The Scarsdale Inquirer: Panthers 2d in Section 1

Sophomore Chris Kim battles for position. Photo: Jim McClean
Junior Ross Kantor’s pin boosted the Panthers. Photo: Jim McClean

From The Scarsdale Inquirer

December 16, 2011

By TODD SLISS

It seems rare these days that high school wrestling teams can fill every weight class. For Nanuet, that was the key to defeating Edgemont in the Section 1 Division II Dual Meet Tournament finals on Monday, Dec. 12.

Without a full lineup to begin with, Panthers already forfeit at 195 and 285 pounds, giving up 12 points before stepping on the mat. Against Nanuet they were without Tyler Aslanian (sick) at 99 pounds, Sky Korek (knee injury) at 106, Trey Aslanian (sick) at 113, Jason Worobow (dislocated shoulder) at 182. Two wrestlers were able to fill in, Kyle Aslanian at 99 and Riki Mistry at 113, and the Panthers split those matches. And while they Colin Hopkins and Oliver Oks in the lineup, both are dealing with illness or injury and were defeated.

?After this weekend we had a lot of injuries, a lot sickness,? Jack McCormack said, ?We all knew what was going to happen today. We were optimistic going into the match, hoping to get the best out of it, but Coach had talked to us and addressed that and said we?re looking for the individual matches. That?s what we tried to do, go out and wrestle our matches and try not to think about the team score.?

Nanuet was without two key wrestlers and juggled its lineup accordingly en route to a 49-32 win over Edgemont. In matches actually wrestled, Edgemont was a 32-25 winner, though in the end that number doesn?t count. However, the Panthers were pleased with the matches they wrestled, even some of the losses where they fought hard.

For the Panthers, just being in the finals was a big deal. The team just had to change its outlook once the weekend was over and they realized how depleted they were.

?It was a big thing because I feel this would show how well we?re going to be able to compete at sectionals,? Ross Kantor said. ?I think that as a team we were trying to get a lot out of it. We?re banged up, so going in we knew it was more individual. We were giving up a lot of weights. We obviously would love to win, but the individual wins were important to us. The people who wrestled today focused on their match and not the weight class below them or above them if someone was injured. I feel like they really were just focusing on pinning their guy.?

?It?s a good feeling to make the finals, but it?s nothing we?re going to think about after today,? McCormack said. ?We?re just going to let it be in the past and move toward our next matches. We?re just working on trying to stay healthy. We have too many injuries to let anyone else get hurt. We need to nurse those injuries and move into the rest of the season and try to aim to stay healthy.?

The match started off at 126 pounds. Will Graybeal scored a 15-0 technical fall over Chris Lowery in the third period to give Edgemont a 5-0 lead. At 132 pounds, Hopkins fell 10-0 to Matt Dillon.

Peter Berman wrestled at 138 pounds and scored a pin with 36 seconds left in the match against Jonathon Spiegel. McCormack won 7-0 at 145 pounds against Jazz Saguaro. Kantor gave the Panthers a 20-4 lead with a pin with four seconds left in the second period against Cody Fitzgerald.

Oks made it through the first period down 2-0 against Mike Buhlman at 160 pounds. Oks had an injury timeout for his right knee between periods before the knee got attacked in the second period and coach Pete Jacobson stopped the match as Oks writhed in pain.

Chris Kim put up a fight in an exciting match at 170 pounds, but was pinned with 24 seconds left by Peter Smith. All of a sudden Edgemont?s lead was down to 20-16.

After forfeiting at 182 and 195 pounds, the Panthers trailed 28-20.

Danny Kornberg took to the mat at 220 pounds and lost an exciting 7-4 decision to Dan Breit. Edgemont forfeited at 285 pounds to go behind 37-20.

Kyle Aslanian filled in for older brother Tyler at 99 pounds, and giving up a lot of weight to Joe Dillon, was pinned in just 16 seconds.

With Korek out of the lineup the Panthers forfeited at 106 pounds. Mistry, in for Trey Aslanian at 113, scored an impressive pin in the first period against Eric Boyle. Max Abramsky finished off the day with a pin at 120 pounds against Chris Morato.

Coach Jacobson was pleased with the effort and the results.

?I point to a kid like Colin Hopkins, who didn?t win today, and it?s tough to see what he?s going through,? Jacobson said. ?The kid can?t breath, but he?s still going after it with everything he?s got. Kyle Aslanian filling in for his brother Tyler and he barely makes the minimum weight for 99 pounds and gives up 15 pounds and he went after it. Danny Kornberg, that kid is just a beast. He always battles, always brings it. Pete Berman, not the most technical guy, but if you wrestle Pete Berman he?s going to battle you. I think that?s really been a characteristic of our team. I?m proud of the way they performed today. When you give up 24 points in forfeits and then injury default another weight, that?s a tough dual meet to win no matter how you perform.?

The Panthers opened up the dual meet tournament with a quarterfinal match against Dobbs Ferry. Edgemont, the No. 1 seed, advanced with a 60-28 score. In the semifinals, Edgemont bested Irvington 68-15. Both matches were at Croton on Dec. 7.

