It was the first time the Elite 8 tournament was held in Hollister and the Balers didn’t disappoint.
Four San Benito wrestlers took their bracket championship as the Balers won the overall championship. Overall, seven Balers finished in the top three in their weight class.
Eric Loredo (108), Robb Rodriguez (134), Tim Castillo (184) and Alex Gonzalez (287) won their respective brackets. Rodriguez, Castillo and Gonzalez all won by pin to sweep their weight class.
Loredo had a more difficult route, defeating Henry Pham of Gunn by a 8-2 decision.
Julian Perez (140) and Simon Coelho (162) each took second, falling in the championship match by decisions. Juan Gutierrez (115) took third with a 5-2 win.
As the Balers took first in Hollister, four San Benito wrestlers took part in the Central Coast Section championship at Oak Grove High in San Jose.
Two Balers finished in sixth place, as the others failed to place in the sectionals.
Wrestling in the 118 bracket, Lillia Herrera took sixth place, falling to Jenna Lewis of Sacred Heart Cathedral in the fifth-place match. Herrera advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Tatiana Almogela of Milpitas. In the consolation, she fell to Natalia Ruiz 9-2 and Lewis.
Crystal Espinosa also took sixth for the Balers in the 108 pound bracket. Espinosa advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to champion Brenda Mendola of Alisal. In the consolation bracket, Espinosa won two matches before falling to Mt. Pleasant’s Martie Valdez and Overfelt’s Telma Tavares.
In the 98 pound bracket Samantha Strickland went 0-2 during her two matches. Samantha Barrientos (122) won her first match by pin, but lost her final two matches, causing her elimination.
The Balers host Gilroy High at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
SBHS boys basketball
The San Benito boys basketball team improved to 19-2 overall Friday, defeating Christopher 53-44 in Hollister.
The Balers jumped out to an early lead and never relented, pulling away from the Cougars in the game’s first two quarters. Hyram Miskin and Michael Breen led the way for San Benito with 13 points each.
Overall, seven Balers contributed on the scoreboard, as Jacob Tonascia, Brian Becerra and Robert Henderson all finished with six points.
The victory gives the Balers a 9-0 league record with three games to play. San Benito holds a two-game lead over Seaside and Palma. The Balers travel to Seaside on Wednesday. They host Palma on Friday.
With goals by Ricardo Roque and Andres Corona, San Benito tied Christopher 3-3 Thursday to move to 8-5-3 overall.
The Balers, who trailed 1-0 at the half, scored three goals in the final 40 minutes to pull even with Christopher.
The Balers travel Alvarez at 5:45 p.m. Friday to continue their league season.