Gunn senior Ian Cramer won his first title at the Central Coast Section Wrestling Championships with a 5-1 victory over Max McCann of Monta Vista on Saturday night at Independence High in San Jose.
Cramer, who finished second last year at 132 pounds, improved to 31-1 with 25 pins while earning his second trip to the CIF State Meet, set for next weekend at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. This marks the 11th year in row that Gunn has qualified for state in wrestling.
Cramer beat McCann for the fourth time this season and the sixth time in his career.
"Max is a really great opponent," said Cramer. "He really rises to the occasion when the pressure is the highest. Last night was probably my toughest match against Max yet. It feels so good to have beaten him, since it was such a tough match. He really made me work for it."
Cramer becomes one of only five male CCS champs from Gunn. Dwight Miller won titles at 103 and 112 pounds in 1973 and '74, Dan Gebben won at 165 pounds in 1979, Zack Blumenfeld (171) in 2009 and Stefan Weidemann (152) in 2011.
"I am really proud of Ian's performance," said Gunn coach Chris Horpel. "He was ranked first all season and had a target on his back because of it. Even still, he dominated the weight class and lived up to his ranking."
During Horpel's 12-year tenure, Gunn had 12 finalists and four won titles.
Also advancing to the state meet was Palo Alto's James Giaccia at 126 pounds following a 4-3 decision over Eric Loredo of San Benito. Giaccia opened with an 8-0 major decision over Joshua Garnica of Sobrato, pinned Orion Bautista of Pacific Grove in just 29 seconds, pinned Anthony Pacheco of Palma in 4:56 before dropping an 11-4 decision to Gio Zacarias of Aptos. Giaccia bounced back with a 5-3 decision over Vinnie Santiago of Wilcox to reach the third-place match.
Palo Alto's Chioke Bryant-Anderson was fifth at 170 pounds and Menlo-Atherton's Donald La Haye was fifth at 182 pounds. Only the top three finishers advanced to the state tournament.
Gilroy won its 13th straight team title with 282 points. Bellarmine finished second and the SCVAL's Fremont High placed third in the 75-team field. Gunn finished 21st with 42 points with Palo Alto scoring 39.5.
Gunn's David Abramovitch was 1-2 at 126 pounds, Tanner Kerrins was 1-2 at 132, Aaron Schultz was 0-2 at 145, Thomas Chang-Davidson was 0-2 at 152, and Kirill Demyanenko (2-2) placed ninth at 285.
At the fifth annual CIF Girls Wrestling State Invitational Championships at the Visalia Convention Center, Palo Alto senior Alexa Austin's prep career came to an end Saturday with a 13-6 loss to Priscella Lopez of Edison in the second round of the consolation bracket. Austin went 0-2 for the second straight season in the state meet.
Menlo-Atherton and Menlo School kept their title hopes alive with victories in CCS quarterfinals on Saturday, while Sacred Heart Prep and Castilleja both were eliminated.
In San Jose, Menlo-Atherton began its quest for a title in Division I with a 55-37 victory over PAL South Division rival Carlmont at Piedmont Hills High. It was the third meeting between the teams, with the Bears winning all three games.
Carlmont kept it close for three quarters with sophomore Alexa Bayangos scoring nine first- quarter points. She led the Scots with 14 points. M-A's Carly McLanahan hit three 3-pointers in the second and third quarters to keep the M-A lead at eight points at the end of three quarters. In the fourth, the Bears' low-post game got going with freshman Greer Hoyem scoring 12 of her 22 points as the Bears cruised to victory.
With the win, No. 2 seed M-A advances to the semifinals on Wednesday to play host and No. 3 seed Piedmont Hills (22-3) at 7:30 p.m. In the other semifinal, No. 1 North Salinas (22-2) will play No. 4 Silver Creek (15-10).
In Atherton, host Menlo School and Castilleja met in a rematch of last year's CCS Division IV finale. Once again, it was the Knights winning as they posted a 49-34 triumph against their West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) rival.
The No. 7-seeded Gators jumped out to a 17-9 second-quarter lead with senior Paige Vermeer and junior Ellie Chen combining for 16 points. The No. 2-seeded Knights stormed back to go up by 21-18 at halftime behind 10 points from sophomore De'Jeane Stine and junior Hannah Paye.
