Blair wrestling succumbs to strong Paintbranch team
FEB. 9, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM—
With six of its members graduating this year, the Blair varsity wrestling team hoped to end the last match of its season with a strong victory over the Paintbranch Panthers, both in honor of its seniors and to avoid a losing seasonal record. The Panthers, however, had won their last six matches and had no intention of ending their winning streak. Despite a valiant effort, the Blazers fell to the Panthers with a score of 22-60, closings their seasonal record at 6-8.
The Blazers began the game with an encouraging string of victories, defeating Paintbranch in all three lightweight matches to create a 16-0 lead. Sophomore Josh Orsoto (103) gave Blair the first win of the night, scoring a pin just seconds before the end of the first two-minute period. Senior Cesar Sosa (119)also performed well, nearly pinning his opponent twice in the first period before reversing a headlock to score a three-minute pin.
Senior co-captain Scott Nguyen (112) then took the mat, wrestling an intense six-minute match in which he slammed his opponent to the mat five times and reversed an attempt at a half-nelson. His efforts earned Blair four more points, bringing the score to 16-0 and giving the Blazers a tantalizing hope of victory.
Once again, however, the Blazers fell short in the middleweight divisions. Paintbranch scored an easy twelve points off Blair forfeits in the 135 and 152 lb. weight classes, then proceeded to sweep the next six matches. Though the Blazers fought hard to take control of their opponents, they were simply overpowered by the Panthers, who relied on a formidable combination of quick footwork and high-impact takedowns to score its pins.
By the time senior Hansel Cedeno (189) reasserted Blair's control of the mat with two quick takedowns and a 75-second pin, the Panthers had already scored 48 consecutive points off middleweight victories, bringing the score to 22-48. The Blazers then took a close loss in the 210 lb. weight class and a forfeit in the heavyweight division, bringing the match to a close with a final score of 22-60.
Though the Blazers have had a tumultuous season, they hope to recoup their losses in the impending county, regional, and state tournaments that begin Feb. 20. "I think a lot of my teammates will be successful, especially in the postseason," said Nguyen. "They have a lot of talent, a lot of potential."
Kristina Yang. Kristina Yang is 1/10 of the Blair girls' volleyball team. When not on the court, she most likely to be running away from Magnet math homework, trying to pay off her three speeding/redlight tickets, or feeding her bubble tea addiction. She would also like to … More »