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Katy Girls Win Region 3 Title

The Katy Tigers Girls wrestling team denied Cypress Ranch a back-to-back title at the Region 3 championships on the strength of two individual championships by Noelle Adams at 132 lbs. and Abby Fonseca at 235 lbs. The Tigers also had four third place finishers and another finish in fourth place to total six State qualifiers. Katy’s 163.0 points bested Cy Ranch’s 125.5 despite Ranch having three individual champs: Arianna Beltran at 107 lbs., Mariah Smith at 120 lbs., and Sara Garcia at 165 lbs. There were seven other schools with individual champions.

Eight of the top seeded wrestlers won their weight class. One of the second seeded wrestlers upset the top seeded wrestler. The 138 lb. second seeded wrestler defeated the eighth seed who upset the top seed. And the drama goes on. Read below for the details.

Top Ten Team Scores
1st Katy 162.0
2nd Cypress Ranch 125.5
3rd Katy Cinco Ranch 99.0
4th Langham Creek 96.0
5th Cypress Springs 90.0
6th Cypress Fairbanks 88.5
7th Katy Mayde Creek 74.5
8th Katy Paetow 72.0
9th Katy Seven Lakes 71.0
10th League City Clear Lake 62.0
10th League City Clear Falls 62.0

100 lbs.: In the continuing saga of the Christine Tran and Hailey Bello contests, the two wrestlers were matched up once again. The Region 3 finals marks the eighth time the two girls have wrestled each other in the last two UIL seasons. This contest was a rematch of the most recent District 10 final where Tran defeated Bello in a 7-6 Tech Bout.

Bello, the 6th seed, made it to the finals by beating the 11th seed, 14-0; the 3rd seed, District 12 champ, Regan Ford of Clear Lake with a third period pin (after leading 13-1); the 2nd seed, District 11 champ, Madison Nguyen of Westside; and the #1 seed, and her nemesis, Tran by a 5-0 decision. In all four matches, Bello gave up only one point.

For a junior wrestler who has been a District runner-up three years in a row, this was a sweet victory.

1st Hailey Bello 40-5 Langham Creek
2nd Christine Tran 42-6 Jersey Village
3rd Natalie Roberson 39-16 Katy
4th Celeste Gonzalez 42-9 Katy Paetow
5th Madison Nguyen 39-9 Houston Westside
6th Regan Ford 34-13 Houston Clear Lake

Photo Gallery by Brian S. Doyle

107 lbs: As the 100 lb. returning Regional champ and #3 ranked 107 pounder in the state, this was Arianna Beltran’s bracket for the taking. And take she did. With three pins and a 15-0, second period tech fall. She swept through the bracket with only one point scored against her. I don’t like to get ahead of myself, but if Beltran takes care of business in the first two rounds of the UIL Championship, she will have a potential semifinal match-up with Margarita Norez, the Region 1 champ, and a final match with the winner of a Romans-Spielmann semifinal, and that is if the top seeds all make it through the bracket. Those would be great matches to look forward to.

1st Arianna Beltran 48-2 Cypress Ranch
2nd Minha Castillo 28-3 League City Clear Falls
3rd Amanda Alvarado Aldana 37-15 Cypress Springs
4th Yvette Zepeda 48-11 Langham Creek
5th Stephanie Lopez 24-19 Katy Mayde Creek
6th Madison Fitzgerald 17-13 Katy Cinco Ranch

114 lbs: This finals match is the second in a row where the top two seeded wrestlers faced one another. Chamille Bryson, ranked #4 was seeded first and Nevada Daniels, ranked #6, and seeded second met each other for the first time this year. In a match that looked like it was going Bryson’s way, with two separate nearfalls in the first period, where one looked like it could have ended the match, but wasn’t called. Daniels kept getting herself out of trouble, and a reversal from her back in the third period did the trick, as she ended on top of Bryson and got the pin at 4:43. Daniels makes this win her second Regional title in a row following up on her 107 lb. championship.

1st Nevada Daniels 46-4 Katy Cinco Ranch
2nd Chamille Bryson 39-6 Cypress Creek
3rd Emily Melhem 30-7 Katy Taylor
4th Sydney Petersen 36-14 Houston Clear Lake
5th Camila Ortiz 20-16 Cypress Ridge
6th Ke’myah Rogers 31-22 Cypress Fairbanks

120 lbs: #2 Ranked Mariah Smith of Cy Ranch met #4 Layla Miranda of Bridgeland in the finals match. The two faced off last Saturday in the District 10 finals where Smith won with a 7-2 decision. This Regional match marked the fifth time this year they have wrestled each other, with the first four going Smith’s way. Smith was last year’s 126 lb. Regional champion.

