AURORA | Like a snowball rolling down a hill, the Grandview wrestling team picked up steam match-by-match Friday night at Cherokee Trail.
The anticipated tight battle for the Centennial League championship between the Wolves and Cougars — ranked No. 4 and No. 10, respectively, in Class 5A by On The Mat — never really materialized, as Grandview won 10 straight matches on its way to a 55-16 victory.
Coach Ryan Budd’s Wolves still have a dual match left against Mullen on Feb. 2, but would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker even in the event of a loss, so the program’s third straight league championship is virtually locked up. A win over the Mustangs would also give Grandview its second straight season without a dual match loss.
The Cougars — who rolled past Arapahoe the previous night — finished 4-1 in Centennial League duals. Coach Jeff Buck’s team has the Brighton Invitational left on Saturday before the 5A regional tournament they are hosting Feb. 10-11.
Even without sophomore Fabian Santillan, the No. 2-ranked 120-pounder in 5A who continues to heal from a minor injury suffered the previous week at the Top of the Rockies Invitational, and 138-pounder Alan Abila, there was no stopping Grandview on this night.
The Wolves did find themselves in a 6-0 hole after Cougars’ star Max Gonzales earned a quick pin at 220 pounds to open the match. Gonzales wrestled his second match since finishing second at the Rockwell Rumble, a 71-team tournament in Orem, Utah.
After that, it was virtually all Grandview, starting with Gabriel Baumgartner’s triple-overtime victory over Davione Marshall in the heavyweight match.
Wolves freshman Alex Santillan managed a pin against Cherokee Trail senior Chad Powell in a ranked battle at 106 pounds, junior Giovani Federico recorded a pin at 113 pounds and senior Carlos Vigil-Harrison — subbing in for Fabian Santillan — upset ranked Cherokee Trail senior Drake Davis with a 4-3 decision.
The points continue to pile up as Dylan Ranieri (138), Shem Brown (145), Grady Colgan (152) and Joe Renner (160) posted consecutive pins until the Cougars’ Josh Richardson put an end to the streak with a 16-3 major decision victory at 170 pounds.
Tyler Ross posted a quick pin at 182 pounds for Grandview, bringing the match to an end with the battle between the two highest-ranked wrestlers in the match: No. 2-ranked Ezequiel Silva of Cherokee Trail and No. 5 Robert Woods of Grandview.
Silva, who returned to the lineup the previous night after a lengthy absence, looked in top form and ended up with a pin to finish the match.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
GRANDVIEW 55, CHEROKEE TRAIL 16
220 pounds — Max Gonzales (Cherokee Trail) pinned Giovanny Beauge (Grandview), 1:00; 285 pounds — Gabriel Baumgartner (Grandview) dec. Davione Marshall (Cherokee Trail), 2-1 (3OT); 106 pounds — Alex Santillan (Grandview) pinned Chad Powell (Cherokee Trail), 4:47; 113 pounds — Giovani Federico (Grandview) pinned Connor Davis (Cherokee Trail), 3:20; 120 pounds — Carlos Vigil-Harrison (Grandview) dec. Drake Davis (Cherokee Trail), 4-3; 126 pounds — Matthew Frye (Grandview) dec. Keith Fearon (Cherokee Trail), 7-1; 132 pounds — Armando Santillan (Grandview) maj. dec. David Rivera (Cherokee Trail), 10-0; 138 pounds — Dylan Ranieri (Grandview) pinned Abel Ambriz (Cherokee Trail), 0:38; 145 pounds — Shem Brown (Grandview) pinned Lane Frost (Cherokee Trail), 3:19; 152 pounds — Grady Colgan (Grandview) pinned Jayvaughn Jackson (Cherokee Trail), 3:20; 160 pounds — Joe Renner (Grandview) pinned Julian Williams (Cherokee Trail), 4:54; 170 pounds — Josh Richardson (Cherokee Trail) maj. dec. Brice Hartzheim (Grandview), 16-3; 182 pounds — Tyler Ross (Grandview) pinned Delali Ofori (Cherokee Trail), 1:13; 195 pounds — Zeke Silva (Grandview) pinned Robert Woods (Grandview), 5:11