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La Canada wrestling staves off short-handed South Pasadena

La Canada Spartans pick up first Rio Hondo League win over South Pasadena Tigers, which forfeited three matches.

January 10, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

SOUTH PASADENA — There was no panic from the La Canada High wrestling team after it saw the first three matches of Thursday's Rio Hondo League dual meet end with pins for South Pasadena.

The Spartans had the luxury of knowing 18 free points were coming their way, as the Tigers didn’t have wrestlers to fill the 152, 220 and heavyweight classes Thursday. With those forfeits, La Cañada had just enough to wrap up the 43-39 victory at home.

Lucas Drill secured the win for La Cañada (1-1) when he pinned South Pas’ Pablo Centeno 56 seconds into the 182-pound match. The Spartans pulled to within three, 33-30, with the pin and knew no matter what happened at 195 they had a victory with the Tigers forfeiting the last two matches.

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“I just wanted to go out there, work my hardest and see what I can do,” Drill said. “I saw the opportunity and I took it. ... It felt really good to get that pin.”

La Cañada Coach Gavin Williams was in better spirits Thursday after being disappointed with his squad’s effort in a 44-25 loss to San Marino last week.

“It’s not even about the win, it’s the fight,” Williams said. “That’s what I want to see out of those guys — win or lose I want to see fight. ... We’re not back to where we’re going to be but we’re in the right direction.”

The Tigers showed plenty of fight of their own by keeping the match competitive until the very end, despite forfeiting three matches. Still, South Pas Coach Al Shuton was not content, saying a few of his wrestlers didn’t compete to their potential.

“We gave it a really good try,” said Shuton, whose team won head-to-head matches 7-4. “We knew we were going into this dual down, just like every other dual, which is fine with me. I don’t have a problem with losing a dual, but my issue is if the boys we have out there don’t wrestle the way they know they can.”

Perhaps the best example of fight came from La Cañada’s Anthony Landeros. The Spartans 132-pound senior may have lost his match to South Pasadena captain Charlie Barrone, 5-2, but did so after cutting six pounds from last week and reaggravated an injured shoulder Thursday.

Barrone’s decision victory pushed the Tigers advantage to 21-6 after they won the first three matches via pinfalls, but the Spartans began picking up steam from there.

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