Madera’s Avila lives up to billing; Madera South sends to to finals
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Madison Avila works her quarterfinal opponent into near fall points during Friday’s Chukchansi Invitational. Avila, who is ranked No. 1 in the state, won the 104-pound division.
The Central Section’s top-ranked wrestler at 104-pounds, Madera’s Madison Avila, lived up to her billing with a championship at the Lady Chukchansi Invitational at Madera South.
Avila recorded pins in the quarterfinals and the semifinals before surviving a 2-1 decision in the finals.
Madera South sent two wrestlers to the championship. Elizabeth Rojas-Ramos, at 238 pounds, and Viridiana Cedillo, at 129 pounds, each lost in the championship match by pinfall.
Matilda Torres’ lone participant, freshman Lilly Standen, placed sixth in the 140-pound division.
More than 140 wrestlers from more than 20 different schools participated in the Lady Chukchansi Invitational on Friday at Madera South High School.
The Coyotes’ lone participant at the Chukchansi Invitational, Avila lasted the entire day and wasn’t really tested until the finals.
Avila earned a first round bye and her first match came in the quarterfinals.
She recorded a takedown 52 seconds into the match and earned three near-fall points with 13 seconds left in the first period. However, she allowed her opponent to escape at the end of the period by mistaking a whistle on the other mat for the end of the period.
She came out with a takedown 41 seconds into the second period. Avila worked her opponent into a pin with 36 seconds left in the period to advance to the semifinals.
In the semifinals, she faced a Sanger opponent and finished her off in the first period. Avila recorded a takedown 18 seconds into the match, but her opponent escaped the hold for a point.
Avila got her opponent into another takedown 14 seconds later and then recorded two near-fall points 10 seconds later. She finally got her opponent into a pin with 42 seconds left in the first period.
Avila, who is ranked No. 1 in the state at 104 pounds faced Central-Fresno freshman Megan Morales, who is ranked No. 2 in the state in the Chukchansi finals.
Avila got the upper hand in the first period with a takedown with 32 seconds left. Morales recorded an escape with 53 seconds left in the second to set up the third period.
Avila had the choice and took down while her opponent had to try to get Avila on her back to earn near fall points.
“She knows she needs a lot of practice on the bottom,” coach Ryan Philp said. “That girl is one of the toughest girls on top. We were pretty happy she couldn’t turn us. Our strategy was not to go bottom. Sometimes, in the heat of things, she wanted to go on the bottom and see what she could do against her. “
Avila kept her position for the entire two minutes and came away with a 2-1 decision for the win.
“I have to be technical and score points rather than just winning,” she said. “I tried not to ride it, but try to score more points. You have to be good in all positions. I picked bottom because she’s tough on top.”
Both Philp and Avila know they will see Morales in the weeks to come with the area tournament on Feb. 11 at Clovis East High School and the Section Championships on Feb. 19 at Lemoore High School.
“We have the playoffs coming up,” Philp said. “We’re going to see her at least two more times — at area and at Valleys. It’s too close, but we have to find a way to separate from her. It’s good matches. Those are the top two girls in the state at the weight class. That’s some good wrestling.”
Madera South Stallions
Madera South’s Viridiana Cedillo and Elizabeth Rojas-Rocha each advanced to the finals of the Chukchansi Invitational.
In addition, Evangelina Mejia lost her fifth place match at 119 pounds to place sixth.
Cedillo came away with a narrow victory in the 129-pound quarterfinals. After taking a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period, she got a takedown six seconds into the second period. However, her opponent got a reversal, but Cedillo got a reversal 23 seconds later for a 6-2 lead.
Her opponent recorded an escape with four seconds left to close the lead to three. Cedillo fell into a takedown 46 seconds into the third period, but was able to stay away from her back for more points. She was credited with an escape with no time left in the third period for a 7-5 win.
Cedillo had an easier time in the semifinals. She got a takedown about a minute into the match. She got her opponent to her back and received three near fall points with 24 seconds left. Cedillo kept after it and recorded a pin with four seconds left in the period.
In the finals, Cedillo fell behind 2-1 after the first period. However, she got an escape and a takedown with three seconds left in the second to take a 4-2 lead into the third.
However, her opponent recorded a takedown with 33 seconds left in the match and recorded a pin 17 seconds later.
In the 238-pound quarterfinals, Rojas-Ramos recorded a 9-3 decision to advance to the semifinals.
in the semis, Rojas-Ramos took a 2-0 lead in the first period after a takedown with 14 seconds left. In the second, Rojas-Ramos put her opponent’s back to the mat with 43 seconds left in the second for the win.
Rojas-Ramos fell victim to a takedown 44 seconds into the finals match, but held on to trail 2-0 at the end of the second. However, she fell victim to another takedown 58 seconds into the second. She held on for a while, but eventually was pinned with 15 seconds left in the second period.
Standen was the Toros’ only wrestler in the Chukchansi due to COVID-19 restrictions and advanced to the fifth-sixth place match.
She fell victim to a pin 50 seconds into her quarterfinal match to send her to the consolation round.
From there, she recorded a pin to advance to the medal rounds. She lost in the consolation semifinals and fell victim to a pin in the fifth-sixth place match.