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Napa Valley Prep Report: Napa preps for Big Game wrestling at stadium
Prep Report

Napa Valley Prep Report: Napa preps for Big Game wrestling at stadium

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The Napa High wrestling team visited Petaluma High on Wednesday for the penultimate of its Vine Valley Athletic League dual meets, none of which are officially scored for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manuel Infante recorded the Grizzlies’ first win with a pin in the second period at 132 pounds in the meet, which was held outdoors. Teammates Benito Saldivar (138) and Robert Gomez (145) followed with first-period pins. Down the stretch, Thomas Hatton (195) and Cole Lex (285) notched second- and first-period pins, respectively.

Dropping their matches were Alex Briseno (160) by 10-4 decision, Jose Leyra (126) on a pin in the second period, and Graham Gongora (170), Rudy Hernandez (182) and Gunnar Reger (220) on first-period pins.

Winning exhibition matches for the Grizzlies were Jose Martinez (152), Angelo Barracco (160) and David Lopez (182) with first-period pins, while Marco Saldivar gave up 3 escapes in a 3-2 loss.

Napa High closes its season with another outdoor meet, the first ever at Memorial Stadium, a Big Game matchup with crosstown rival Vintage at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Varsity Boys Basketball

Vintage 66, Vallejo 62 (OT)

The Crushers pulled out their second overtime victory in five days Saturday, downing Vallejo in a nonleague road game at Bottari Gym.

It was also the Crushers’ first game with no spectators allowed.

“We only had a scorekeeper, film person and stat person. Vallejo had only a film person, scorekeeper and clock operator,” Vintage head coach Ben Gongora said. “I am actually surprised this was our first game like this, especially given it’s our 14th game of the season. Truly zero fans. It was eerie at first. We didn’t have a jump ball either. The refs did a coin flip for the opening possession.”

Crushers sophomore Ben Jackson started in place of senior Josh McCormick, who was nursing an injury and on limited minutes, but the Crushers jumped out to a 15-9 lead by the end of the first quarter.

“Ben is a solid player. He’s such a great kid too. Mike and Kim, his parents, have done a great job raising him into an outstanding young man. I’m excited to have Ben another two seasons.”

Vallejo came back to within 23-22 by halftime, however, as top Vintage scoring threat Logan Nothmann — who had poured in a career-high 31 points in a 96-93 double-overtime win at Sonoma Valley five days before — still had zero points.

“We were playing hard, but Logan couldn’t buy a basket. He was getting frustrated,” Gongora said. “I had to give him a break at the end of the second quarter so he could reset things.”

Nothmann took full advantage of the pause and came out blazing in the second half with 9 third-quarter points. Jackson Corley added 6 in the frame to push the Crushers’ lead to 41-36.

Vallejo wasn’t about to fold though. The Red Hawks were riding the shoulders of 6-foot-5 senior Kevin Barnes, who scored 10 of his 19 points in the second half after Vintage big men Cole Capitani and Everett Mitchell got into early foul trouble.

“We struggled guarding their big man,” Gongora said of Barnes. “He scored, rebounded and blocked shots.”

Vallejo outscored the Crushers 19-14 in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 55-55, as a McCormick 3-point attempt rimmed out at the buzzer to bring on the extra four-minute stanza.

“I thought it was going in, but that’s OK,” Gongora recalled. “I immediately lifted up the players who were a little frustrated to be in overtime. We obviously would have liked to have closed it out in regulation, but Vallejo has heart and they showed their competitive spirit.”

After Vintage lost another coin toss to start OT, McCormick drained a clutch 3-pointer and Nothmann scored 8 points — including two victory-sealing free throws with 3 seconds remaining — to help the Crushers improve to 12-2 overall.

“Logan did whatever he wanted to in overtime. He was dialed in and in total control,” Gongora said. “What a week for Logan, to be at the line with the game hanging in the balance twice this week and coming through both times. I love his grit and confidence.”

Nothmann finished with 24 points, all in the second half, while Corley added 16, Mitchell 8, Ben Jackson 7, and Anthony Notaro 6. Gongora said Notaro played crucial minutes in relief of Nothmann and brought spark on both ends of the court.

The drama may not be over for the Crushers. They host crosstown rival Napa High in their season finale on Tuesday, and it’ll be Senior Night for Owen Schnaible, McCormick and Mitchell and Nothmann.

“It’s going to be tough saying goodbye to Logan, Owen, Josh and Everett,” Gongora said. “I love them all so much. Even thinking about it now gets me choked up.”

Varsity Baseball

American Canyon 6, Sonoma Valley 3

After rolling to their first win of the season on Friday, 10-0 over Justin-Siena, the Wolves scored 4 runs in the top of the first inning at Sonoma’s Arnold Field on Saturday night and held on for yet another VVAL victory.

Josh Johnson got the save after relieving starter Ryan Mitchell (2 earned runs, 4 hits, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks) to start the seventh, giving up three walks and a single but allowing only one run.

