Alex Hernandez places fourth at 145 pounds to lead Holyoke at WMass D1 championships

  • Moses Oquendo, left, of Holyoke, works on a takedown against Henry Walden, of Northampton, in the 106-pound class, Jan. 29 at Northampton High School. Oquendo and Walden faced each other twice during the Western Massachusetts Division 1 Tournament, Saturday at Central. Oquendo won both and placed fifth. Walden placed sixth. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

For the Gazette
Published: 2/15/2020 10:24:46 PM

SPRINGFIELD — The Holyoke High School wrestling team entered the Western Massachusetts Division 1 Tournament with three seeded wrestlers, and left with three placements.

Alex Hernandez placed fourth at 145 pounds, while Moses Oquendo (106) and Chris Perez (195) each placed fifth for the Purple Knights.

Holyoke placed ninth with 39 points among 12 teams. Northampton was 12th with 16½.

West Springfield edged Springfield Central 274½-273½ for the title.

“Today was a really tough day but we always find a little bit of growth and we try to find that positive light no matter what we do, win, lose or draw,” Holyoke coach Vin Silano said.

Hernandez went 2-2 in the tournament.

The fifth seed’s first match was in the quarterfinals where he pinned Jaron Luke, of Agawam, at 3 minutes, 18 seconds in the second period.

In the semifinals, top-seeded Mahari Miller, of Springfield Central, pinned Hernandez 25 seconds into the second period.

Hernandez dropped into the consolation semifinals and pinned Daniel Ptashuk, of Westfield, with 13 seconds left in the first period. That set up a third-place match against sixth-seeded Amaruis Daniels of Putnam.

Daniels started in the down position to begin the period and got a reversal for two-points. He put Hernandez in a cradle, but Hernandez put Daniels in a cradle as well. Daniels came out on top with the pin at 3:00 of the second period.

“My mat awareness wasn’t all there and I went on to take fourth,” Hernandez said. “I’m extremely happy and grateful for this opportunity to step on the mat.”

Oquendo went 2-2 in the 106-pound weight class. He opened with Henry Walden, of Northampton, in the quarterfinals and he pinned the eighth grader at 1:16 in the first period.

In the semifinals, Oquendo was pinned at 5:17 in the third period by second seed Daniel McLaughlin, of Central. In the consolation semifinals, Oquendo was pinned with three seconds left in the second round by Spencer Miltimore, of West Springfield.

Oquendo faced a familiar foe in the fifth-place match. Wrestling Walden again, Oquendo put Walden into a cradle and pinned him 54 seconds into the first period.

Like his teammates, Perez went 2-2 in the tournament.

He was pinned in his first match in the quarterfinals by Ramell Acquah, of Putnam.

Perez fell into the consolation of four round where he pinned Jonathan Garcia, of Chicopee, at 4:41 in the third round. David Baranov, of Agawam, ended Perez’s run for a third-place finish by pinning him 23 seconds into the second round of their consolation semifinal match.

Perez ended his day with a hand-raised victory. He defeated Riordan Donahue, of Minnechaug, with an 8-2 decision to finish fifth.

Sebastian Abend, of Northampton, went 1-3 to finish sixth at 132. He pinned Juan Morales, of Putnam, in 51 seconds for his victory.




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