TURLOCK — Wrestler Cristian Vasquez found himself in an unfamiliar position in the first round of his 120-pound CCC finals match against Merced's Carlos Briones.
The Golden Valley senior was on his back.
"I wasn't expecting that," Vasquez said. "I was kind of upset I got put on my back. I wasn't worried about getting pinned. It was sort of annoying. It was a little bump to my ego."
After dominating his opponents during Central California Conference dual meets, Vasquez found himself in a tough match against Briones.
Vasquez finally took control with a reversal in the second round that lead to a pin as he earned himself an individual title at the CCC Championships on Thursday night at Pitman High.
Winning the championship was nice, but Vasquez knows he's got to improve going forward.
"When I get to divisionals and sections, I can't get put on my back," Vasquez said. "I've got to wrestle better."
Vasquez and his Cougar teammates came close to celebrating a share of the CCC title, but fell just short.
Turlock won the tournament with 220 points. Golden Valley, which advanced 13 wrestlers to divisionals next week back at Pitman, finished second with 216.5 points. The score was so close it was recounted three times.
It was an impressive showing for local wrestlers as Buhach Colony, Atwater and Merced all had three wrestlers take home titles.
Robby Sanchez (145 pounds), Cesar Sotelo (170) and Carlos Gutierrez (285) won championships for the Thunder.
Kyle Thorpe (160), Alex Oseguera (182) and Jo Jo Ochoa (195) all brought back titles to Atwater.
Thorpe won a tough matchup against Turlock's Albino Orozco.
The Atwater senior came back after giving up a first-round takedown. Thorpe scored on an escape and a late takedown in the second round to take a 4-3 lead into the final round. He then rode Orozco out the final two minutes to secure the win.
"Orozco is a tough guy to shoot at because he always seems to be in really good position," Thorpe said. "I kept following that front leg. I kept shooting and 20 shots later, I finally got it."
Merced sent five wrestlers to the finals with Adam Vargas (106), Mark Taijeron (132) and Isaiah Alva (138) all winning championships.
Taijeron upset Turlock's Isaac Bertolotto in the finals. Bertolotto was 2-0 against the Merced junior this year.
Taijeron took control of his match in the second round with an escape and a takedown to take a 5-2 lead.
Like Thorpe, he rode out Bertolotto the entire third round for the win.
"I just tried to stay on his legs this time," Taijeron said. "If you go in high he likes to throw. I tried to take that away.
"I think I just wanted it more than him this time."