The season of milestones continues for the Palm Desert wrestling team, as the program clinched its first-ever CIF team championship Saturday in the Central Division at Grand Terrace High School.
In total, nine of the 12 Aztecs who competed in Friday and Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Central Division individual finals earned berths to the CIF Master’s meet next weekend at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario.
Palm Desert’s star-studded trio of Billy Weaver (138 pounds), Brandon Claiborne (160 pounds) and Anthony Mantanona (170 pounds) all clinched individual CIF titles, with Mantanona taking home the upper weight MVP award.
Eric Santana (120 pounds), Trevor Dalskov (126 pounds) and Reece Galvan (132 pounds) all made finals appearances Saturday before settling for runner-up in their weight classes. Troy Mantanona (145 pounds) and Gabe Herrera (285 pounds) both took third, and Chase Overgaag (113 pounds) finished fourth, rounding out the nine Aztecs who finished in the top five of their classes to ensure a trip to the Master’s meet. Cameron Van Dyke (182 pounds) will be an alternate next weekend after finishing sixth.
La Quinta’s Joseph Valdez (152 pounds) and Joel Avila (120 pounds) both took home individual CIF titles from the Central Division meet, with Avila garnering the lower weight MVP honors with four pins and an 11-4 win in the finals match.
Fellow Blackhawk Jacob Arellano (145 pounds) will join the pair in the CIF Master’s meet after taking fourth, and Jacob Souza (160 pounds) will be an alternate after taking sixth.
In the Inland Division finals at Temecula Valley High School, Rancho Mirage’s Devon Purdy took home the team’s first-ever individual CIF champion at 132 pounds, defeating Vista Murrieta’s Alex Gomez by a pin.
Joining him at the Master’s meet will be Travis O’Brien, who took fifth at 285 pounds. Zaid Ramirez (138 pounds) will be an alternate.
The recently-crowned CIF dual champions Shadow Hills will send four wrestlers to next weekend’s Master’s Meet, including Isaiah Hinojosa (113 pounds) who took third and will be the school’s first two-time CIF placer. Gabriel Felix (106 pounds) took fifth, Jacob Tessandore (126 pounds) finished fourth and Tommy Rojas (160 pounds) placed fifth.
Desert Mirage’s Jesus Angel also advanced to next weekend with his fifth-place finish at 220 pounds.
Desert Christian Academy 55, Providence 23: After taking a 14-3 lead in the first quarter, the Conquerors cruised to a berth in the Division 6 quarterfinals after taking down Providence High School (Santa Barbara) 55-23 on the road.
Kaylee Espinoza led the team with 13 points, followed by 10-each from Grace Johnson and Ashley Klopfenstein. Abby Wagner put together an impressive performance on defense with 12 steals to go along with seven points.
Wednesday, the Conquerors will host No. 2 seeded California Lutheran at a time to be determined.
Orange Lutheran 54, Palm Springs 33: The Indians’ special season that included a co-DVL championship ended Saturday at the hands of the Division 3AA No. 1 seed on the road.
Sierra Leonard-Martinez led Palm Springs (17-8) with 18 points, along with six rebounds and three steals. Joana Adams dished in eight points to go with 10 rebounds and two blocks, and Jemmel Ahorro notched seven points, three assists and two steals.
CIF PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Girls’ soccer (3 p.m.)
California at Palm Desert (5 p.m.)
Shadow Hills at Garey
La Quinta at Calvary Chapel Santa Ana (5 p.m.)
Cathedral City at Montclair (5 p.m.)
Boys’ basketball (7 p.m.)
Palm Desert at Bonita
Palm Springs at Beverly Hills
Rancho Mirage at Ocean View
Renaissance at Desert Christian Academy
Boys’ soccer (3 p.m.)
Desert Mirage at Ontario Christian
Lennox Academy at Rancho Mirage
Nogales at Shadow Hills
Girls’ water polo
Palm Desert vs. La Canada at Indian Springs High School (4:30 p.m.)
Girls’ basketball (7 p.m.)
California Lutheran at Desert Christian Academy
Note: Email any game time changes at email@example.com