Menlo's depth prevailed after intermission as sophomore Sam Erisman and juniors Kenzie Duffner and Olivia Pellarin totaled 18 points, and the Knights were not seriously threatened in the final quarter. Duffner led Menlo with 13 points, Stine added 10, and Erisman and Pellarin tallied eight apiece.
Castilleja's Chen had a game-high 15 points, including a trio of threes giving her 50 on the season -- second most in school history behind Eve Zelinger ('10), who made 53 in 2006-07. Vermeer capped her Gators career with 10 points and seven rebounds, and finished with 1,217 career points, along with the school record for steals (393), while ranking second in 3-pointers (126) and fourth in assists (316).
Castilleja senior Maddie Tarr had five points and six boards, giving her 482 career points and 619 rebounds, and senior Scout Dittmar pulled down four rebounds while totaling 166 for her career.
Castilleja ends its season at 12-14, while Menlo (17-8) will host No. 3 Soquel (18-7) on Tuesday in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. In the other semifinal, No. 1 Notre Dame-Belmont (12-13) will face No. 4 King's Academy (22-3).
Also at Menlo School, No. 6 Sacred Heart Prep (13-13) saw its season end in a 62-40 loss to Soquel. Junior Riley Hemm drained five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points to pace the Gators, who held an 11-10 first-quarter lead but trailed at the half by 29-18. Soquel pulled away for good by outscoring SHP in the third period, 17-9.
Sophomore Natalie Zimits and junior Ma'ata Makoni each added seven points for SHP, which returns its entire roster for next season.
Five local teams entered quarterfinal play Saturday and four came away with victories.
In Santa Cruz, Menlo School rolled to a 56-47 victory over WBAL foe King's Academy at Kaiser-Permanente Arena in Division IV action. The Knights came out of the gates sprinting, building a 16-point first-quarter lead. Three Knights scored in double figures as Jared Lucian and Jack Hammond each tallied 13 points and Will Richardson added 12 after scoring nine in the first period.
Second-seeded Menlo (17-7) takes on No. 3 seeded Terra Nova (19-6) in the semifinals on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., again at Kaiser-Permanente Arena. No. 1 Santa Cruz takes on No. No. 4 Pacific Grove in the other semifinal.
In Pacifica, top seed and four-time defending champion Pinewood rolled to a 73-44 quarterfinal win over No. 9 St. Thomas More (20-5). Kyle Murphy led four Panthers in double figures with 14 points. Nathan Beak added 11, Jordan Riches finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds with David Bodine adding 10 points and nine boards. Pinewood shot 60 percent from the field (18 for 30) and pulled down 42 rebounds.
Pinewood (17-8) will face No. 4 Priory (15-10) in the semifinals on Wednesday at Santa Clara High at 5:30 p.m. Priory advanced with a 71-52 win over No. 5 Alma Heights (22-6).
Priory fell behind at the half, 40-31, but held Alma Heights to just 12 points after intermission while scoring 40 points. Junior Scott Harris led the way with 30 points with seniors Chris Perez and Andy Isokpehi adding 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Also advancing was No. 7 Eastside Prep, which posted a 45-39 upset of No. 2 seed St. Francis-Central Coast Catholic. Senior Darius Riley had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Panthers with sophomore guard Aaron Cason adding 14 points and five assists.
"Overall, it was a great team victory for us against a really good team," said Eastside Prep coach Chris Bischof.
Eastside Prep (14-12) will face No. 6 R.L. Stevenson (18-7) in Wednesday's other semifinal at 7:30 p.m., also at Santa Clara High. RLS advanced with a 60-57 win over No. 3 Oakwood (19-6).
In Los Altos Hills, Gunn's season came to an end in a 59-44 loss to No. 1 seed Bellarmine (15-10) in a Division I quarterfinal at Foothill College. The Titans (20-4) were playing their third game of the week and actually held a 24-22 halftime lead before the Bells pulled away with a 19-12 third quarter.
Junior Alex Gil-Ferandnez had 13 points for the Titans, but no other Gunn player reached double figures. Sharod Miller and Chris Russell finished with seven points each.