Against Dobbs, Tyler Aslanian won at 99 pounds by forfeit, Korek won in 3:22 over Nick Cipriano at 106 pounds, Trey Aslanian won by forfeit at 113 and Max Abramsky pinned Will Fontana in 1:07 at 120 pounds. Josh Dooz of Dobbs won a major decision over Graybeal at 126 and Jimmy Kyreakedes topped Hopkins with 20 seconds left in the match at 132 pounds. Berman pinned Dobbs? Matt Crawford in 1:25 at 138, McCormack bested Kyle Lindsay in 58 seconds at 145, Kantor won at 152 over Frank Donaj in 40 seconds, Oks pinned Terry Taylor in 31 seconds at 160 and Worobow beat Anthony Casamo in 3:20 at 170 pounds. Kim fell to Mike Boyle of Dobbs in 1:42 at 170 pounds and Adam Weiss and Michael Iovino won by forfeit at 195 and 285 pounds. At 220, Kornberg pinned his way? to victory over Dennis Deleon in 4:29.

The Panthers dominated Irvington 68-15 to reach the finals. Tyler Aslanian won in only 24 seconds over Gideon Burnstein, Korek pinned Tyler Wexler in 1:37, Trey Aslanian won over Justin Jimenez in 53 seconds, Abramsky pinned Nick D?Arrigo in 1:32, Graybeal beat Tristan Hickey in 1:09, Hopkins pinned Andrew Wassmann in 1:17 and Berman won a major decision 14-3 over Drew Cohen. McCormack fell 3-0 to Brett Pastore. Kantor Won in 32 seconds over Zachary Silvbrhardt, Oks won 15-2 over Peter Jones, Worobow won in 55 seconds over Joseph Ciccio and Kim won in 57 seconds over Evan Pachon. Kornberg won in 18 seconds over Adam Kreiger. Edgemont forfeited the other 12 points at 195 and 285.

?I think every single guy who stepped on the mat for us today battled and that?s really what we talk to our guys about as far as competition,? Jacobson said. ?We never talk about winning and losing. We talk about battling hard, leaving it all out there, performing to the level that we expect them to perform.?

Tourney Time

At North Rockland?s dual tournament on Dec. 10, the Panthers won 35-31 over Fordham Prep, 56-21 over Hen Hud and lost 65-12 to the Host.

Against Fordham, Tyler Aslanian won 13-2, Korek and Trey Aslanian by forfeit, Abramsky 12-2, Graybeal in 3:25, Berman 13-8, Kornberg in 30 seconds. Hopkins fell in 3:29, McCormack 4-1, Worobow 9-1 and Kim in 1:33. Facing Hen Hud, Tyler Aslanian won by forfeit, Korek 7-0, Trey Asianian by forfeit, Abramsky 17-2, Graybeal in 48 seconds, Hopkins by forfeit, McCormack by forfeit, Worobow by forfeit, Kim by forfeit and Kornberg by forfeit. Berman fell 5-0.

Winners against North Rockland were Trey Aslanian in 4:45, Berman 11-6 and Kornberg 6-1. Edgemont forfeited five weight classes.

Four Panthers then advanced as individuals to the finals bracket, Tyler Aslanian at 99, Trey Aslanian at 113, Abramsky at 120 and Kornberg at 220.

Tyler Aslanian, a freshman who was third in the section last year, avenged two losses to take the 99-pound title. First he beat Nanuet?s Joe Dillon 7-4 to avenge last year?s section semifinals loss and then he bested North Rockland?s Derek DiMarsico in 44 seconds to avenge a 9-6 loss from earlier in the day.

Trey Aslanian bested Patrick Bizzaro of Seaford in 1:18 and Troy Feigner of North Rockland in 1:33 for the title.

Abramsky won the semifinals over Nanuet?s Chris Lowery in 37 seconds, but fell to North Rockland?s Jose Rodriguez in 1:00 in the finals.

Kornberg beat Sergio Ventura of Nanuet 5-0 before falling 3-1 to Tappan Zee?s Chris McGann.

Also placing were Korek and Berman in third, Graybeal in fourth and Kim in fifth.

?As a team a lot of us wrestled well and medaled,? Berman said. ?For Danny and Max to be in the finals it was a big boost to their seasons. Going in they were pumped and even though they lost I think it gives them a lot of momentum going into later in the season. Also for me taking third was an accomplishment. I think it gives me a lot to work with, but at the same time I see where I went wrong and I can work to fix my mistakes.?

The team is still young. With no one vacating a spot since they had no seniors last year, the starting lineup is building off of last year?s successes and failures.

“I?ve seen a lot of guys who were thrust into the lineup last year as freshmen and sophomores, now that they have a year of starting experience under their belt they?re really starting to dominate and they are going to come out at the end and surprise people,? Berman said. ?Last year I knew my record wasn?t great and I didn?t get a sectional seed that I liked, but other guys came in and placed and surprised people. We?re going to do the same thing this year.?

Edgemont, when healthy, is among the best teams in the section, something Jacobson said they never needed to prove.

?I never think that we really have anything to prove to anybody,? Jacobson said. ?I care very little about that. I think the kids put pressure on themselves always. This is just a sport that does that. I think a match like this, they are going to put more pressure on themselves than ordinary. To be honest I care very little about proving anything to anyone. Maybe that?s not the same in the postseason, but right now everything is preparation, preparation, preparation.?

All of that intensifies from here with dual meets and tournaments into February, the time of year the team really will get to see what it?s made of.

?We have a large schedule with matches boom, boom, boom, so if someone has to rest to be able to wrestle over the weekend or when it?s a big tournament in February, that?s what matters,? Kantor said. ?Coach always reiterates that we need to peak at the right time. I feel like if we push ourselves and get these injuries out of the way now so we?re in wrestling shape, the second half will be a big deal.?