United States of America, Brazil and Japan

Up To The Challenge

January 28, 2006

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

By GREGORY SCHUTTA

STAFF WRITER

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS -- For weeks, the knock on St. Marys was that the unbeaten Gaels had not been tested. On Friday, they faced their first big test of the season and passed.

Sophomore Matt Fusco scored eight takedowns in beating BCCA tournament runner-up Jose Vega, and Mike Trasso followed with a pin to clinch the match as the Gaels downed Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge, 40-24. The win gives St. Marys a leg up on the BCSL National Division title, a match ahead of the Aviators with Becton/Wallington left.

"When you wrestle a solid team like they are, it takes some things falling right and a bit of luck," St. Marys coach Scot Weaver said. "We lost the coin toss right off the bat, and that kept us from some of the matchups we wanted. But our young guys wrestled very well."

The matchups they got didnt hurt, especially early. Weaver bumped Glen Cannici up to 130 to face Tony Dussault in the opening bout, and the two ended up going to sudden death in the fourth overtime. Cannici finally got the 2-1 win when Dussault dropped down onto his ankle while trying to ride Cannici out and was called for stalling.

After Jim Lombard bumped up to score a major decision at 135 and David Greenwald earned a forfeit victory at 140, Bryant Martell butted heads with the Aviators Kyle Antoine in another low-scoring battle.

Martell, working hard on defense, led, 1-0, on an escape going into the third period. Antoine tied it when Martell was called for stalling late in the third.

But bad luck came back to haunt the Aviators when Antoine was called for his third caution on a restart with about 20 seconds left in the bout, giving Martell a 2-1 victory and St. Marys a 16-0 lead.

"You hate to see a match end like that," said Aviator coach Mike Scuilla, who protested both calls to no avail.

Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge fought back in the upper weights, getting a big 6-5 win from Mike Sweeney over St. Marys Juan Vega at 160 and pins from Bryan Fill and Tyler Blake at 215 and 275 to take a 24-22 lead.

The Gaels Mike DeMarco got the lead back with a 12-1 victory over Dan Davenport, and Fusco followed with a dominating 16-8 victory over Vega at 112. Trasso clinched the win by pinning Kevin Delcalzo in 5:14 at 119 for a 36-24 lead.

"Hes a kid who was .500 for us at 112 last year," Weaver said of Trasso. "Were very solid in the lightweights. Tonight we were able to get him on the mat, and he goes out and beats a good kid like Delcalzo."

"Both teams put in a great effort," Scuilla said. "They were all great matches. They pulled exactly the right moves. Generally, they arent a team that moves people around. But this year they have great depth, and every kid they moved and inserted did a great job."

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