Vinnie Espejo went 3 for 3 with an RBI, 1 walk, 2 stolen bases and 2 runs scored and Mitchell was 2 for 3 with an RBI, walk, stolen base and run as the Wolves (2-10, 2-7 VVAL) out-hit the Dragons 9-5.

Also contributing offensively were Jordan Fisher (1 for 3, walk, 2 runs), Mason Brodit (1 for 3, double, 3 RBIs, hit by pitch, 1 run), Antonnio Lawson (1 for 4, RBI), Cody West (1 for 3), Roman Webb (hit by pitch) and Tyree Reed (sacrifice bunt, walk).

Varsity Softball

Napa 9, Sonoma Valley 5

The Grizzlies (9-7, 9-5 VVAL) head into Tuesday’s finale at Casa Grande on a two-game win streak after beating the Dragons on Thursday, two days after routing Justin-Siena 11-1 in five innings on Senior Day.

Alana Valentine (3 for 5, double, RBI, 3 stolen bases, run), Dalila Tapia (2 for 3, RBI, hit by pitch, 2 runs), Jordan Blackmon (2 for 4, run) and Caity Newburn (1 for 2, home run, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) led Napa’s 13-hit barrage.

Also supplying offense were Berkley Kramer (1 for 2, double, RBI, run), Olivia Vavricka (1 for 4, double, walk), Molly Travis (1 for 4), Reilly Parga (1 for 3, RBI, run), Olivia Horn (1 for 2, RBI), Alyssa Michie (walk, run) and Karen Sepulveda (RBI).

Sepulveda got the win after pitching the last four innings and allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits and no strikeouts or walks. Kramer started and allowed 3 earned runs on 7 hits, 3 walks and a strikeout.

Napa also had 13 hits against Justin-Siena. The multiple-hitters were Valentine (2 for 4, double, stolen base, 2 runs), Parga (2 for 3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Sepulveda (2 for 3, 3 RBIs, walk) and Vavricka (2 for 2, double, 3 RBIs, run).

Other hits came from Ella Johnson (1 for 1, double), Blackmon (1 for 3, RBI), Newburn (1 for 2, RBI, 2 walks, run), Tapia (1 for 3, 2 runs) and Michie (1 for 3, run). Travis had a run and RBI and Horn also scored.

For Justin-Siena (0-12, 0-11 VVAL), lone senior Clare Halsey went 2 for 2 with a run and Adriana Quintanilla was 1 for 2. The Braves lost their Senior Day game to Petaluma last Wednesday, 15-0, and will close at Sonoma Valley this Wednesday.

Varsity Boys Soccer

Vintage 7, American Canyon 0

The Crushers (9-0, 8-0 VVAL) remained undefeated with Thursday’s Senior Night win over the Wolves at Memorial Stadium.

Varsity Girls Soccer

Napa 4, Justin-Siena 1

Sophomore Ella Turjanis, junior Ava Dominguez, sophomore Gigi Oggenfuss and senior Jasmine Alonso scored for the Grizzlies (4-4-3 VVAL), who erased a 1-1 halftime tie to prevail in Justin-Siena’s Senior Night game on Friday.

Tessa Salvestrin scored for the Braves, who honored seniors Genesis Celaya and Roseanne Figueroa before the game.

Freshman Volleyball

Crushers finish 6-1

Vintage came up a three-set loss to Sonoma Valley short of a perfect season, finishing 6-1.

Chloe Barrett lead the Crushers in kills at middle hitter. Lizzie Quick was a strong server and setter who tallied the most aces and assists and had several serving-point runs. Defensively, Audrey Jonas was an aggressive front and back row player who would hit the floor to make saves or digs if needed.

The team was coached by Sydney Lundeen, a 2017 Vintage graduate who played for the Crushers.

Freshman Boys Basketball

Vintage 50, Cardinal Newman 49

Ready for battle, the Crushers recently hosted Cardinal Newman and jumped out to a double-digit lead. The Cardinals, however, battled back to take a late lead.

With his team down 49-48, Vintage’s Brady Hearn drove the length of the court and drew a foul with three seconds to go. Cardinal Newman called a timeout, hoping to ice Hearn, but he calmly stepped to the line and swished both shots to give the Crushers the victory.

Hearn finished with 11 points, followed by Jace Lopez with 10, Noah Akkerman 6, Cyrus Sabbagha 4, and Eli Mindle 3. Connor Gongora, Jav Rhorer, Trey Sanderlin and Gabe Rocha each scored 2 as the Crushers improved to 4-0.

Napa High senior Cole Lex pins his Petaluma opponent at 285 pounds on May 26.

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Sports Reporter

Andy Wilcox is a sportswriter-photographer for the Napa Valley Register. He's had similar roles in Walnut Creek, Grass Valley, Auburn, Tracy and Patterson. He grew up in Ohio. His wife, Laura, is a pastry chef. He also enjoys playing guitar and piano.

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