Pathfinder rallies by Smith Vocational to pin down Tri-County title

@kylegrbwsk
Published: 1/31/2018 10:34:27 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Tyreak Sanders had the Smith Vocational wrestling team rolling Wednesday.

He reversed a takedown attempt from Pathfinder’s Zach Beeman than took his heavyweight opponent by leveraging his strength against Beeman’s shoulder.

It resulted in six points for the Vikings, their fourth pin in six matches above 152 pounds with a forfeit victory for good measure.

“We want to keep that up, we want to keep ‘em pinning,” Sanders said.

That established a 21-point lead with five matches to wrestle. The Tri-County League title hung in the balance, leaning toward the Vikings.

Pathfinder pulled its own reversal once the weight classes rolled over. The Pioneers won the next five matches with three pins and a forfeit to leave with a 40-33 victory and a league championship.

“They stole the momentum back, and we couldn’t really regain it,” Smith Vocational coach Vinny Guiel said.

Dustin Lemoine earned a forfeit at 113 pounds for the Pioneers, then Arthur Prak pinned Tanner Smith at 120.

Ethan Farrar pulled Pathfinder within five points by beating Kate Adams 17-10 for a major decision (margin of victory between seven and 14 points) worth four points. Adams recovered from a 6-0 deficit after one period and had Farrar on his back in the second but couldn’t complete the pin.

“She wrestled a tough kid and didn’t get pinned, and that’s what we were looking for,” Guiel said.

Russell Ward (132 pounds) took down Robert Stark, which put Pathfinder ahead 34-33, its first lead since 6-3.

“He’s been out with the flu for a while, so his gas tank was low,” Guiel said. “He ran outta gas.”

A win by Elizabeth Allen at 138 pounds would have still swung the match for the Vikings, but Alexander Prokop pinned her in the first period.

“We had a couple swing matches not go our way,” Guiel said.

One was Stark’s loss to Ward, and the other was at 152 pounds.

Smith Vocational’s Jacob Erali still beat Markys Lissaint 8-2, but the three points he earned for the victory didn’t pull as much as a pin would have.

“He might not have had all the skills, but his strength and athleticism helped. He was a big kid,” Erali said. “I almost had him in the last 10 seconds.”

Erali’s victory started the Vikings’ run of four pins in six weight classes.

James Bibbulph (160), Justin Flores (170) and Jack O’Connell (182) all secured pins in the first period, then Eric Leet picked up a forfeit at 182 pounds.

“We were rolling,” Erali said. “I thought we were going to keep going. As soon as we hit those lower weights, we didn’t have it.”

With the regular season winding down, the Vikings will turn their attention to the Western Massachusetts championships and potentially more postseason tournaments.

“We’re young. I had five kids on my team last year,” Guiel said. “The limit is the ceiling.”




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