Amara Juarez destroyed Montebello Schurr’s Itzel Hernandez, 13-3, in the 116-pound finals at the Girls Black Watch wrestling tournament in Upland last month.
Citrus Valley’s sixth place finish trailed a logjam of top five finishers -- Foothill Santa Ana (146 points), Walnut (135), Aliso Niguel (130), Montclair and Sylmar (111) -- with 97 points in the team standings.
Diana Ventura dropped her championship bout against Long Beach Poly’s Christine Jayne Yuson in the 160-pound bout.
Marlee Lopez, fourth at 118 pounds, plus Elena Ramirez, eighth at 121, contributed to the Lady Blackhawks’ finish.
Juarez, seeded third in her class, won her way to the championship with three straight pins, including sticking second-seeded Isabel Miranda in the second fall.
Hernandez, meanwhile, was top-seeded in the class.
Ventura was seeded No. 1 in the 160-pound field, winning by pin and default before squaring off against No. 2-seeded Yuson. It was second fall pin that knocked Ventura out of winning the class.
Earlier this season, Citrus Valley’s girls wound up eighth at the Inland Empire Challenge at Rialto Carter. Riverside Hillcrest edged Downey, 200-173, for the team title.
Juarez lost in the 116-pound finals to Yucaipa’s Leah Gaitan. Both won their way to the finals by pinning all comers, but Gaitan’s 17-0 technical fall triumph in the championship was a dominant performance.
Gaitan, incidentally, is ranked No. 1 in California.
Marlee Lopez (fourth, 111), Elena Ramirez (seventh, 121), Destiny Mejia (8th, 126) and heavyweight Amanda Earl wound up third in her class for Citrus Valley.
Earl pinned Rialto Carter’s Andrea Rodriguez.
CITRUS VALLEY, BOYS -- At the Dec. 26-27 Black Watch at Upland High School, Audo Moreno (152 pounds) and Ryu Ramos (120) pulled out fourth place finishes in their weight divisions. In a tournament dominated by Eastvale Roosevelt (283.5 points), the Blackhawks deadlocked for 23rd place with Moreno Valley Valley View.
Ramos lost to second-seeded Tiger Ortiz (Santa Ana Calvary Chapel) twice, once in the quarterfinals and, later, in a bout for third place -- both by pin.
Moreno won a pair of bouts, and then went up against Upland’s Jonathan Moreno in the quarterfinals, losing by pin 3:19 into the match. Moreno won his way into the third place bout, losing to Roosevelt’s Isiah Vasquez, 5-0.
Citrus Belt League rival Rialto Carter took 13th with three wrestlers making the final victory podium.
Earlier this season, the Blackhawks took 15th at the Tom Bravo Classic won by CBL rival Yucaipa, a convincing 249-178 win over host Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos. Cajon took seventh place.
Ramos made the victory podium, fourth at 120.
The Hawks Nest at Perris Citrus Hill provided a third place finish for Ramos (120), winner in five of his six bouts, losing in the semifinals to a wrestler from Central California, Selma’s Richard Figueroa, who was ranked No. 1 in California at 113 pounds.
Chris Jimenez (106) won three of his five bouts.
Moreno split his six bouts to place sixth.
Ramos wound up third at the Raul Huerta Memorial at Moreno Valley Canyon Springs.
SAN GORGONIO, BOYS -- Heavyweight Santiago Torres turned up in third place at the Ed Springs Wrestling Tournament in Brea last month. The Spartans took 24th, trailing tourney champion Syracuse.
Torres’ teammate, Ricardo Reyes, wound up seventh at 132 pounds.
Torres was top-seeded in the heavyweight division, winning a pair of bouts by pin before Anaheim Servite’s Graham Mason pinned him in the opening fall.
Torres bounced back to beat Rim of the World’s Nate Maier, 10-9, for third place.
At the Rim of the World Invitational, Aliso Niguel won the team portion with San G wrestlers reaching the victory podium -- Reyes’ fifth at 132, Christopher Rueds seventh at 195 with Torres losing the heavyweight finale to San Jacinto’s Arturo Ojeda.
Torres won his first four bouts, three wins by pin before landing in the finals against Ojeda.
Reyes, incidentally, won the Beaumont Invitational at the 138-pound class.
Angel Avila reached the heavyweight finals, but Indio Shadow Hills’ Juan Oseguera prevailed by pin 27 seconds into the match.
Is there any team in San Bernardino County that can stand up to Yucaipa?
The answer is probably not.
The Thunderbirds, a past CIF team champion with plenty of individual firepower, have been fortified by incoming transfers from Cajon over the past couple years -- both male and female.
Yucaipa has won highly coveted boys’ events, including the Tom Bravo Invitational at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, not to mention the Shark Tank at Corona Santiago.
Among those Cajon-to-Yucaipa transfers include Trenton Guillermo-Paguadan and Ethan Krey, individual winners at the Shark Tank. Throw in female 101-pounder Angie Castaneda, the CIF champion from 2019.
Yucaipa squared off against a solid Redlands East Valley squad this week, but the Wildcats -- strong enough under third-year coach Bryan Holcombe -- couldn’t hope to compete with the T-Birds’ regime.
“I don’t think anybody can beat Yucaipa,” said Holcombe, who noted the loss of Cajon’s longtime head coach, Jesse Singh, stepping down last year.
As a consequence, said Holcombe, “many of their best wrestlers transferred to Yucaipa High School.”
The loss of many Cajon stars most likely contributed to REV’s 61-15 dual meet triumph over the Cowboys. It was quite a turnaround from last year’s 56-24 Cajon win over REV.
Yucaipa is tied for No. 20 in statewide rankings with Covina Northview and Temecula Valley.