Though Terra Nova and Half Moon Bay may be rival high schools, the outcome of the last wrestling match of the Peninsula Athletic League season did not reflect any long-standing grudge.
The boys junior varsity and girls and boys varsity squads all dominated the young Terra Nova High School teams on Thursday night in Pacifica. With the 74-3 win, the boys varsity claims the status of undefeated league champion in the Bay Division. It’s the seventh time in the last eight years the Cougars have taken the PAL dual meet championship.
“I don’t think I expected it to go that well,” coach Sam Temko said after the boys varsity team won every weight class but one. “But we knew where Terra Nova was at this year and where we’re at this year, so we came into it expecting to win.
“It feels great,” he said. “As a Half Moon Bay High School alum, it feels great to beat Terra Nova, whether it’s by a lot or a little.”
The girls varsity team stayed unbeaten and won, 58-6. The team has an excellent chance to win its third straight PAL title on Saturday at San Mateo High School.
Taylor Micallef, ranked No. 3 in the Central Coast Section at 121 pounds, won the high-profile matchup, 10-1, over Terra Nova’s Elis Caralho, who is No. 2 in the section. The second match for the boys varsity was one of the most highly contested of the night. Half Moon Bay’s Eddy Lopez won, 15-8, over Terra Nova’s team captain in a down-to-the-wire battle. Both the 172-pound Cougar senior and his opponent used a variety of takedowns and reversals in the three-round match.
“They’re definitely both advanced wrestlers,” Temko said. “So, a lot of the moves from that match were complex, high-level moves.”
Though Terra Nova gave up three consecutive forfeits that gifted Half Moon Bay 18 points, the Cougars handled their competition in impressive fashion. Everyone seemed to come out of the gate blazing. They had eight pins between Tommy Sendino, Christian Navarrete, Tucker Cecil, Donovan Farnsworth, Conner Quosig, Luis Melgar, Bryan Thorne and Caspian Grabowski. By the time the Tigers won their first weight class in an 8-6 overtime decision, Half Moon Bay was up 63-0.
“We felt pretty good about most of the head-to-heads,” coach Ron Ekis said. “But you know, anything can happen. And very rarely does it happen like that.”