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PREP WRESTLING : No Suspense, Just a Canyon Victory

January 22, 1992|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — It started at a fever pitch; the lights were turned out, the song "Eye of the Tiger" blared over the loudspeakers and a spotlight danced over a capacity crowd of 1,500 Tuesday night at Canyon High School.

Canyon's wrestlers ran through a banner that read: "Bowden's Bad Boys." El Modena's wrestlers, having already made their entrance, turned their backs while the Comanches went through their pre-match warm-ups.

Two hours later, the gym was half-empty, and those who remained quietly watched the final few matches.

By then, Canyon had turned its annual wrestling showdown against Century League rival El Modena into another easy victory. Canyon's 51-15 rout of El Modena was its 83rd consecutive dual-meet victory, a streak that dates to December, 1986.

Canyon recorded six pins and improved to 10-0. El Modena (10-1) had two pins but only one other victory.

As if they needed further motivation, Canyon's wrestlers awoke Tuesday to the news that they had fallen from the top of the Orange County rankings for the first time this season. Savanna, which defeated Canyon by three points at the Five Counties Invitational Saturday, moved ahead of Canyon in the poll.

"Our kids were a little upset when they read the rankings in the paper," Canyon Coach Gary Bowden said. "They wanted to show the county how good they are."

The Comanches left little doubt that they're the best in the Century League. Since Canyon doesn't face Savanna head-to-head, the Comanches will have to hope Savanna is upset if they are to regain the top spot.

Canyon might not have to wait long. Savanna's No. 1 ranking will be tested by No. 3 Valencia in an Orange League dual match Thursday at Valencia.

Neither Canyon nor El Modena is expected to lose until the new Southern Section dual-meet championships are decided next month.

Among the highlights Tuesday:

--El Modena's Danny Wells upset Truc Tran, 8-6, at 125 pounds, giving the Vanguards a glimmer of hope early in the meet.

--Canyon's Matt Padgett improved his record to 30-0 with 26 pins when he stopped Cliff Russell at 3:27 of their 160-pound match.

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