February is just around the corner signaling the start of the all-important upcoming North Bay League and North Coast Section Championship tournaments.
Analy and El Molino teams continued to chase peak performance in NBL and tournament competition last week, beginning with a pair of Redwood Division dual meets on Jan. 22.
The Lions began the stretch with their final NBL home dual meet of the season, falling to visiting Montgomery, 57-18. The Lions forfeited all but three weight classes due to injury, but won all three matches contested. Logging wins for El Mo were 145-pound Zavier Grech (by fall), 152-pound Erik Dimond (by fall) and 160-pound Curby Dimond (by fall).
The El Molino girls squad posted a 21-6 win over the Vikings, with 160-pound Hannah Ricioli (won by fall) and 189-pound Lily Marrufo (by 5-4 decision) posting wins for the Lions.
On Saturday, the Lions sent three male wrestlers to the annual Puma Classic at Maria Carrillo, including 147-pound Erik Dimond (3-2, 4th place), 147-pound Zavier Grech (1-2), 162-pound Curby Dimond (0-2) and 184-pound Shayne White (0-2).
The Lady Lions were also represented by three athletes at the Lady Bash Tournament at San Benito High school in Hollister. The tourney included some 300 girls, including some of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state.
Junior standout Hannah Ricioli demonstrated why she was the No. 1 seed in her weight class, recording wins by technical fall (17-2, 19-4) over her first two opponents to reach the finals. There she defeated Miku Barberi of Newark Memorial, scoring a pin in just 47 seconds to capture a first place medal and traditional cowboy hat.
Also turning in an outstanding performance was freshman Hayden Fields, who went 2-2 at 129 pounds in arguably the toughest weight class of the tournament, and Lily Maruffo, who went 0-2 in her weight class, losing a heartbreaker in her second match.
The Lions will visit Piner in an NBL dual meet on Jan. 29 while sending Erik Dimond to the tough Mission San Jose Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 1, while the rest of the team competes at the Redwood Empire Classic varsity and JV tournament in Ukiah. The girls team will compete in The Goddess of the Vine tourney at Windsor on Feb. 1.
Tigers post win
Meanwhile the Tigers played host to visiting Piner on Jan. 22, posting a convincing 57-18 team win. On Saturday, Analy sent a pair of wrestlers to the annual Puma Classic Tournament at Maria Carrillo. Competing for the Tigers were 184-pound Max Voelkel (1-2) and 128-pound Zach Fogg (0-2).
Analy will close out the NBL season with upcoming road and home dual meets at Elsie Allen (Jan. 29, 6 p.m.) and El Molino (Feb. 5, 6 p.m.). Analy will also compete in the Redwood Empire Classic in Ukiah on Saturday, Feb. 1. The Tigers will host the NBL Championship tourney on Feb. 15.