Wrestling Winners

Cypress Ranch girls win Class 6A Wrestling State Championship

Cypress Ranch completed a run that included both district and regional team titles. vype.com

(Courtesy of Angel Verdejo / Cy-Fair ISD Communications) 

Feb. 25, 2018—The Cypress Ranch High School girls’ wrestling team captured the Class 6A team championship, while 17 total CFISD participants earned top-six medals at the UIL Wrestling State Tournament, held Feb. 23-24 at the Berry Center.

Cypress Ranch completed a run that included both district and regional team titles. All five Mustangs who qualified for the state tournament placed among the top six in their respective division. The title was clinched before the championship bouts, with Cypress Ranch finishing with 96 total team points to unseat defending champion Katy Morton Ranch (65).

“We had disappointment last year. We had a tough team…but fizzled out in the regional tournament,” said Chris Potter, Cypress Ranch head coach. “So we said to them, ‘Remember this.’ All year, we’ve been preaching that they’re tough kids and they work hard, and they put it together.”

Other CFISD teams to finish among the top 30 were Cypress Falls High School (15th, 27 points), Cy-Fair High School (23rd, 22 points) and Cypress Springs High School (28th, 20 points).

Two district qualifiers earned individual state championships.

Cypress Ranch senior Kaitlyn Banas improved on her fifth-place finish in 2017 at 102 pounds, beating Katy Morton Ranch’s Brittany Cotter with a 6-3 decision to win it all in the 95-pound division.

“I’ve been working for this and it feels awesome that it paid off,” Banas said.

Cypress Falls senior Augustina Ijoma won the 165-pound division, beating El Paso Eastwood’s Danielle Saldivar. The championship completed a three-year run for Ijoma where she added the state title to a third-place finish in 2016 and runner-up finish in 2017.

“I talked to my coaches in the morning and they helped me get all this weight off my chest and be able to wrestle and have fun,” Ijoma said. “That’s the best part – I was able to have fun doing it.”

CFISD’s two runner-up finishers were Cy-Fair High School senior Jasmine Hernandez in the 119-pound division and Cypress Ranch’s Nia Miranda in the 148-pound division. Placing third were Cypress Creek High School sophomore Amanda McAleavey, who beat Cypress Ridge High School junior Alexis Sanchez in the 102-pound division, and Cypress Ranch’s Olivia Mottley, who defeated Coppell’s Devin Patton in the 119-pound third-place match.

The following girls’ wrestlers placed among the top six in the state:

  • Kaitlyn Banas, Cypress Ranch – first place, 95 pounds;
  • Amanda McAleavey, Cypress Creek – third place, 102 pounds;
  • Alexis Sanchez, Cypress Ridge – fourth place, 102 pounds;
  • Kayla Fitts, Cypress Ranch – fourth place, 110 pounds;
  • Jasmine Hernandez, Cy-Fair – second place, 119 pounds;
  • Olivia Mottley, Cypress Ranch, third place, 119 pounds;
  • Madison Guinn, Cypress Ranch – fifth place, 138 pounds;
  • Nia Miranda, Cypress Ranch – second place, 148 pounds;
  • Augustina Ijoma, Cypress Falls – first place, 165 pounds; and
  • Yissmet Perez, Cypress Springs – fourth place, 185 pounds.

In the boys’ tournament, Cy-Fair was the highest-placing team at 11th with 39 total points. Other CFISD teams to finish among the top 30 were Cypress Lakes High School (15th, 27 points) and Cypress Ranch (22nd, 22 points).

Two CFISD wrestlers reached the championship finals and placed second in their respective divisions. Cypress Lakes seniorJoaquin Bautista was the runner-up in the 138-pound division, while Cy-Fair’s Josh Wilson finished second in the 195-pound division.

The following boys’ wrestlers finished among the top six in the state:

  • Jacob Grogan, Cypress Ranch – sixth place, 106 pounds;
  • Jude Camacho, Cypress Ranch – sixth place, 113 pounds;
  • Garrett Orlando, Cy-Fair – sixth place, 132 pounds;
  • Joaquin Bautista, Cypress Lakes – second place, 138 pounds;
  • Gabriel Palos, Cypress Ridge – fourth place, 138 pounds;
  • Carlos Cuevas, Cy-Fair – fourth place, 152 pounds; and
  • Josh Wilson, Cy-Fair – second place, 195 pounds.

Three CFISD coaches were also honored.

Cypress Ridge High School’s Tim Ray was honored as a 2018 inductee into the Texas High School Wrestling Hall of Fame. Cypress Springs’ Russ Evans was voted Class 6A Girls’ Head Coach of the Year, while Cypress Ranch’s Bill Durning was voted Class 6A Girls’ Assistant Coach of the Year.

“It’s just so overwhelming,” said Evans, who also received top coaching honors at the district and regional levels in his final season. “You just don’t always know what people think of you until times like these and it shows that all the work you do doesn’t go unnoticed. Sometimes as a coach, it’s easy to get discouraged when you’re not having the district championships and the individual championships, but you keep plugging away and working anyway.  And to be recognized for all that by these guys is just the best thing that I could ever ask for.”

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Houston drops first of three

Mariners heat up late to take series opener over Astros

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

With the playoffs just a little over a week away, the Astros started their last week of regular-season games in Seattle against the Mariners. A couple of wins against them would secure Houston's spot as the AL West's second playoff participant, with Oakland all but having locked up the first spot sitting six games in front of Houston with seven left to play. Here is a quick rundown of the opener from T-Mobile Park:

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 1.

Record: 27-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Marco Gonzalez (7-2, 3.06 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA).

Bitter end to an impressive start for McCullers Jr.

Both starting pitchers would take a scoreless deep late into Monday night's game. While the Astros were trying to figure out Marco Gonzalez, Lance McCullers Jr. was repeating the success of his last start, a seven-inning two-hit start against the Rangers.

McCullers Jr. allowed a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning, then proceeded to retire the next fourteen batters before a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth gave the Mariners their first hit of the night. He would go on to finish the sixth before things unraveled in the seventh.

A leadoff walk would result in a run after an error by Jose Altuve left runners on first and second, setting up an RBI-double to give the Mariners the first run of the night and a 1-0 lead. McCullers Jr. looked like he was going to cap off his night by stranding the runners on second and third after back-to-back strikeouts, but before he could get the last out of the inning allowed a three-run home run to blow the game open at 4-0. His final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 102 P.

Mariners take the opener

Despite getting several hits against him along the way, Houston could not get anything substantial going against Gonzalez, who would shutout the Astros over eight innings of work. After Enoli Paredes finished the seventh, Brandon Bielak would take over out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth.

He struggled mightily, loading the bases with no outs, including a hit batter before allowing a two-RBI single to extend Seattle's lead to 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the top of the ninth, getting a two-out double by Carlos Correa, who would score on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick. That would be too little, too late as the 6-1 score would go final as the Mariners took the opener, keeping the Astros' magic number at two.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will be another 8:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. On the mound will be Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA) for the Astros and Ljay Newsome (0-1, 6.35 ERA) for the Mariners.

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