Hoover in CIF Southern Section Eastern Division Individual Championships: Both Arthur Ghukasyan and Gio Martinez advanced to the second day of the elite tournament Friday at Oak Hills High.

“They both wrestled really well. ... It’s a first step,” Hoover Coach Mark Bitetti said. “They’ve got to win two tomorrow to be in medal contention, so they can’t really lose their first match tomorrow.”

Ghukasyan, a 145-pounder, came out strong in his first two matches. He started with a pin of Palmdale’s Jose Molina 1:15 into the match and followed it up with an impressive 6-1 decision victory over Silverado’s Joseph Romero.

The junior put up a good fight, but was pinned by the class’ top seed, Steele Escobedo of Fountain Valley, 21 seconds into the third period. He’ll next wrestle Rialto’s Javier DeLaCruz Saturday morning.

“He is very capable,” Bitetti said of Ghukasyan. “He’s definitely our most talented kid. He has had a ton of judo background, so it’s not like wrestling is a new thing. He’s used to going out there and competing.”

Martinez (220) had a bit of a rough start Friday, getting pinned by Serrano’s J Mendoza 1:10 into the bout. Faced with a win-or-go-home scenario, the senior won his next two matches with pins of Don Lugo’s Randy Chavez and Quartz Hill’s Palmer Dakota.

The Rio Hondo League champion will next wrestle Antelope Valley’s Daniel Newman Saturday morning.

Sebastian Ghauliance (160) just lost his first match to Granite Hill’s Justin Incremona, 2-1, and was eliminated after having to withdraw from his next match and the competition with an injury.


El Rancho 6, Glendale 0: The visiting Nitros (7-11-1) held top-seeded El Rancho scoreless in the first half of their CIF Southern Section Division III first-round match Friday before El Rancho broke it open with a huge second half.

“We hung in there with them for the first half, but they just have a lot of good players,” Glendale first-year Coach Artur Aghasyan said. “We got here to the playoffs and won a playoff game with everybody working hard, and now we want to get ready for next year.”

Lynwood 6, Flintridge Prep 0: Flintridge Prep (8-9-4) fell Friday in a CIF Southern Section Division VI first-round road match. Lynwood built a 4-0 halftime advantage.

Flintridge Prep nearly tied it at 1, but Cole Rademacher’s shot hit the post before Lynwood scored a couple of minutes later.

“That’s a very, very good team that we played,” Flintridge Prep Coach AJ Yates said. “They are a lot like South Pasadena when we played them early in the season.

“We are encouraged with our season. We have a lot of guys who will be back next year.”

Palos Verdes 6, St. Francis 0: Visiting St. Francis (6-11-5) suffered a CIF Southern Section Division I first-round loss Friday against fourth-seeded Palos Verdes.

St. Francis trailed, 4-0, at halftime.

“Our best chance coming in was to play strong defense, but they got an early goal,” St. Francis Coach Glen Appels said. “They have an extremely athletic team.