AUSTIN — Dineesha Jones studied the video.
The Shoemaker senior knew Corpus Christi King sophomore Lexie Escamilla was going to go high. So she dropped a bit, caught her and flipped her.
The know-how and the quick move put Jones in front 5-0 in the first minute of the match. Jones used that momentum to pin Escamilla and advance to the state final in the 110-pound division at the 5A girls wrestling meet Friday at the Delco Center in Austin.
“We knew her opponent,” Shoemaker coach Ken Soloff said. “Before this match, we sat down and watched film of her and we pointed out some mistakes (Escamilla) made last time that Dineesha failed to capitalize on.
“We developed an attack plan and she executed it.”
Jones faces Amarillo Tascosa’s Michelle Lomas in the championship match today at about 9:30 a.m. The last Shoemaker wrestler to win a state title was Emerald Soloman, who won the 215-pound division in 2005.
Jones had wrestled Escamilla twice before this season, winning the first match, before losing to her at regionals. Soloff and Jones took video of the second match and put it to good use.
“I believe in myself but today changed my whole mind-set on everything,” Jones said. “The second time, I should have been used to her, but she did a head and arm and got it and I couldn’t get out of it.
“This match, I was more active with her.”
After the initial 5-0 lead, Jones got a takedown at the end of second period to go up 7-2.
“Once I got that lead I knew I had to keep up with it and don’t be too risky,” Jones said. “I knew she was going to have to do a lot more than me, so I kept her on the ground and just didn’t let her up.”
In the third period, she pushed out and reversed Escamilla’s hold for two points with 59 seconds remaining in the match. Jones, safely on top, had the leverage she needed, stayed tight and finally flipped Escamilla for the pin with 19 seconds left.
“The whole time I was looking at my coach for encouragement and he told me to keep holding it and stay there,” Jones said. “Eventually, she just gave out.”
Jones advanced to the state tournament the last two seasons, but only finished as high as eighth as a junior.
“It has been a yearly progression,” Soloff said. “It is her third time at state and she is not overwhelmed this year. And thus far, she has been wrestling so well that she has not really been challenged.
“A state title will be a challenge, but she is at the top of her game.”
Ellison senior Fallon Christian did not fare as well in her matches Friday.
She lost her first match 7-3 to Euless Trinity senior Valeria Lopez in the semifinals of the 128-pound division. Lopez went up 8-0 before Christian could respond. Then after Lopez lost a point for an illegal hold, Christian got her first takedown of the match, cutting Lopez’s advantage to 6-3. Christian stayed on top of Lopez for most of the third period, but could not flip her for the pin she needed.
Christian fell down early to El Paso Socorro senior Dyanna Diaz in her first consolation match, trailing 3-0 after the first period. A pair of takedowns allowed her to stay in the match, but with 1:18 left and a 5-4 lead, Diaz began to stall, laying still and flat on the mat. Christian was unable to flip her for the needed two points and time expired.
Christian wrestles San Antonio Johnson sophomore Ashley McCutcheon for fifth place today.
Also, vying for a medal is Ellison’s Kyrla Gibson, who won two of her consolation matches Thursday night and picked up a pair of defaults Friday. She wrestles Elizabeth Fitzgerald of Arlington Martin for third place today in the 185-pound division.
Contact Nick Talbot at email@example.com or (254) 501-7569