New Hartford – Losing in wrestling always hurts, and when some of your best athletes are physically hurt and cannot compete it makes it worse.
Just ask Dave Caruso after his New Hartford wrestlers lost to powerful Central Valley Academy 69-15 on Wednesday.
“It’s a family,” the NH coach and former state champion said. “It hurts. I’ve had them since they were young.”
The ‘them’ Caruso was talking about were Lucas King, Tom Zegarelli and Ian McKenna. All were sidelined with injuries for the dual meet January 20 and only Ian McKenna has a chance to return for sectionals.
Even if they had been healthy, it would have been tough for the Spartans (1-5) to topple the Thunder (16-5).
“Those Valley kids wrestle tough,” Caruso said.
And it was even tougher for NH since seven of the CVA wrestlers won by forfeit. And two of the forfeits came at the start and were followed by a 33-second pin by Josh Klosner at 160.
CVA stretched its lead to 24-0 at 171 when Jake Wheet broke open a close match with NH’s Brennan McKenna with a pin with just nine seconds to go in the third period. McKenna made it close with a reversal with one second to go in the second period, but he could not get out on bottom in the third period and Wheet prevailed as a result.
Kyle Kuty gave the hosts their first points with a pin in 1:23 at 182, but CVA earned forfeit wins in the next four weights. The next match came at 106 and NH’s Billy Winn surprised the heavily favored Jon Charles with an early takedown. Charles did not panic. Instead, he rallied for a 4-2 lead before pinning Winn in 1:15.
NH took the next two weights for its final points, and both were hard-fought matches. At 113, Dan Tauroney took a 2-0 lead midway in the first period against CVA’s Eric Bardo then just missed back points at the buzzer. There was a flurry of action to start the second period and Tauroney reversed his foe then caught him with a half nelson for a pin at the 2:37 mark.
That set up the night’s biggest showdown as NH’s three time Section III Champion, Kelan McKenna moved up to 120 to battle CVA’s C.J. Walz. McKenna used a good spin counter to get a takedown midway in the first period then a good tilt for two back points late. The second period was scoreless but there was plenty of action as McKenna narrowly missed back points twice and Walz just missed getting a reversal in between.
The third period was also scoreless, but Walz was in control much of the time with a leg ride and just missed turning NH’s ace at the end.
“I didn’t wrestle well,” McKenna succinctly said afterward.
“People have to remember he’s bumping up,” Caruso said. “He’s great on his feet, but I wish he could get out on bottom (better).”
“C.J.’s tough on top,” CVA coach Bob Bush said. “he wrestled him (McKenna) well.”
Caruso was also quick to praise Walz for being very tough in the Wednesday night meet. And Walz’s teammate Max Riesel was tough down the stretch to prevail in overtime against NH’s Emerson Pratt at 126. Pratt grabbed a 5-0 lead in the first period, but Riesel rallied for two back points at the buzzer in the second period and three more late in the third to force overtime. He spun to counter Pratt’s takedown try to get the winning takedown for his 7-5 win.
Hunter Shaut won with a quick pin at 132 in the last match of the night.
Next up for CVA is a dual meet at Central Square then the Section III Dual Meet Championship Saturday.
“If we show up, who knows,” Bush said of his team’s chances in what figures to be a wide open tourney.
CVA 69, NH 15
145: Tanner Cook (CVA) wbf.
152: Collin Treen (CVA) wbf.
160: Josh Klosner (CVA) p. Lachlan McIntosh :33
171: Jake Wheet (CVA) p. Brennan McKenna 5:51
182: Kyle Kuty (NH) p. Jim Patucci 1:23
195: Nate Case (CVA) wbf.
220: Gunner Holmburg (CVA) wbf.
285: Marcus Serdinia (CVA) wbf.
99: Mason Bush (CVA) wbf.
106: Jon Charles (CVA) p. Billy Winn 1:15
113: Dan Tauroney (NH) p. Eric Bardo 2:37
120: Kelan McKenna (NH) d. C.J. Walz 4-0
126: Max Riesel (CVA) d. Emerson Pratt 7-5 OT
132: Hunter Shaut (CVA) p. Tom Mulvihill :54
138: David Bardo (CVA) wbf.
Records: CVA 16-5, NH 1-5.