Hoosick Falls dominates against Albany


HOOSICK, N.Y. — Hoosick Falls wrestling coach Landon Nelson made it clear to his team that if they were the more aggressive and physical team, they would come out on top against Albany Thursday night.

The Panthers took that advice to heart as they dominated throughout the matchup to pick up a 57-12 victory to start their season on a positive note.

Hoosick Falls picked up six pin fall wins, one by decision and a trio by forfeit.

From start to finish, the Panthers were in control Thursday night and Nelson was impressed with the effort from top to bottom.

"They showed a great effort for our first match of the season. Before the match and going into this week, we really emphasized scoring points, being offensive and being more physical and that's what we did tonight," Nelson said. "Albany had a team that was young and we respect the fact that they drove out here and wrestled us. Their coach is doing a great job with that team."

The only two matches to go three periods were the first two matches of the day. Competition started with the 126-pound match between Hoosick Falls' Zoe Gress and Albany's Muiz Bayewu. That match would be the closest match of the night.

Gress control a lot of the first period taking two points, while Bayewu grabbed a point of his won. Gress added five more points in the second period, before holding off Bayewu for a 7-1 decision victory in the third to put the Panthers up 3-0 early.

Coming into the match, Nelson knew that match had a chance to be the hardest fought matchup of the day and he was impressed with Gress' resilience throughout.

"Zoe's opponent was really solid. He went 4-1 over the weekend at a dual-meet tournament," Nelson said. "I knew right at the beginning of that she was probably going to have the tightest match. She was extremely disciplined in her technique. She made it really tough for her opponent to score on her. She's really stubborn about it and she looked good."

The match at 132 came next between Hoosick Falls' Brendan Grenoble and the Falcons' Thomas Kendall. Grenoble held an 8-2 lead heading into the final period, before scoring another period in the third. Grenoble picked up a pin with 45 seconds left in the last period.

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Logan Powers came to the mat next for the Panthers at 138 and made quick work of Albany's Troy Delima. The senior pinned Delima with 1:18 left in the first period.

Matt LaPorte picked up a forfeit win at 145, before Sam Richard pinned Seth Swiatek in the first period to give the Panthers a commanding 33-0 advantage.

At 170, the Falcons' Angel Casiano scored the first two points against Hoosick Falls' Roman Vyvial, but Vyvial responded quickly and tallied three points before the end of the period. Vyvial picked up five more points in the second period, before pinning Casiano with 10 seconds remaining in that frame.

Keegan Philpott and Katie Weeden picked up forfeit wins at 182 and 195 respectively to put the Panthers up 51-0.

Albany scored its lone contested win of the day at 220 when freshman Ange Abayisenga pinned Hunter Hathaway in the first period. The Falcons scored their other six points on a forfeit at 106.

Hoosick Falls' Craig Sawyer picked up the final Panthers win at 285.

The Panthers will face a major challenge this weekend when they head to Shenendehowa High School for the Wrangle in the Plains tournament at 9 a.m Saturday.

Hoosick Falls will take on a bunch of high-level programs and it should a great test for the experienced Panthers.

"It will be a good test to see where our guys are at. We're excited to for this weekend and looking forward to the guys on the mat," Nelson said.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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