Gunn High senior Cadence Lee will have the opportunity to defend her state wrestling title after making some history at the girls' Central Coast Championships on Saturday at Oak Grove High in San Jose.
Lee qualified for the state meet by winning her fourth straight CCS title, this one at 106 pounds. Lee is the first female in the section's brief wrestling history to win four consecutive crowns.
Lee pinned Telma Tavares of Overfelt in 1:26 to claim the title. It was the fourth pin of the two-day event. Lee opened on Friday with a pin of Ashley Ornelas of Balboa in 2:29. She followed that with a pin in just 28 seconds of Sheyla Zavala of Sequoia. In the semifinals, Lee pinned Brooke Lacuata of Evergreen Valley in 1:54.
In all four CCS meets she has participated in, Lee has pinned every opponent. She has lost only three times in her career to female wrestlers. He last loss came in the State Meet her sophomore year when she fell in overtime in the finals.
Lee was one of three local wrestlers to finish among the top three and advance to the state meet, set for Feb. 28-March 1 at the Visalia Convention Center.
Menlo-Atherton's Chelsea Wilson finished third at 101 pounds, become the first freshman in school history to advance to the state meet. She went 5-1 with five pins. In the match for third place, Wilson pinned Alyssa Almogela of Milpitas in 2:01.
On Friday, Wilson pinned Jasmine Rodriguez of Santa Teresa in just 19 seconds before being pinned by Arin Valdez of Mt. Pleasant in 1:11. Wilson bounced back with four straight pins, all in under 2:30.
"This kid is amazing," said M-A coach Nathan Pantoja. "At 101 pounds (actually 104 this weekend) she is one of the smaller girls in the group as she typically weighs in at 98 pounds. Just two weeks ago at the Lady Baler tournament in Holister, she was eliminated and didn't even medal. She lost close matches there and it was a real eye-opener.
"We came into this weekend with the goal of placing in the top three and qualifying for state, as I am sure all the girls coming into the tournament did. However, as a freshmen and not relatively known, she was not seeded high and we knew it was going to be tough."
Also advancing to the state meet was Palo Alto junior Alexa Austin at 116 pounds. After losing to eventual champion Domino Parrish of Silver Creek in the opening round by pin, Austin won four straight matches to finish third. She won her semifinal with a pin before advancing to the state meet via a forfeit.
Gunn's Katie Barrett went 1-2 at 116 pounds, losing to Paly's Austin by a pin in 3:12 to end her run.
Gunn junior Grace Robinson also went 1-2, at 121 pounds. suffering back-to-back pins to end her tourney.
Palo Alto's Sara Aguilar wrestled at 189 pounds and lost her opener. She battled back with a pair of pins before being pinned by Evonne Evian of Fremont in 1:35 in the third-place match, just missing a trip to the state meet.
At 126 pounds, Gunn sophomore Miya Miller went 2-2. She recorded a pin at 1:17 in her first match and had ann 8-1 decision over Lily Marquest-Trevino of Gilroy before being pinning in the fourth round of the consolation bracket.
At 131 pounds, Gunn's Gillian King went 0-2 after being pinned in both her matches.
Gunn finished in a tie for 13th with 42 points, Palo Alto was 15th with 36 points and Menlo-Atherton was 22nd with 27. Overfelt won the team crown with 127 points.
Castilleja set a school record with nine 3-pointers on Saturday afternoon in a nonleague contest against visiting Urban School of San Francisco, and the Gators needed every one of them in a thrilling 46-45 victory.
Down 45-41 with under a minute remaining, the Gators' Paige Vermeer stole the ball and freshman Cate Alder then swished a long 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 45-44.
After Yasmeen Afifi grabbed her 13th rebound on Urban's next possession, Vermeer found Ellie Chen, who banked home the winning shot with 25 seconds left.
Urban's defense focused throughout on Afifi, who was held to eight points.
Castilleja led 23-18 at the half and 34-31 going into the fourth quarter, when the Blues went ahead by five before the Gators made their last-minute comeback.
Vermeer had 12 points including a trio of 3-pointers, six rebounds and four assists. She is now second in school history with 75 made threes, trailing only Eve Zelinger ('10).
Chen also scored 12 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, and added a career-high eight rebounds. Her pair of treys against Urban moved her past Lindsay Taylor ('08) into fifth in school history for made 3's.
Alder tallied nine points on 3 treys, and Jamie Kotcher added the team's ninth 3-pointer.
The Gators (13-8 overall) take their six-game win streak into the last week of the WBAL Skyline Division regular season on Monday night at ICA in San Francisco.