Buchanan outlasts Clovis in highly-anticipated duel

Buchanan’s Anthony Montalvo points to the crowd after his 5-1 decision win over Clovis High’s Ruger Wyneken. (Christian Ortuno/Clovis Roundup)

By Daniel Leon | Editor

A pair of wrestling giants clashed Thursday, Jan. 26 in a duel that came down to the wire as Buchanan escaped with the 27-25 decision over crosstown rival Clovis High.

The Bears – needing every point to avoid the upset – fended off a hungry Cougars team for the second year in a row.

“I’m glad the event went off without any hitches but wrestling wise, it was not a good performance,” said Buchanan head coach Troy Tirapelle. “All we did pretty much was make it harder on us in the future – we opened the door and basically now they think they can beat us. It should’ve been a lot worse. We had a lot of under performances – guys not wrestling smart, not doing their job and not following the strategy that was laid out for them. So it was closer that it should’ve been.”

Fueled by its electric home atmosphere, Buchanan stormed out to a 13-0 lead behind three-straight wins from upperclassmen Brett Villarreal (140 lbs.), Tristan Zamilpa (147 lbs.), and Joel Romero (154 lbs.).

But just when it looked like it was all Buchanan, the Cougars answered with three-straight wins of their own starting with 162-pounder Brandon Martino’s 15-6 major decision win over Zach Poore. Martino’s dominant win set the tone for the next two matches as teammates Victor Vargas (172 lbs.) and Jacob Good (184 lbs.) collected decision wins of their own over Jake Levatino and Trevor Ervin, respectively.

The Bears, seeing their lead diminish to 13-10, got back on track behind a 5-1 decision from 197-pounder Anthony Montalvo and an 11-1 major decision victory from senior Cade Belshay in the 222-pound division

Clovis High’s Justin Mejia applies pressure on Buchanan’s Tyler Deen during their 128-pound match. (Christian Ortuno/Clovis Roundup)

“You just have to look at it as another day in the office, another day at work. You have to go in there and get it done,” Montalvo said of the Bears’ second-straight win over the Cougars. “We didn’t do as well as we should’ve but we just have to keep working – iron sharpens iron so we have to get back in the wrestling room and work to be where we should be.”

Despite winning four of the final six matches, Clovis High couldn’t ultimately get over the hump, falling two points short.

Up next on the schedule for the Bears and Cougars is a trip to the Bay Area for the Mission San Jose Tournament (Feb. 3-4) before seeing each other again at the Tri-River Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 11.

“We have to finish strong and push to the end,” Montalvo said of the team’s approach to the rest of the season. “[We have to] sprint through the finish line, not to it.”


138: Brett Villarreal, Buchanan dec. Max Anderson, Clovis, 8-3

145: Tristan Zamilpa, Buchanan md. Miceli Chiaramonte, Clovis, 11-2

152: Joel Romero, Buchanan p. Tyler Giankopulos, Clovis, 1:27

160: Brandon Martino, Clovis md. Zach Poore, Buchanan, 15-6.

170: Victor Vargas, Clovis dec. Jake Levatino, 6-3

182: Jacob Good, Clovis dec. Trevor Ervin, Buchanan, 7-6

195: Anthony Montalvo, Buchanan dec. Ruger Wyneken, Clovis, 5-1

220: Cade Belshay, Buchanan md. Joey Jaramillo, Clovis, 11-1

285: Seth Nevills, Clovis p. David Robles, Buchanan

106: Giano Petrucelli, Clovis dec. Josh Poore, Buchanan, 3-1

113: Matthew Olguin, Buchanan md. Brandon Paulson, Clovis, 10-0

120: Ethan Leake, Buchanan dec. Wyatt Cornelison, Clovis, 6-2

126: Justin Mejia, Clovis dec. Tyler Deen, Buchanan, 4-3

132: Michael Portillo, Clovis dec. Wyatt Peverill, Buchanan, 3-1.