PRESCOTT VALLEY - A few years back Alex Bambic wore braces.

The metal mouth syndrome is hard to hide especially on a wrestling mat. Wrestlers are not the most sympathetic and have been known to purposely rake the mouth of competitors who have braces much like a boxer going after an opponent's bloodied eye.

Bambic didn't forget or forgive.

A little of the payback for it came Friday night when the Desert Vista sophomore beat Corona del Sol's Simon Allen, 9-4, for the Division I 215-pound title at Tim's Toyota Center.

"He was mean as a kid," Bambic said. "He never let up. I wanted to stop him from winning state."

Bambic became the school's 12th state champion and pulled off a rare feat - a sophomore winning a state title in one of the two largest weight classes.

"I told to him to go after it and leave no doubt," Desert Vista coach David Gonzalez. "He wrestled a smart match, probably the best of his life. He wasn't going to be denied."

Allen (45-1) had his right kneecap come out of socket and pop back into place early in the first period to hinder his quickness and strength, but make no mistake Bambic (37-3) was setting the pace from the start although he couldn't finish most of this offensive attacks.

"I wanted to beat him and have a chance to be a three-time state champ," said Bambic, who is now 2-1 against Allen in two state meets.

Despite the injury, Allen led 3-0 after one. But Bambic owned the final two periods.

He got a four-point move in the second and then took advantage of a relatively new rule. Bambic was riding Allen, leading 4-3, when they went out of bounds. When Allen took injury time it allowed Bambic to choose down on the restart with eight seconds left.

Bambic got a reversal in that short period for a 6-3 lead after two. An escape and then the clinching takedown with 1 minute and 10 seconds left put the finishing touches on a rivalry that heated up at last year's state meet when they split matches with Allen finishing third.

"With about 30 seconds left I knew it was going to happen," he said. "I just had to finish him off. It's a great feeling."


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.