LOS BANOS — The Morning Star Invitational no longer belongs to Golden Valley.
Sac-Joaquin Section power Oakdale won the third-year Los Banos tournament with 228½ points Saturday, holding off Central Section power Firebaugh by 22½ points.
"This is the perfect tournament for us," Oakdale coach Brian Stevens said. "Our guys got a lot of matches, they were matches that we could be competitive at, and then also there were some real good kids that we got a chance to wrestle. It kind of did everything for us."
Two-time defending Morning Star champion Golden Valley slipped to third with 190, placing nine wrestlers on the medal podium, but none in the top two spots. Los Banos (137½) and Gilroy (102) rounded out the top five.
"This is the toughest Morning Star yet," Los Banos coach Josh Adams said. "Oakdale definitely took it up a couple of notches."
Five Oakdale wrestlers brought home gold medals Logan Eaton defeated Mission Oak's Erick Olguin 6-0 in the 106-pound championship, Nico Colunga majored Bret Harte's Caleb Storey 14-2 at 113, Ronnie Stevens decisioned Firebaugh's Armand Molina 4-2 at 126, Jake Jacobson took down Kimball's Trent Nicholson 7-3 at 138 and Tyler Noon majored Gilroy's Lupe Jiminez 10-1 at 152.
Two more Mustangs reached title matches: Juan Garza (120 pounds) lost 9-7 to Gilroy's Jesse Vasquez and 220-pounder Zak Fallentine lost 3-2 to East Union's Anthony Melena, despite the Oakdale coaches' protests that Melena was stalling. The East Union wrestler caught Fallentine distracted and took him down near the end of the third period.
Only one Los Banos wrestler made a title match LB 132-pounder Jimmy Felix dropped a 4-2 decision to Firebaugh's Aaron Mora, the third time Felix has lost to Mora this season. (The two met in a nonleague dual and at the Chukchansi Invitational in Madera.)
But one local made good 182-pounder Juan Jiminez from Dos Palos, 15 miles down the road, took down Bear Creek's Pablo Moreno 3-0, despite tweaking a quad muscle in a 3-1 semifinal win over Clovis' Adam Prentice.
"My leg kind of got caught up and just started hurting," Jiminez said. "It was probably just a moment. "Hopefully I can accomplish more."
Merced heavyweight Tony Lopez had a moment of his own, twisting his knee when Kimball's Nate Perlman pinned him in the championship match. Lopez managed to hop to the podium to accept his medal.