Wrestlers’ domination turns to forfeit

It took the Bainbridge High wrestling team more than half an hour to build a 31-0 lead against Eastside Catholic on Thursday evening in its opening meet. It took the Crusaders less than two minutes to overcome it as one after the other six of their wrestlers strode to the center of the mat to collect forfeits and emerge with a 36-31 win.

The evening opened with the 152-pound weight class. Bainbridge’s Mike Furman began the scoring with a takedown, but struggled briefly as his opponent nearly escaped. Furman regained control and scored a fall at 1:17 in the opening round.

After James Gaunivinaka won a forfeit at 160 pounds, Bainbridge’s Corey Touchette and Mario Salazar of EC hooked up on the evening’s most entertaining match. Touchette had a takedown in the first round to take an early 2-0 lead. Salazar reversed early in the second round and scored a near-fall to lead 4-2. Touchette narrowed the score to 4-3 on an illegal hold and escaped soon afterward to knot the score at 4-4. Salazar took Touchette down, though Touchette escaped and the second round ended with Salazar ahead 6-5.

Touchette escaped early in round three to tie the score once again, then scored a takedown to take an 8-6 lead. Salazar escaped with less a minute remaining to close to within a point. He tried desperately for a takedown but Touchette fended him off to emerge with the decision.

Wrestling at 189 pounds, Karl Hunt of Bainbridge dominated his opponent for a 10-0 major decision. He scored a takedown in the first round, escaped from the down position at the start of the second round and later scored a takedown, and with both wrestlers standing to start the third round, had another takedown and then a near fall.

The Spartans’ lead increased to 25-0 with Mason Remy recording a forfeit at 215 pounds. After a double forfeit at 285, freshman Alec Greiwe made a most impressive debut at 103 pounds. He scored a takedown about five seconds into the opening round, and thoroughly controlled his opponent before recording a fall at 1:00.

But then the team’s lack of bodies became apparent as just seven had suited up. One of them, co-captain Eli Narte, wasn’t eligible due to the lack of sufficient practice days resulting from an elbow injury. The Crusaders claimed forfeits in six of the remaining seven weight classes.

The teams split a pair of JV matches at 160 pounds, with Evan Jahrman scoring a fall at 1:09 of the second round and Bill Hepworth being pinned at 1:43 in the second round.

Coach Dan Pippinger was pleased with the outcome.

“We were the aggressors in every match,” he said.

He was also happy with the response of his wrestlers to their performance the day before at the Fife Takedown Jamboree. “It showed them some of the things they needed to improve, and everyone improved from one day to the next,” he added.

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