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Last year en route to a state title, (No. 11) Bakersfield High School had six wrestlers reach the quarterfinals but only eventual state champion Bryce Hammond (No.1 @ 160) made it to the semifinals.

On Friday, all five Drillers who reached the quarterfinals advanced to today?s semifinals to keep alive their bid to win individual state titles at Rabobank Arena. And the Drillers find themselves nick-and-tuck in the battle for first place in the State Wrestling Championships.

?If you would have told me at the start of today we?d have five semifinalists, I?d have taken it,? Bakersfield coach Andy Varner said. ?But we could?ve had a couple more.?

The Drillers still alive for state titles are Micah Cruz at 125, Tim Box (H.M @ 135), Adam Fierro (152), top-ranked and defending state champion Bryce Hammond (No.1 @ 160) and Silas Nacita (171).

Nacita, who?s ranked No. 10 by The Californian, stunned Clovis? Zach Nevills (No.7 @ 171) in overtime, 3-1, after two potential takedowns were waved off by the officials before the match-deciding one was allowed. Nacita was 0-4 in previous matches vs. Nevills.

The Drillers took a hit in the championship third round, with three of their better prospects losing to drop into the consolation bracket. The biggest hit was at 130, when top-ranked Natrelle Demison (H.M. @ 130) lost 3-2 to fifth-ranked Cody Tow (H.M @ 130) from El Dorado-Union Mine. The Drillers? Coleman Hammond (H.M. @ 145), was beaten 4-0 by No. 9 Chase Boontjer of Palo-Cedro-Foothill in the Northern Section.

For Complete Article by Jeff Evans, Californian

Complete Results from California State Wrestling Tournament