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Bruin Wrestlers Struggle Against Ripon
After four strong days of wrestling earned a tournament medal and impressive dual meet pin, Riverbank High's Melissa Garcia was riding the best performances of her prep career into a Jan. 11 showdown with host Ripon on the Indians' senior night. But Ripon's Juliana Triplett, a reigning California Girls State Invitational Champion ranked No. 6 in the nation, is on a bit of a hot streak herself.

Triplett landed an early takedown and first round pin in the pair's 171-pound junior varsity match.

Ripon would go on to take a one-sided JV victory and claim a 78-6 varsity win over the visiting Bruins. It was a relatively calm meet for an unbeaten Ripon team that had to fight for a 42-40 win against Riverbank a season ago.

Victor Machuca snagged Riverbank's lone JV win with an impressive pin at 152 pounds.

The Bruins had a healthy lineup of JV wrestlers, but surrendered eight forfeits to Ripon in a one-sided varsity dual.

Tim Sterling looked sharp early, but gave Ripon a six-point lead in team scoring after he was powered to his back by Ripon's Sam Beeler with only seven seconds left in the first round at 220 pounds.

Javier Gaxiola was pinned in 1:38 by Mat Classic Tourney champion Junior Ignacio at 285 pounds, and watched the first four Riverbank forfeits give Ripon a 36-0 lead with eight matches to go.

Luis Hernandez and Omar Flores dropped back-to-back matches to Ripon at 132 and 138, but saw Bruin teammate Jose Martinez land perhaps the biggest win of Riverbank's season in a 145-pound showdown with Ripon senior Zach Herrera. Martinez scored early and often, ultimately pinning Herrera in a thrilling second round at the 2:25 mark.

Junior Tovar was pinned by Ripon senior standout Trevor Daniel two matches later for the glimpse of action of the night. Three consecutive forfeits pushed Ripon over 70 points for the second time in as many weeks. Ripon bested Modesto Christian 84-0 on Jan. 4.

Riverbank also got in some work as they brought several wrestlers to the Lloyd Engel Tournament in Escalon on Jan. 13 and 14. The team is at Orestimba today, Jan 18.