Panthers drop dual to Maple Hill

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — The Hoosick Falls wrestling team won five of the seven contested matches during its dual meet against Maple Hill on Thursday, but the Wildcats also added seven wins by forfeit in a 54-34 win over the Panthers.

"We have the same speech every time we go into a dual, we know we're down a bunch off the bat, so we need to pin to win," said Hoosick Falls coach Landon Nelson. "Five out of seven wins [in the contested matches], I'm happy with that."

The match began at 113 pounds and the Panthers started the night with a pair of victories. At 113, Gabe Fisher scored a pair of takedowns before getting the fall at 39 seconds over Thomas Merhige. At 120, Aiden Scott got an early takedown and a near-fall before sticking the shoulders at 51 seconds against Josh Donnelly. With the victories, Fisher is 8-1 on the year, while Scott improved to 4-2.

"We have to pin to win duals, so we have more of an emphasis on the top position," Nelson said. "Most of the pins come from the top. We want to get takedowns quickly and then go to work on top, be aggressive and get a pin early."

After a forfeit at 126, Maple Hill's Brandon Selmer pinned Ryan Matteson to tie the match at 12-12. But then Hoosick Falls added a pair of pins in the next two matches at 138 and 145.

Ethan Mattison took a 2-0 lead after the first period in the 138-pound match and after a reversal early in the second, Mattison got a half-nelson and turned his opponent for the fall in 2:39. Matt Laporte was next at 145 pounds and he worked quickly to take down his opponent for a pin in 1:12, his 104th career victory.

After the match, Laporte was honored for reaching his 100th victory at the Bethlehem tournament.

With the score 24-12, Hoosick's Sam Richard faced the Wildcats' Ryan Stuto at 152 pounds and won a major decision, 11-3, the only match to go the full six minutes.

In the opening period, Richard got an early takedown and took a 2-0 lead to the second. Richard started down and escaped, then scored another takedown to lead 5-1 heading into the third. In the last period, Richard scored three takedowns, the last with five seconds left in the match to earn the major decision and four team points, giving the Panthers a 28-12 advantage.

"Any one who can come up with a takedown in the last 10 seconds when everyone knows you're trying to get one [for the major decision] has a lot of heart," Nelson said. "That's the guy we want out there doing that for us. He's a hard worker in practice and you can do that kind of thing when you work hard in practice. It was a good finish for Sam."

Maple Hill used two forfeits at 160 and 170 to pull within 28-24 and then in the last contested match of the night, James Miller pinned Liam McGarvin in the second period to give the Wildcats their first lead.

Miller scored an early takedown before McGarvin pulled off a reversal and a near fall to take a 5-2 lead. An escape and another takedown from Miller made it 5-5 at the end of the first. In the second, Miller started in the down position and scored a reversal, which turned into a pin attempt.

"I bumped Liam up to 182, and it was a pretty good match," Nelson said. "He''s still in the phase of learning what not to do and that takes half a season to learn. He's almost there. Things are clicking with him, he's getting better every week."

That victory made it 30-28 Wildcats with five weight classes remaining and Maple Hill had four of the forfeits compared to one for Hoosick Falls. Craig Sayer earned a forfeit at heavyweight for Hoosick.

"Maple Hill has a lot of good athletes and a state champ [in Trent Svingala] on their team, he's rubbed off on his teammates, they've come a long way," Nelson said.


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