Mountain View High School won the Division II state wrestling championship over the weekend, edging out Queen Creek 177.5 to 171 at the Prescott Valley Event Center. 

The Mountain Lions were led by a pair of state champions and a total of seven medalists overall. 

Jayce Cunha and Marcus Castillo won individual state titles at 120 and 136 pounds, respectively. 

Cunha closed out his high school wrestling career by beating Sahuaro’s Armando Valcencia. Cunha got the pinfall victory in the final seconds of the match to seal the championship win. Cunha cruised to the semi finals getting a pin and a 5-0 victory in his first two matches. In the semifinals he edged Jacob Frias 6-2 to earn the championship match bid. 

Castillo is just a sophomore and served notice that he will be a wrestler to contend with over the next few years after going 38-2 this season. 

He had little trouble in his first three matches. He opened the tournament by pinning Mesquite’s Nick Thomas in just 22 seconds. He won his next two matches 12-2 and 12-1, which set up the championship match against Liberty’s Atilano Escobar. It was his toughest match, but Castillo came away with the 9-5 win. 

One other Mountain Lion made the finals as Andrew Cota won his first three matches on to lose via a first period fall against Brandon Courtney to claim second place. There was no shame in losing to Courtney, as the Desert Edge product not only beat every tournament opponent in 1:30 or less, but did not lose a single match all season long. 

Davion Lee claimed third place at 138. After falling in the semifinals to state champion Denen Fernandez, Lee went on to win his next two matches, including a 3-1 win over Liberty’s Brenan Powell in the consolation final. 

Frankie Lee was third at 152, beating Glendale’s Enrique Vasconcelos 7-5 in the third place match. Like several of his teammates, he won his first two matches, then lost to the state champion in the semi-finals. Lee not only gave James Deltz all he could handle before falling 9-6, but he was the only wrestler not to be pinned by Deltz. 

Gabe Ortiz finished fourth at 106. After winning his first two matches he fell to eventual state champion Carlos Vega. In to consolation bracket he edged Christian Gerber, who he also beat in the opening match of the event. The second win over Gerber placed him into the consolation finals. There he fell 5-0 to Blake Rose of Sahuaro, earning the fourth place finish. 

Javier Ortiz followed a similar path to his fourth place finish at 113. He too won his first two matches, before falling in the semi-finals to eventual state champion Josh Herrera. In the consolation bracket semifinals he also met his first round opponent and again beat Ian Larkins, but fell 4-1 to Mark Prado to take fourth. 

Devon Easby (145) and Nicholas Garcia (170) each finished fifth, while Colin Hall took sixth at 160.

Ironwood Ridge placed three grapplers on the podium on their way to a ninth place finish.

Partrick Klass and Jacob Mansman each finished third for the Nighthawks. 

Klass got a pair of pins to open his run at 126 before getting pinned himself by Courtney in the semifinals. He earned the third place finish with two more wins, including a 15-0 technical fall win over Shane Stratford in the third place match. 

Mansman had a tougher route to his third place finish. After winning his first match, he lost in the second round then needed to win four matches to claim his third place finish. Payton Billings finished fifth at 120 for Ironwood Ridge.

Marana placed two wrestlers in the top-6, led by Blake Proper’s second place finish at 160 pounds. Proper had a relatively easy go of it in his first two matches and then earned a spot in the finals with a 9-4 decision over Billy Fiore of Cave Creek. There he met the undefeated Marco Groves and gave him his toughest match of the tournament. Groves, who was 52-0 this season, had pinned his first three opponents but needed a 12-6 decision to get past Proper. 

Cole Esplin was sixth at 195. After losing his first match, he rattled off three in a row before falling in the fifth place consolation match. 

Marana finished 18th in the event. 

In the Division III tournament Canyon Del Oro’s Chad Gallego was the lone Dorado to make the podium, finishing fourth at 126.

Gallego advanced to the semifinals by pinning his first two opponents, but was pinned himself by state champion Dylan Keeney of Payson. Gallego won his first match in the consolation bracket, sending him to the third place match, but fell 9-3 to Brian Lujan of Pueblo.


The Ironwood Ridge girls soccer advanced to the 5A state semifinals, but fell to eventual state champion Chaparral in penalty kicks. The game was tied at 1-1 and after the overtime period, the game went to kicks. Chaparral earned the win by edging the Nighthawks 5-4 in the penalty kick phase. 

Ironwood Ridge dropped to 14-4-3 on the season. 


Mountain View trailed by as many as 13 points, but rallied to beat Carl Hayden 59-53 in a 5A basketball play-in game. 

Hayden stormed out and led by 13 in the first quarter and by 10 at the half. The Mountain Lions rallied in the third quarter, going on a 12-6 run and trimming the lead to four at the end of the quarter. 

The fourth quarter was all Mountain View. They outscored Hayden by 10 in the quarter and took the lead with just under 6:00 to play. Hayden got within one, but Mountain View held them off down the stretch. 

The Mountain Lions will face Buena on Wednesday in Sierra Vista. Mountain View split with the Colts in January, beating them by 7 at home and falling by nine in the rematch.

The Mountain view and Ironwood Ridge girls won their play-in games. 

The Mountain Lion girls went on the road and beat No. 16 Agua Fria 36-24. Mountain View broke the game open by outscoring the Owls 11-5 in the second quarter then finished the game strong with a 9-2 run to end the game. 

Ironwood Ridge beat South Mountain 50-39.

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