San Lorenzo Valley High sophomore Ollin Bates walked off the mat with a black eye he sustained during a bout at this past weekend’s Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Wrestling Tournament.
The minor injury could’ve easily hindered his vision, or even worse, forced him to sit out the rest of the tourney.
Instead, the Cougars’ up-and-coming stud pulled off one of the biggest stunners of the night after beating Harbor High senior Eddie Brooks to capture the 190-pound weight division title in front of a raucous crowd at Scotts Valley High School on Feb. 2.
“I just feel like he was super strong and he deserves that more,” Bates said. “I caught him in a mistake and pinned him…If you think they’re strong and scary, then you’re going to lose. So, part of that is taking those desperate shots.”
After being down 9-5 in the third period, Bates came storming back with a couple of takedowns that saw Brooks hit the mat and Bates found a way to stay on top of him for the pin.
“[Brooks] shot at me and I caught both of his arms, and then I did a little shimmy,” Bates said.
Both finalists qualified for the Central Coast Section Southern Regional Tournament set to take place at Watsonville High on Saturday starting at 9am.
Aptos High won the league tournament with a score of 186 points. Santa Cruz High (130) took second, followed by San Lorenzo Valley High (115) and Soquel (115) in a tie for third, Harbor (109) in fifth and Scotts Valley (50) in sixth.
However, the Cardinals won the overall SCCAL crown after going 5-0 in league dual meets and not placing third or below in the league tournament. The Mariners, who finished 4-1 in dual meets, placed second and Harbor was third overall this season.
SLV senior Logan Hede pinned Santa Cruz sophomore Rhodri Griffin in the first period of their 164-pound weight division title bout.
Hede said it’s been four really long years of a lot of failure, including a third place finish in the league finals two years ago. During his junior year, he suffered a broken ankle and returned to the mat but was runner-up in the championship round.
“It feels amazing, but we’re looking to reach further goals,” he said. “And now I want to place in CCS and hopefully get to State. It feels great, but my journey is not done.”
Fellow teammate freshman Gabriel Attia won the 215-pound weight division after he pinned Soquel High junior Jackson Stevens in the first period.
SLV junior Grady Cloyd won his second straight league title after he pinned Aptos High senior Enrique Macias in the 175-pound weight division championship.
SLV sophomore Andrew Gafford was runner-up to now two-time champion Aptos High junior Lucas Zuniga who won the 285-pound heavyweight division.
Scotts Valley sophomore Angelo Vignato was runner-up in the 126-pound weight division following a 19-10 decision loss to Santa Cruz sophomore Julian Ysselstein in the championship match.
SCCAL Girls Championship
It’s been quite the journey for Scotts Valley High senior Kayse Martinovsky who returned to the mat after she suffered a major knee injury last season.
The redemption story continued for Martinovsky who won the 142-pound weight division championship after she pinned Soquel High’s Alize Robles in the second period.
“This has been the ride of my life and I wouldn’t change anything about it,” Martinovsky said. “Just being here under the spotlight and at home, it’s really everything to me. It’s the perfect way to close my season.”
The season isn’t entirely over for her just yet. Martinovsky earned a trip to this weekend’s CCS Regionals in Watsonville.
Martinovsky took a commanding 6-3 lead in the opening period and continued to apply pressure in the second, looking for the takedown. It didn’t take long to take down her opponent, who couldn’t help but submit by fall.
“I was expecting to win,” Martinovsky said. “So, for me this is just a road to State. That’s the goal. Not just to get to State but to place this year.”
Martinovsky qualified for the CIF State Championships in Bakersfield for the past two years, but she has yet to earn a medal.
Scotts Valley star wrestler Danica Kelley won her third straight league title and will return to the CCS regionals after capturing the 137-pound weight division championship as expected.
The No. 1 ranked wrestler in California pinned SLV freshman Adessa Lewis in a blazing 15 seconds.
Fellow Falcons teammate sophomore Citlali Lopez pinned Aptos High’s Isabella Cruz in the second period to win the 112-pound weight division title match, while sophomore Lila Mosley was runner-up in the 102-pound weight division after losing to Harbor High junior Addie Jones in the championship bout.
Scotts Valley placed third as a team with a score of 52, slightly behind Aptos (58) and this year’s league champion Santa Cruz (66). SLV took fourth with a score of 48, followed by Soquel (31) in fifth and Harbor (21) in sixth.
SLV junior Gabriella Braswell beat Santa Cruz High freshman Heaven Cardenas to capture the 157-pound weight division title.
Fellow Cougars teammate Jennifer Black lost a close bout that went the distance against Soquel senior Soukania Kaasmi in an 8-6 decision for the 117-pound weight division title.
In the opening period, Black scored a pair of points after escaping from Kaasmi, followed by a strong second period after Black cut the deficit to 6-5.
Both wrestlers continued to battle hard in the third and Black had a chance to send the match into overtime, but it was Kaasmi’s 2-point reverse that made the difference.