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Wrestling

Hillmen handle Bruins

By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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The Placer High wrestling team took care of business in the second round Wednesday night at Earl Crabbe Gym. The Hillmen turned what was supposed to be a tight battle for first place in the Pioneer Valley League into a rout of Bear River with nine pins — seven of which came in the second round. Placer ran away with a 60-12 victory, taking a big step toward its second straight PVL championship. “They can taste it now,” first-year Placer coach Jess Stiff said. “The thing about our team is when they get on a roll, they just love to keep on going. It’s momentum.” Placer improved to 4-0 in the PVL while Bear River dropped to 3-1. Both teams have two PVL matches remaining. Bear River’s Blake Mitchell won the first match of the night, edging Zach Uvalle at 103 pounds. The momentum quickly shifted in the 112-pound match. Placer sophomore Andrew Naleway trailed Bear River’s Chris Hankins 6-3 after two minutes, but stormed back for a second-round win. He gave Placer a 6-3 lead in the team scoring and the home team never looked back. Dalton Richardson won a 9-2 decision over Juan Godino at 119. Joe Thornton had the first of four straight second-round pins a 125. Mitchell Maddox (130), Carl Pavich (135) and Aaron Maddox followed. Bruins’ junior Josiah Jorgenson outlasted Placer’s Steven Cox for an 11-4 win at 145 to stop the bleeding. Bear River had a mathematical chance after Jarrett Paoletti’s pin of Zach Scott at 152. In the match of the night, Placer junior Kyle Hennen scored a reversal in the final minute and held off a great effort from Kent Merrill to win 4-3 at 160. Hennen’s win clinched the team victory for the Hillmen, who added four more pins for good measure. “We’re always going for the pin,” Stiff said. “Our kids are really coachable and they made good adjustments.” Tyler Hickman (171), Daniel Weathers (189), Jake Styler (215) and Alec Rubio (275) pinned their opponents as the Placer crowd roared its approval. It was a special win for Rubio in his final match at Earl Crabbe Gym. “Rubio is a senior and everyone just loves that guy,” Stiff said.