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LC pins down crown

Wrestling: La Cañada captures its second straight title with nine pins in 54-27 victory.

January 31, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

SAN MARINO — Pins were aplenty when the La Cañada High and San Marino wrestling teams clashed for the Rio Hondo League title Tuesday.

Only one match ended without a fall as the Spartans picked up the 54-27 victory for their second straight league title after notching nine pins to the Titans' four pins and one decision win.

"San Marino is usually a very buff team and our team is good at throwing," said La Cañada sophomore Alex Bache, explaining the reason for all the pins. "With those two matched up together, it's usually pins after pins after pins because everyone is trying to muscle each other into pins."

Although the score may not show it, the dual meet was a roller coaster of momentum and emotion as La Cañada (3-0 in league) took a commanding early lead before San Marino (2-1) charged back into contention and nearly tied it up late.

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"We weren't the guaranteed team this year," said La Cañada Coach Gavin Williams, whose team captured its fourth league title in school history. "We knew San Marino was going to be a battle. It only improves both of our teams having these kind of battles."

The result may not have been what San Marino Coach Joe Gallardo wanted, but he had no complaints.

"We've come a long way from the team we were last year — losing to South Pasadena, 66-6 — to competing for the league title this year," Gallardo said. "I couldn't ask for anything more. I am proud of my guys, they did a great job."

The Titans were in a precarious position down, 30-9, with seven matches to go after La Cañada's Brian Streeter and Gabe Villalobos gave the Spartans two pins in a row in the 135- and 145-pound matches.

San Marino answered with back-to-back pins from two of its best wrestlers, Adam Padilla and Andrew Barth.

Padilla pinned Kevin Stoner 57 seconds into the 152-pound match's third period. Barth (160) followed with a pin 80 seconds into his match against Nick McMenamin to put San Marino right back in it, 30-21.

Bache made the La Cañada faithful breathe easier in the 170-pound match when he pinned the Titans' Michael Scott with 22 seconds left in the second period to extend La Cañada's lead to 36-21.

With four matches to go, San Marino needed three pins and to not lose more than three points the rest of the way to keep hope for a league title alive.

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