The Pioneer Valley girls wrestling team's depth showed through again Saturday.
The perennial powerhouse won the Central Coast Wrestling Tournament at Nipomo High School handily, with 245 points. Nipomo finished second with 156 points. The Pioneer Valley "B" team was third with 140.
"I thought we wrestled well," said Pioneer Valley coach Kevin Ilac. "We've worked hard in the (workout) room the last two weeks, and that showed through today."
Pioneer Valley will host the CIF Southern Section Northern Regional Tournament this Saturday. Wrestling is set to begin at 9 a.m.
"We are excited about the chance to show that we are one of the top teams in the Southern Section, and we hope to advance at least 12 or 13 girls through to the (sectional) finals."
The Panthers won championships in nine of the 12 weight classes in which finals took place Saturday. There was just one wrestler in two weight classes, Daniela Rivas of Pioneer Valley at 172 pounds and Alexis Garcia of Nipomo at 237,
Pioneer Valley wrestlers in the first five weight classes each made sure their time in championship matches was short. Jessica Bautista (103 pounds), Carolina Molina (109), Cherry Inay (113), Chrystal Martinez (118) and Emily Ramirez (123) all won by fall, and none of them took longer than two minutes, 37 seconds to do it.
The stake move isn't Molina's favorite move, but she was able to use it to pin Daisy Bernal of Santa Maria with it in the title match.
"I just tried to stand her up," said Molina, a junior who is a third-year varsity wrestler. "I usually like to use the arm bar move (pinning the opponent's arm) but I just take what's available to me."
Ramirez came from 7-2 down against Tania Estrada of Righetti with a dramatic reversal and a pin at the 1:58 mark. Righetti's Shayla Bautista broke up the string of Panthers titles by pinning Pioneer Valley's Jennifer Espinoza in 57 seconds.
"I started wrestling last year," said Bautista, a junior. "I didn't really get a chance in basketball and I liked it that wrestling's such an individual sport, so I decided to give it a try.
"You can't blame anybody else in wrestling. It's all you."
Tenessa Padilla wasn't exactly at full strength Saturday. but the Nipomo senior had enough to get a pin 1:35 into the second round of the 145-pound championship match.
"I just came back from an injury, so I really wasn't sure how today would go," said Padilla.
"I used a half nelson to get the pin. That's one of my favorite moves."
Padilla said winning the title Saturday against the top seed gave her some confidence with the Northern Regional approaching but, "I'm not at full strength yet."
Three finals were all-Pioneer Valley affairs. Martinez, Rosa Camilo (133 pounds) and Tiffany Santana (152) all defeated teammates who wrestled for the Pioneer Valley "B" team Saturday.
Malina Bourbon (139 pounds) and Michelle Gonzales (162) of Pioneer Valley, along with Natalya Nievez (191) of Nipomo, all won championships Saturday.
Participation in the tournament increased sharply from last year, when four teams took part.
Righetti finished fourth in the 12-team tournament with 48 points. Cabrillo was fifth with 30, Santa Maria was eighth with 19 and Lompoc was 10th with six.
Just one title match did not end with a pin. Bourbon edged Samantha Morin of Nipomo 4-2 in overtime.
Gonzales rallied from a 6-2 deficit against Janet Aguilar of Morro Bay, eventually pinning Aguilar 55 seconds into the second round.
Lesly Hernandez (103 pounds) and Sarah Towe (123) of Cabrillo were the highest Lompoc Valley placers. Both finished third.