Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Terra Nova’s Chase Edgington, top, tries to flip South City’s Felgion Peralta onto his back during their match at 138 pounds. Edgington set the tone, pinning Peralta as the Tigers went on to post a 49-19 win.
The process of winnowing out the also-rans for the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division team championship began in earnest Thursday night.
Three teams — Half Moon Bay, South City and defending champion Terra Nova — were all undefeated in league meets going into Thursday’s action.
Two of them, South City and Terra Nova, met in Pacifica last night. Essentially, it boils down to win and advance, or lose and go home.
When the final match was done, Terra Nova had recorded a 49-19 win to stay unbeaten and keeps the Tigers in the hunt to defend their title.
“We were confident, but we didn’t know what to expect,” said Terra Nova coach Bill Armstrong. “Every match is the most important match. We don’t look past anybody, especially with the young team we have.”
Terra Nova (3-0 PAL Bay) won nine of the 14 matches, including three by forfeit and four pin.
South City coach Steve Matteucci believes the match turned on the second bout of the night at 145 pounds, which pitted Terra Nova’s Ryan McGannon and South City’s Will Nicholls. There wasn’t a whole lot of action in the match and when the buzzer sounded after three, two-minute rounds, McGannon and Nicholls were tied at 3.
A one-minute overtime period was added and as the final seconds ticked down, Nicholls had McGannon in a scissors headlock with his legs.
The Terra Nova coaching staff was jumping up and down, looking for an illegal hold. A Tigers assistant coach had a discussion with the referee, as well as Matteucci, and after about five minutes, the referee ruled Nicholls was using an illegal hold and McGannon was awarded one point — and the victory.
Armstrong said his assistant, Dennis Shillings, is a former wrestling referee and knows the rulebook forward and back.
“I don’t think I even own a rulebook,” Armstrong joked.
Instead of South City possibly picking up three points, those went the Tigers, turning a 6-0 lead — following a pin by Chase Edgington in the first match of the night — into a 9-0 advantage.
South City could never recover.
“Nicholls losing on a technical foul, that was big. That was a six-point swing,” Matteucci said.
That win was followed up two more Tigers’ victories, with Iakona Simpliciano beating his opponent 10-1 at 152 pounds, followed by an OJ Gazo forfeit win.
After four matches, Terra Nova led 19-0.
South City (2-1) picked up its first win at 172, where Dupra Goodman got two, 2-point takedowns and a pair of reversals to post an 8-2 win.
The Warriors made it two in a row when Peter Lopez held off Terra Nova’s Dante Campagna 1-0 on a second-round escape.
But the Tigers picked up another six points on a South City forfeit at 195 pounds for a 25-6 advantage.
That preceded two straight pins by the Tigers. Joshua Bradshaw and Lofi Malepea were involved in an exciting match at 220. But with the score tied at 5, Bradshaw got a quick takedown and finished off Malepea, pinning him with 23 second left in the first period.
Feeding off that, Terra Nova heavyweight Adam Noce also earned a first-round pin to put Terra Nova up 37-6.
South City won two of the final three matches — Justin Del Castillo winning at 106 and Chris Magallanes winning at 120 — but it was too little too late.
Half Moon Bay 49, Sequoia 20
The Cougars kept pace with Terra Nova in the standings, beating the Cherokees to also stay unbeaten in PAL Bay Division matches.
Half Moon Bay (3-0 PAL Bay) was aided by five pins, which was good for 30 points. In all, the Cougars won 10 of the 14 matches, including pins from Spencer Boling (134) and Jose Ayon (heavyweight).