PREP WRESTLING NOTES: Amara Juarez, Ryu Ramos both lose to state No. 1-ranked wrestlers … Yucaipa looms a legitimate contender for a CIF title … REV boys standing strong at team duals, invitationals.

Amara Juarez destroyed Montebello Schurr’s Itzel Hernandez, 13-3, in the 116-pound finals at the Girls Black Watch wrestling tournament in Upland.

Citrus Valley’s sixth place finish trailed a logjam of top five finishers — Foothill Santa Ana (146 points), Walnut (135), Aliso Niguel (130), Montclair and Sylmar (111) — with 97 points in the team standings.

Diana Ventura dropped her championship bout against Long Beach Poly’s Christine Jayne Yuson in the 160-pound bout.

Marlee Lopez, fourth at 118 pounds, plus Elena Ramirez, eighth at 121, contributed to the Lady Blackhawks’ finish.

Juarez, seeded third in her class, won her way to the championship with three straight pins, including sticking second-seeded Isabel Miranda in the second fall.

Hernandez, meanwhile, was top-seeded in the class.

Ventura was seeded No. 1 in the 160-pound field, winning by pin and default before squaring off against the No. 2-seeded Yuson.

It was a second fall pin that knocked Ventura out of winning the class.

Earlier this season, Citrus Valley’s girls wound up eighth at the Inland Empire Challenge at Rialto Carter. Riverside Hillcrest edged Downey, 200-173, for the team title.

Juarez lost in the 116-pound finals to Yucaipa’s Leah Gaitan, who is ranked No. 1 in California.

Both won their way to the finals by pinning all comers, but Gaitan’s 17-0 technical fall triumph in the championship was a dominant performance.

Marlee Lopez (fourth, 111), Elena Ramirez (seventh, 121), Destiny Mejia (8th, 126) and heavyweight Amanda Earl wound up third in her class for Citrus Valley.

REDLANDS EAST VALLEY, GIRLS — Lady Wildcat wrestlers took fifth overall at the Valley of the Queens, netting two champions — Debbra Jedrysek (111 pounds) and Olivia Benz (126) — with Brianna Navarro (150) turning up second.

REV had seven overall placers at the VOQ.

REDLANDS, GIRLS — Angelina Aguayo pulled off a sixth place finish at the Dec. 27 Upland Black Watch, dropping her match-up for fifth to a Walnut wrestler.

Aguayo had to work hard to claim that spot, dropping an early bout that dropped her into consolations. First, she had to overcome her own Lady Terrier teammate, Bryanna Mendoza, before embarking on a series of four straight victories before Montebello Schurr’s Galileo Garcia.


Is there any team in San Bernardino County that can stand up to Yucaipa?

The answer is probably not.

The Thunderbirds, a past CIF team champion with plenty of individual firepower, have been fortified by incoming transfers from Cajon over the past couple years — both male and female.

Yucaipa has won highly coveted boys’ events, including the Tom Bravo Invitational at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos not to mention the Shark Tank at Corona Santiago.

Among those Cajon-to-Yucaipa transfers include Trenton Guillermo-Paguadan and Ethan Krey, individual winners at the Shark Tank. Throw in female 101-pounder Angie Castaneda, the 101-pound CIF champion from 2019.

Yucaipa squared off against a solid Redlands East Valley squad this week, but the Wildcats — strong enough under third-year coach Bryan Holcombe — couldn’t hope to compete with the T-Birds’ regime.

“I don’t think anybody can beat Yucaipa,” said Holcombe, who noted the loss of Cajon’s longtime head coach, Jesse Singh, stepping down last year.

As a consequence, said Holcombe, “many of their best wrestlers transferred to Yucaipa High School.”

The loss of many Cajon stars most likely contributed to REV’s 61-15 dual meet triumph over the Cowboys. It was quite a turnaround from last year’s 56-24 Cajon win over REV.

Yucaipa is tied for No. 20 in statewide rankings with Covina Northview and Temecula Valley.

CITRUS VALLEY, BOYS — At the Dec. 26-27 Black Watch at Upland High School, Audo Moreno (152 pounds) and Ryu Ramos (120) pulled out fourth place finishes in their weight divisions. In a tournament dominated by Eastvale Roosevelt (283.5 points), the Blackhawks deadlocked for 23rd place with Moreno Valley Valley View.

Ramos lost to second-seeded Tiger Ortiz (Santa Ana Calvary Chapel) twice, once in the quarterfinals and, later, in a bout for third place — both by pin.

Moreno won a pair of bouts, then went up against Upland’s Jonathan Moreno in the quarterfinals, losing by pin 3:19 into the match. Moreno won his way into the third place bout, losing to Roosevelt’s Isiah Vasquez, 5-0.

Citrus Belt League rival Rialto Carter took 13th with three wrestlers making the final victory podium.

Earlier this season, the Blackhawks took 15th at the Tom Bravo Classic (Dec. 7) won by CBL rival Yucaipa, a convincing 249-178 win over host Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos. Cajon took seventh place.

Ramos made the victory podium, fourth at 120.

The Hawks Nest at Perris Citrus Hill provided a third place finish for Ramos (120), winner in five of his six bouts, losing in the semifinals to a wrestler from Central California, Selma’s Richard Figueroa — ranked No. 1 in California at 113 pounds.

Chris Jimenez (106) won three of his five bouts.

Moreno split his six bouts to place sixth.

Ramos wound up third at the Raul Huerta Memorial (Dec. 20-21) at Moreno Valley Canyon Springs.

REDLANDS, BOYS — The Hawks Nest (Dec. 13-14), a top-flight event noted for filling its brackets with CIF championship-bound wrestlers, was a nice building point for 120-pounder Isaiah Dorres, who pinned Upland’s Andy Gomez before losing to Eastvale Roosevelt’s Ian Neeley in the consolation finals.

Dorres won three of his five bouts.

At 145 pounds, Tyler Crow scored wins over wrestlers from Moreno Valley Canyon Springs and Valencia’s Druid Altera.

Nathaniel Cortes (138 pounds) split his four bouts, beating wrestlers from Riverside Poly and Murrieta Mesa before losing in overtime, 7-6, to Murrieta Mesa’s Tyler Ciniceros.

At the Dec. 26-27 Black Watch, Terrier wrestlers took 44th place.

REDLANDS EAST VALLEY, BOYS — The Wildcats opened their dual season with a 66-9 non-league win over Rialto Eisenhower, eventually sticking their noses in at such events like the Lancer Open in Orange County, plus the highly-competitive Hawks Nest at Perris Citrus Hill.

Jacob Lopez (132 pounds) wound up in the finals, losing to Lutheran’s Dominic Lobo.

Nathaniel Blecher (220) and Robert Gallindo (138) each won their consolation division.

Jace Gurrola (182) reached the quarterfinals, lost, eventually taking fifth place.

The San Bernardino County Championships are coming up on Jan. 11 at Fontana A.B. Miller.

Two new coaches have joined Holcombe, including Zak Kear, plus Marty Lacanlale as girls’ assistant. Chris Stiles remains a volunteer assistant.

At the highly-regarded Hawks Nest (Perris Citrus Hill), Cameron Cable and Matt Carlson placed.

“It’s maybe harder than CIF,” said Holcombe. “It had a tough field.”

REV also participated in the Bryan Molloy Christmas Classic at Fontana, losing only to CBL rival Rialto Carter, 40-39, in nine total team duels.

The Wildcats, who have lost only once to a Redlands-based school — Citrus Valley beat the Wildcats two years ago — since REV opened in 1997, beat Redlands High, 57-15.