olmos of Gilroy to reach the fifth-place match, where he won a major decision 9-0 to improve his season mark to 41-4.

Younger brother Ian Cramer wasn’t so lucky at 134 pounds despite a 17-0 tech fall, a 14-0 major decision and a pin at 2:31. In the double elimination tournament, the sophomore lost a 2-0 decision to miss the quarterfinals, and a 6-5 decision kept him from cracking the top eight.

Two other Gunn wrestlers reached their respective fifthplace matches. At 197 pounds, Sean Lydster recorded a pin in 34 seconds to make the quarterfinals, but lost a 2-1 decision. Lydster won twice in the consolation bracket before finishing sixth after a 4-3 overtime tiebreaker loss in which his opponent shot at his legs at the end of the minute-long round.

Gunn senior Harsha Mokkarala used two pins in three matches to reach the semifinals before losing an 11-7 decision to the eventual champion.

“I think he surprised himself getting to the semis because he lost the night before,” Horpel said. “And in the semis, I think he just didn’t believe that he was supposed to be in the finals. That’s really what it amounts to. … Those weight classes up there, anybody can win on the right date. It’s about the mental attitude you have in the upper weights.”

Paly finished 32nd.

Girl’s Basketball -
The Gunn girls' basketball team moved into a virtual tie for second place in the SCVAL De Anza Division following a 60-38 romp over host Saratoga on Wednesday night. Olivia Tapia poured in 22 points and Zoe Zwerling added 14 as the Titans improved to 7-2 (13-5) heading into a big showdown with first-place Lynbrook (10-1) on Friday at Gunn (6:15 p.m.)

SCVAL De Anza Division
Gunn 13 13 18 16 -- 60
Saratoga 8 7 9 14 -- 38
Gunn -- Zwerling 5-2-14, Ogawa 1-0-3, Tapia 5-8-22, Steger 1-0-2, Klem 0-2-2, Shevick 1-3-5, Redfield 2-2-6, Mahoney 2-2-6. Totals: 17-19-60.
Saratoga -- Sisco 1-0-2, Ramaswamy 4-6-15, Chou 1-1-4, Johnson 5-7-17. Totals: 11-14-38.
Three-point goals: Tapia 4, Zwerling 2, Ogawa (G); Ramaswamy, Chou (S)
Standings: Lynbrook 10-1 (20-3), Wilcox 7-2 (19-2), Gunn 6-2 (13-5), Palo Alto 4-5 (8-12), Los Gatos 2-7 (6-15), Saratoga 2-8 (13-9), Milpitas 2-8 (8-13)
Gunn is currently ranked 4th in CCS.

Previous games
Gunn-Palo Alto 62, Lynbrook-San Jose 45: Russell had 16 for the Titans in a SCVAL El Camino Division win. Wade Barry had 13 points, while Patrick Skelly added 11 points. Record: G 4-11, 1-4 SCVAL El Camino
Gunn-Palo Alto 56, Saratoga 45: Trailing 25-24 at halftime, the Titans used a 13-3 third quarter to take control. Point guard Zoe Zwerling led Gunn with 15 points and had 7 rebounds, Claire Klausner hit a pair of 3-pointers to score 13 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 3 steals, while Sarah Klem added 9 points. Record: G 10-3, 3-0 SCVAL De Anza

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