The Ceres High Bulldogs didn't win every pivotal match Wednesday, Jan. 15, but they won enough to claim a 45-33 victory against the visiting Tigers at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.
Four key Patterson wrestlers have missed some of the Western Athletic Conference season with various ailments, including two-time Sac-Joaquin Section Masters qualifier Daniel Cota (126 pounds).
Still, Canseco declined to use the excuses of illness or injuries as a reason for Patterson (2-2 WAC) recording its second consecutive conference loss of the campaign on Wednesday night.
"Honestly, there's no reason why we should have come out and lost to Ceres. We came out flat," Canseco said. "I think we definitely overlooked this team and their eight freshmen (wrestlers). They might be freshmen but they all have experience. Ceres came in and did what it had to do."
Instead the first-year coach said that his veteran athletes, as well as the newcomers, will have to stand up and be counted when adversity hits the team the hardest.
While Canseco also praised some of his team for working hard, it became pretty clear where he thought the Tigers were lacking. When asked specifically if he was talking about some of his other athletes, the coach said, "Some of our guys who we weren't expecting to get pinned, got pinned. Those are things that you can't have. You can't give up points. We've talked about that all year. You have to battle through and wrestle hard and be tough."
Trailing 34-15 with five matches left, the only way Patterson could manage a win against the Bulldogs (2-1 WAC) was to finish strong.
Patterson's Simon Perez (170) pinned Ceres' Brian Quintana in the first period; Jerry Arredondo (182) came up big in the next match, pinning Ceres' Johnathan Rodriguez in the first round, before Michael Vazquez (220) sealed the evening with the pinning of Ceres' Tyler Cazardes in the second period.
Needing every single point to eke out a win over Patterson, however, the Bulldogs mixed in a pin and a technical fall to hang on for the WAC victory over the Tigers on Wednesday night.
While ideal matchups did not necessarily present themselves for Patterson on Wednesday evening, the Tigers were able to score some other wins atop the mat.
A pin at 3 minutes, 10 seconds by Ceres' Jose Arita on Patterson's heavyweight wrestler gave the home team its first lead of the match.
That edge wouldn't last for long, though, as Adrian Luna (106) stopped the skid for the Tigers the very next bout with a pin of Ceres' Michael Vargas in 1:35 to tie the dual at 6-6.
But Patterson could get no closer, as Ceres' freshman-laden lineup went on to record pins in three of the next four matches.
Patterson's Jordan Canseco (126) led 6-3 heading into the third period and then, after resuming from the bottom position to open the final frame, he piled up enough points that put him in place for the 12-5 decision.
At 145, Manuel Cruz tried to get things going for the Tigers as he methodically strung together takedowns against the Bulldogs' Cameron Thatcher, earning a second-round pin in 3:48.
The Tigers have their bye week to think about a lot of things before their next league dual Jan. 24 against the visiting Livingston High Wolves.
"The intensity is going to have to definitely get picked up," Virgil Canseco said. "The bye will give us a chance to get back, allow some of our guys who are injured or out with (a staph infection), to recover. The rest of the guys who are in there are going to have to go hard to get contacts. It starts with what we do in the practice room."
The conference season continues at 6 p.m. Jan. 29, as Patterson hosts Livingston High.
Contributions from five athletes moved the JV Tigers record to 3-1 in conference duals so far this season with a 32-0 win over WAC foe Ceres.
Patterson collected a forfeit win in the 106-pound class, then earned a hard-fought technical fall from Nick Molineri in the 126-pound class over Roman Acosta, and two straight pins, at 53 seconds by Josh Roberts (132) on Ceres' Isal Anguiano and at 5:42 by Aiden Fredrickson (138) on Bobby Baranski, to extend its lead at 23-0.
Zeke Miranda (160, decision) and Mark Lopez (220, pin) each followed with wins to add the exclamation point on the night and seal the road victory for Patterson.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.