STOCKTON — John Jimenez had it tough, Scott Adams had it tougher and Jack Artman had it toughest.
As a result, the seasons of all three Ventura County high school wrestlers came to an end Saturday with losses in the state wrestling finals before about 6,000 at University of the Pacific's Spanos Center.
Jimenez (119 pounds) and Adams (189) of Ventura High, and Artman (145) of Thousand Oaks ran into brick walls after each had wrestled his way to the finals with four consecutive wins in the two-day tournament.
Jimenez, a Southern Section champion, dropped a 5-4 decision to Chaffey's Tony Desouza, who entered the match with a record of 55-1, 154-12-1 in his career.
Adams, who entered the final 39-1 and placed first in the Southern Section Masters meet, was defeated, 11-3, by Hanford's Lalo Moz, the 189-pound defending state champion. Moz entered the final 38-0 with 33 pins, 84 in his career.
Artman's opponent, Kyle Porter of Hughson, entered the championship round with credentials among the most impressive of any of the meet's 416 entries.
Porter, the state's defending 145-pound champion, faced Artman with a state-record 206 career wins, then established a national record with his 67th victory this season against no losses.
Tough day at the office.
"I knew coming in that it would be tough," Adams said. "(Moz) is one of the best wrestlers in the nation."
Said Artman: "I couldn't beat him. I just couldn't. Dang it."
Artman, who entered the final 38-0, made a good showing, scoring a takedown to take a 2-0 lead early in the second period. He did not fall behind until midway through the third period.
"He didn't look strong at all against guys I had beaten," Artman said. "Then he comes along and--surprise, surprise--he's stronger than he looks."
Jimenez also made Desouza work for his medal. The two traded two-point scoring moves before Desouza grabbed the lead for good with a reversal move with 35 seconds left in the match.
The bout was stopped three times in the third period when the official ruled the wrestlers had reached a stalemate. Jimenez (56-3) was on top of Desouza each time the match was stopped.
"I do not understand that at all," Ventura Coach Paul Clementi said. "(Jimenez) was in a pinning position. I have never seen a stalemate called when a wrestler was in a pinning position."
In the team competition, Clovis captured its third consecutive state title with 95 points. Ventura finished sixth with 45 1/2.
In the semifinals earlier in the day, Adams pulled an upset with a 9-4 victory over Fairfield's Dan Corpstein, who finished fifth in the state last season and entered the match undefeated in 31 bouts.
Artman advanced to the final by pinning Bruce Munster of Clovis in 1:22.
Jimenez recorded a 5-3 semifinal victory over ChongKi Yi of Santa Clara.
In the consolation bracket, Jason Pratt of Newbury Park avenged his opening-round loss to Joe Lasaga of Sequoia with an 11-5 victory in the 152-pound quarterfinals.
Pratt won six consecutive consolation matches before losing to Erick Vera of Serra, 13-2, in the third-place final.