Sleepy Hollow grapplers edge Scarsdale
SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. — Sleepy Hollow's wrestling squad has taken a bit of a different approach this season.
Unlike years past, the Horsemen have spent more time in the confines of the wrestling room than in the weight room or on the track. While they have still focused on fitness, there has been an increased concentration on improving their overall technique as wrestlers.
In Thursday's 42-30 win over visiting Scarsdale (18-11), Sleepy Hollow reaped the benefits of its change in philosophy.
The balance of the dual meet hung in six hard-fought matches that went the distance and were decided by decision. The Horsemen (8-6) went 4-2 in said matches, showing off their refined technique in the process.
“We've had a lot more wrestling in the room this year — more than just working out and running to get in shape,” said 138-pounder Steven Bencosme, who improved to 18-1 with a 7-3 win over Scarsdale's Adam Meyer. “We've had a lot more wrestling, which gives us an advantage in those matches. You know what you are doing and where you are. I guess that just helped.”
Sleepy Hollow 126-pounder Juan Pablo-Loja turned in one of the most impressive performances of the dual meet, scoring a narrow 4-3 decision over Scarsdale's Daniel Jureller (24-9). Pablo-Loja, who opened the year with a record of 1-5, improved to 12-6 with the win.
At 145 pounds, Sleepy Hollow's Kevin Ortiz outlasted Joe Koshakow (25-7), 1-0. Impressively, it was just the seventh varsity match of the season for Ortiz, who upped his record to 6-1. Koshakow, meanwhile, saw his 10-match winning streak come to an end.
Horsemen senior captain Gabe Palacios (160) capped off the crucial six-match stretch with a 7-1 decision over Brian Hackel (14-15). Palacios improved his sterling ledger to 17-1.
Sleepy Hollow's upper weights sealed the victory with a pair of pins. Csaurel Clarke (182) pancaked Jordan Frankenthaler at 1:05 and Nathaniel Christian (220) turned George Bobolakis at 1:13.
Per usual, Jacob Berkowitz was Scarsdale's most impressive grappler. He wrestled at 195 pounds and pinned Chris Hutter with 15 seconds left in the first period. Berkowitz, who finished fourth at the prestigious Eastern States Wrestling Classic this past weekend, upped his gaudy record to 36-2. Teammate Jack Braun, a 170-pound junior, was similarly dominant, pinning Gabe Gonzalez 49 seconds into the opening period. Lightweights Robert Keltz (106) and Mike Hodges (113) barely broke a sweat, needing less than a minute to pin their respective opponents.
John Tambunting (132) and Chen Shen (152) rounded out the Raiders' production with a pair of one-point wins by decision. Tambunting (30-5) edged Edwin Jiminez, 2-1, while Shen persevered in a 10-8 overtime thriller against JP Ospina. It was the classic case of revenge for Tambunting, who was pinned by Jiminez (16-3) back on Jan. 14.
Sleepy Hollow — which avenged last year's dual-meet loss to Scarsdale — will look to build on the victory as it travels to face White Plains on Jan. 26. Scarsdale, meanwhile, hosts perennial Section 1 power Fox Lane on Jan. 20.
99- Raymond Rodriguez (SH) by forfeit
106- Robert Keltz (SC) pin Ted Voyer, 0:39
113- Mike Hodges (SC) pin Edisson Urgiles, 0:52
120- Chris Lazo (SH) pin Evan Caligor, 1:04
126- Juan Pablo-Loja (SH) dec. Daniel Jureller, 4-3
132- John Tambunting (SC) dec. Edwin Jiminez, 2-1
138- Steven Bencosme (SH) dec. Adam Meyer, 7-3
145- Kevin Ortiz (SH) dec. Joe Koshakow, 1-0
152- Chen Shen (SC) dec. JP Ospina, 10-8 (OT)
160- Gabe Palacios (SH) dec. Brian Hackel, 7-1
170- Jack Braun (SC) pin Gabe Gonzalez, 0:49
182- Csaurel Clarke (SH) pin Jordan Frankenthaler, 1:05
195- Jacob Berkowitz (SC) pin Chris Hutter, 1:45
220- Nathaniel Christian (SH) pin George Bobolakis, 1:13
285- Frank Curanaj (SH) by forfeit
Overall: Sleepy Hollow 42, Scarsdale 30
Follow Isaac Cass on Twitter @MSGV_Icass