The Bay Valley Athletic League had 20 wrestlers finish in the top eight at the North Coast Section Championships and five of those wrestlers will be competing in the California Interscholastic Federation Championships from March 7-8 in Bakersfield.

Liberty High had six placewinners at the NCS tournament Feb. 28-March 1 at Newark Memorial and three Lions will be competing at state.

Liberty senior Devon Lyle beat Freedom senior Ricky Coster for the third time in little more than a month to win the 126-pound title, but it wasn't as simple as the first two times. A buzzer-beating reverse by Coster sent the match to overtime tied 4-4, and it stayed that way through the next three periods.

Coster, last year's 120-pound champion, nearly had Lyle in a cradle in the second overtime but could not close the deal. Lyle started the final 30-second criteria period on top and would not let Coster get away, giving him the victory.

Other Lions going to Bakersfield are sophomore Bryar Edwards, who made the 106-pound final but lost to De La Salle's Donovin Guerrero to take second. At 152 pounds, junior Jesse Gregerson won his last two matches at NCS, including a 9-3 decision over Romello Monjaras in the third place match to punch his ticket to state.

Their performances helped Liberty take fourth in the team standings with 185 points, trailing only Windsor (228.5), James Logan (227) and De La Salle (204.5). Freedom was sixth with 136 points.


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Deer Valley's Rangel Lowry, who won seven tournaments this season, including the BVAL crown, took second at 285 pounds, as he recorded three pins and a 5-3 decision over Dartise Jones of Hayward to reach the final.

There, he lost 3-2 to Pablo Gonzalez of Ukiah in a hard-fought match.

Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. both March 7 and 8 in Bakersfield, with the championship finals set to begin March 8 at 7:15 p.m.

Correspondent Steve Dulas contributed to this story.

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