TUCSON - Mike Arredondo finally understands how to deal with the extra poundage and Alex Bambic started to throw his weight around.
It led to a third-place finish for Bambic at 215 and Arredondo was fourth at heavyweight at the Flowing Wells Invitational on Saturday.
Bambic's finish in his mind is disappointing, while Arredondo picked the state's toughest tournament to earn his first-ever high school placing.
Arredondo weighs just 200 pounds fully dressed in a weight class that has a 285-pound weight limit.
"It's all about leverage and positioning," Arredondo said. "All of the coaches have been working with me and I am starting to get a feel for it."
The junior, who wrestled 189 last season, advanced to the semifinals before getting pinned by Amphitheater's Austin Andrade. He came back to win his consolation semifinal match before falling 13-1 to Mesa Mountain View's Kyle Alexander in the placement round.
"We are only going to get him for a month, month and a half because of football," Desert Vista coach David Gonzalez said. "I know he can handle those big, strong kids. He has really come into his own and he did exactly what we needed him to do.
"He got us some (team) points that we didn't expect and he helped us get into the top 10."
Bambic is an accomplished wrestler, placing nationally and at state as freshman, but hasn't found his mean streak yet.
He showed more of an aggressive and angry temperament in his third-place match against Marcos de Niza's Adam Pavlenko as he pinned the state placer in 4 minutes and 40 seconds.
"I told him whatever it took to get that mentality, whether it is the loss or whatever, it has to be generated every time he steps on the match," Gonzalez said. "If he gets to that point, he will go out there and kill some of these kids that he struggles with some times."
Bambic understands it is the key for the next step in his progression.
"I have to get tougher mentally," he said. "I can wrestle with anyone, but sometimes I don't open up as much as I should. I did it against Pavlenko and I have to do it every time."
The Thunder had four total placers, including finalists Robbie Mathers (125) and Ace Martinez (160), but missed out on a few others. They were also handicapped by the fact that Kendall Love, the 10th seed at 135, didn't make weight.
"If he makes weight and competes like we know he can that's at least 10 points and maybe 20," Gonzalez said. "That's puts us in the top five. The potential is there, but we have to have everything in place for it to happen."
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