Kapolei’s Yamaguchi upsets No. 7 Tavares

Jacob Yamaguchi of Kapolei, right, defeated Christian Tavares of Radford in the 138-pound semifinals at the OIA championships at Leilehua on Saturday. In photo, Yamaguchi and Tavares are shown wrestling in the Officials tournament finals in December, also at Leilehua. Tavares won that one 9-3. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kapolei’s Jacob Yamaguchi pulled off a big upset Saturday at the OIA championships at Leilehua.

In a back-and-forth struggle, Yamaguchi defeated Radford’s Christian Tavares 13-12 in the 138-pound semifinals.

Tavares is No. 7 in Hawaii Prep World’s pound-for-pound rankings.

At the Officials touranament in December, Tavares defeated Yamaguchi 9-3.

Now, Yamaguchi moves on to face Moanalua’s Noah Wusstig in the 138 final. Wusstig topped Leilehua’s Naikoa Simao in the other semifinal Saturday.

“It was super hard,” Yamaguchi said after the match. “He caught me with a nice single in the beggining, and I had lost to him before, so I was like, ‘Oh no, I don’t want it to be a match like before.’ ”

Yamaguchi took an 11-10 lead and then scored two points with a near fall for a 13-10 edge, but Tavares immediately scored on a reversal to make it 13-12 with just a few seconds left.

“I’m excited to go against Noah,” Yamaguchi said. “It should be a good one.”


  1. T.Yoro February 7, 2018 4:28 pm

    Tavares out of pound for pound list. 138lb wide open class(weak).

  2. Kaveeks February 7, 2018 6:27 pm

    Did any ILH 38s drop or move up because of this class being weak?

  3. Shaelyn February 10, 2018 5:26 pm

    I doubt tavares is ranked pound for pound based on weight class. He looked pretty hurt while wresting Jacob.. Why don’t you show him what it takes to be ranked ?

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