Clovis News: Sports

Close call helps Clovis North wrestler

Vince Rodriguez says he heard the wake-up call loud and clear.

The state and Central Section's top-ranked 125- pound wrestler from Clovis North High was in control, ahead 1-0 and 24 seconds away from winning his second straight Yosemite Divisional title when Rodriguez was penalized for stalling against Clovis West's Chris Martinez on Saturday.

A scoreless overtime period against Martinez, who is ranked fifth in the state and third in the section, ensued.

In the first of two 30-second periods in double overtime, Martinez scored an escape 13 seconds in to go up 2-1. But Rodriguez recovered in the second OT period by sticking a reversal with 7 seconds left for a 3-2 win.

"A match like that is good right now," said Rodriguez, who finished third in the state at 112 pounds last season. "It makes me focus more. I've got to work a little harder if I want to win state."

A top-seven finish out of 10-man brackets is needed during Saturday's Central Section Championships in Lemoore to qualify for the CIF State Championships on March 5-6 at Bakersfield's Rabobank Arena.

Wrestling starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the finals scheduled for 6 p.m.

Selma, ranked third in the state and third in the section, qualified six wrestlers out of the Sequoia/Sierra Divisionals on Saturday at Shafter, and five were champions: Alex Cisneros (112), Nick Pena (130), Isiah Morfin (135), Nathan Zarate (140) and Justin Lozano (160). Rico Aguilar (145) was third.

Washington won with 196 points, followed by Exeter (180) and Selma (177.5).

Other Sequoia/Sierra Divisional champions included: Exeter's Arnulfo Olea (103), Corcoran's Adrian Panduro (119), Kingsburg's Nick Corona-Zamarripa (215) and Yosemite's Dakota Smith (285).

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