STOCKTON — Tim Ige tried to cut Fred Hunziker down to size, but the tenacious Capistrano Valley wrestler came up a bit short and had to settle for a second-place finish in the State wrestling championships at the University of Pacific Saturday night.
Ige, who finished 48-2, is a powerful 5-foot, 4-inches, with 132 pounds covering his frame. But Hunziker of Antioch stands 5-11 and looks somewhat like a scarecrow, all arms and legs. It was the legs that proved to be Ige's downfall in a 5-4 defeat.
"He did look like he was 8-feet tall," Ige said. "I'd try to raise his legs up and my arms would be at the top of my head. I couldn't really do any of my moves. It was tough. I know he won and everything, but I'm not sure he was better . . . "
Another wrestler who ran into a buzzsaw in the final was Savanna junior Joey Gillis, who lost, 7-1, to Tracy's Brandon Dennington in the 154-pound final. Dennington never had Gillis (40-4) in real trouble, but he never gave him an opening, either.
"He was strong, but no one will ever turn me over," Gillis said. "Most guys, he'd usually turn over with those holds, but I'm not like most other guys."
In the team competition, San Diego's Valhalla won with 63 1/2 points, ending Clovis West's two-year reign. Newbury Park finished second with 48 1/2. Capistrano Valley and Savanna finished in a tie for 29th with 20 points.
A mental error Friday night probably cost El Dorado's Steve Lawson a championship in the 175-pound class. But the junior shook off his disappointment Saturday, breezing through four opponents en route to a third-place finish and an overall record of 48-2.
"I had a poor match, just one poor match and it cost me," said Lawson, who saw an attempted takedown go awry in a 6-4 loss to Brent Kranig of Christian Brothers. "But you can't worry about woulda's and shoulda's or what might have been. I wanted to prove that I could come back.
"I lost a match I should have won. But I'll get over it. I've got all next year."
One consolation for Lawson was that Kranig was beaten by Channel Islands' Miller Aupiu, 8-6, in the final. Two weeks ago in the Southern Section 4-A meet, Lawson defeated Aupiu, 18-7.
Two other wrestlers who fared well were Fountain Valley senior Trent Kenney, who finished fourth in the 138-pound class, and Marina junior Ed Ruiz, a sixth-place finisher at 126.