Smith scored the first takedown with a spin around a poor Miranda shot. Miranda quickly escaped, and was down 2-1 going into the second. Smith scored an escape and then a takedown on another spin when Miranda’s shot came up short. Up 5-1, Smith started on top, and gave up an escape sandwiched between two stalling calls, which gave Smith a penalty point. After another penalty point, Miranda added a takedown to close the score to 7-4. But with 0:10 left, Smith sealed the title with a reversal to win the gold medal with a 9-4 decision.

1st Mariah Smith 37-4 Cypress Ranch
2nd Layla Miranda 39-12 Bridgeland
3rd Emily Beltran 39-13 Katy
4th Isabella Fresneda 47-6 Katy Paetow
5th Eris Nunez 31-9 Houston Clear Lake
6th Luna TeHira 31-17 Katy Seven Lakes

126 lbs: Top seed and ranked #5, freshman Elliotte Strange of Cy Fair took on second seed and #9 ranked Natalie Grijalva of Katy Taylor in the Finals. Both wrestlers beat ranked wrestlers to reach the finals. Strange beat the District 12 champ and #19 Sophia Tamayo of Houston Clear Lake, and Grijalva defeated #12, Roxanne Riddle of Cy Ranch.

In the match-up between Strange and Grijalva, the first takedown was a strong double-leg, where Strange picked Grijalva up off the mat and deposited her on her side, but was unable to turn her. Grijalva earned an escape before the end of the period. Strange deferred, and Grijalva chose bottom, and Strange would ride her for the entire two minutes where Grijalva only had one real opportunity to escape, but it didn’t happen. Strange on bottom in third, up 2-1, and it took about a minute before she could stand and escape. Strange’s heavy ride kept Grijalva down for the rest of the period, and she won a 5-1 decision for the Regional championship.

Stephanie Diaz-Salazar made her way from the 10th seed to the Bronze medal. She finished third behind Strange in Districts, and had a #13 ranking.

1st Elliotte Strange 46-6 Cypress Fairbanks
2nd Natalie Grijalva 37-6 Katy Taylor
3rd Stephanie Diaz-Salazar 45-16 Langham Creek
4th Michelle Holden 27-11 Katy Cinco Ranch
5th Roxanne Riddle 31-13 Cypress Ranch
6th Sophia Tamayo 31-13 Houston Clear Lake

132 lbs: The top seed and #3 ranked Noelle Adams of Katy pinned her way through the bracket to the Championship without having to face another District champion, as they were all defeated in the first three rounds and did not place in the top four places to qualify for State. Giada Muller, the other finalist, was the sixth seed and finished behind Adams in the District 9 finals by a tight 4-3 decision.

This finals match would be quite similar for the first two-and-a-half periods as neither girl wanted to commit on a takedown, which led to a lot of hand-fighting in a scoreless first period, as well as over a minute of the same in the second period after Adams got an escape. It wasn’t till the third period when both girls scored a reversal that Adams took control and turned Muller for the pin at 5:28

1st Noelle Adams 51-8 Katy
2nd Giada Muller 41-10 Katy Paetow
3rd Ufuoma Abel-Obovwemu 37-14 Langham Creek
4th Annamarie Oyervides 26-11 Cypress Ridge
5th Zhariyah Wittington 39-13 Cypress Lakes
6th Angelina Patterson 32-19 Cypress Ranch

138 lbs: There were six ranked wrestlers in this weight class, and they all finished in the top six places, just not in the order that you would have predicted. The top seed, #9 Haley Pitts of Katy was beaten in the quarterfinals by #13 Kaitlyn Alcaraz of Cy Fair. Alcaraz, who was the eighth seed, would make it to the finals by defeating #17 Melanie Alvarez. On the bottom of the bracket, the third seed and #12 Lillian Baynes of Cy Woods lost to the sixth seed, #10 Ryleigh Bennett of Cinco Ranch in the quarterfinals. Bennett then lost to second seed, #14 Leona York.

In the first period of the finals, York would strike first with a takedown from which Alcaraz would escape from, only to be taken down again four seconds later. Alcaraz was given an escape at the whistle to bring York’s lead to 4-2 going into the second. York defers and Alcaraz selects bottom

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Written by Brian S. Doyle

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