With Sectional Team Dual Meet Looming, Golden Cougars Trim Thunderbirds
FALCONER — Regardless of who their competition may be, Falconer/Cassadaga Valley wrestling is coming to the mats ready to put it all on the line in preparation for this week’s first-ever Section VI team dual meet, and on Wednesday night that determination took the form of a 51-26 CCAA Division 1 win over Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama.
Four forfeits and four pins improved the Golden Falcons to a perfect 5-0 in league matches and 24-5 overall while the visitors now stand at 3-2 in Division 1 matches and 11-5 on the season.
“Falconer always is tough. It’s one of those things that you expect every year from them. They have consistency and, you know, we kind of came into it a few bodies short. It’s hard to overcome that with a team like them,” said Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama coach Brad Rowe.
While Rowe’s team suffered a disadvantage in the form of lineup vacancies, there was no doubt about the fact that the 160-pound match between the Golden Cougars’ Dan Torres and Bryce Rowe was going to be another classic.
What bout could offer a more fitting start to the night?
While Rowe claimed the first meeting of the season via a decision, it was Torres who was able to sneak out a defensive 1-0 victory via an escape at the Patrick J. Morales tournament last weekend to even the season series at 1-1 before the third meeting of the rivals last night.
The pair were deadlocked through the opening two minutes, with defensive sprawls countering all takedown attempts before Torres began the second period in the down position.
From there, the senior was able to escape and put offensive pressure on Rowe as the match neared the mat boundary. It was at that point that Torres was able to roll Rowe into a defensive position, where the Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama standout was forced to fight off pin attempts as Torres picked up his second straight win via a 5-0 shutout.
“It’s one of those things. They’re going be a great match every time they’re out there and, you know, it’s one little thing here, one little thing there and it could go either which way,” said Brad Rowe. “(Dan) has got the last two, Bryce got one, you just know it’s going to be a tough match and whoever makes a mistake, the other guy is going to take advantage.”
For Falconer/Cassadaga Valley coach Drew Wilcox, the win indicates some earnest and highly technical improvement from his strongest grappler at 160.
“Dan is wrestling well,” Wilcox said. “He’s staying in good positions and capitalized on something he has been working on, and my assistant coach has done a nice job teaching some of our upper-level guys upper-level technique, and he hit one of those techniques tonight.
Following suit with a strong performance for the hosts was Bryce Baglia in the following match at 170, where he was able to pin Quinton Fredrick in 5:04.
Three forfeits in a row then brought the action to 285 pounds, where Ben Szymanowski of Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama was able to get on the board with a pin of Grant Cheney in 2:52.
Dropping back down to 99 pounds, however, saw Falconer/Cassadaga Valley pour on more points, as Brayden Newman was able to reverse a single-leg shot by Trent Burchanowski to start the bout before stretching out his lead to 7-1.
It was midway through the second period that Newman was able to pull off another deft reversal to set up his pin, which came at 3:03.
At 106 it was Hunter Harris of Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama fighting back with a pin of his own over Brodie Little, which came after an initial single-leg shot and a pair of takedowns before the whistle at 2:37.
Four more decisions for the visitors, including major wins at 126 pounds by Austin Bourgeois and at 145 pounds by Derek Ecklund were not enough to overcome Falconer/Cassadaga’s full roster.
The hosts also benefited from Nick Saeger’s pin of Noah Dorman at 138 in 1:25, while Dylan Ingrao made short work of Bradley Babcock in 33 seconds at 152.
“We’re fighting a lot harder than we were a month ago. As you saw tonight we fought for every point, we didn’t give up a lot of bonus points. Even in the matches we lost, we fought and didn’t get pinned, and that’s all we ask out of those guys,” said Wilcox. “And I think they are starting to develop some of that grit where they are refusing to get turned at the end and give up a major or refusing to get pinned.”
Entering this weekend’s Division II sectional tournament, Falconer will look to maintain its strong team wrestling in the hopes of earning a trip to the first-ever New York State Public High School Athletic Association dual meet championships in Syracuse on Jan. 27.
“They’re realizing that they’ve all got to be on top of their game to win something like this. They’ve really come together the last couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can put out there,” said Wilcox.
160: Dan Torres (F/CV) d. Bryce Rowe, 5-0.
170: Bryce Baglia (F/CV) p. Quinton Fredrick, 5:04.
182: Robbie Penhollow (F/CV) win via forfeit.
195: Dillon Hokanson (F/CV) win via forfeit.
220: Corey Keefe (F/CV) win via forfeit.
285: Ben Szymanowski (CL) p. Grant Cheney, 2:52.
99: Brayden Newman (F/CV) p. Trent Burchanowski, 3:03.
106: Hunter Harris (CL) p. Brodie Little, 2:37.
113: Trenton Colburn (F/CV) win via forfeit.
120: Brendan Ramsey (CL) d. Hunter Teboe, 6-1.
126: Austin Bourgeois (CL) md. Tony Fiasco, 15-3.
132: Trey Hoyt (CL) d. Mack Mikula, 10-8.
138: Nick Saeger (F/CV) p. Noah Dorman, 1:25.
145: Derek Ecklund (CL) md. Hudson Johnson, 11-3.
152: Dylan Ingrao (F/CV) p. Bradley Babcock, 0:33.