Blazers loses to the Falcons 60–19
NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, Jan. 7 –
Blair's varsity wrestling team came up short in their match against the soaring Poolesville Falcons Wednesday afternoon, lowering their season record to 1-5. The opposing Falcons won 60-19 as they were able to finish more rounds with additional points and pins while the home team could not secure strongholds as the periods progressed.
Although there were some wins and good performances from Blair, the absence of key players, including senior captain Alhaji Janneh, and the inexperience of freshmen contributed to poor finishes.
The Poolesville team began the night with a dominate lead at 18-0 as the starting freshman Blazers succumbed to quick takedowns and were pinned in under two minutes. Freshmen Anthony Jankoski (112) and sophomore Emmanuel Ramirez (135) both began with very quick maneuvers, working to topple the opponent but ultimately lost as they were unable to complete reversals.
Assistant coach Andrew Wallis felt that the match overall wasn't up to par, but offered his insight. "Some of the matches were surprising, some were disappointments," he said. "We learned neutral was a good strategy but learned weaknesses in completing a takedown as well."
For the most part, the winning matches and most aggressive performances came from the middle weight group. Senior captain Kekura Musa (130) wrestled mostly vertically with his opponent as both tried to overpower the other. Although Musa's periods were frequently halted by the referee for wrestling outside the perimeters, he was able to pin down his opponent and help bring Blair's score to 24-6.
Sophomore Jeffrey Garcia (160) began his first 30 seconds slowly but soon after increased his tackles before the match suspended for five minutes when his opponent began bleeding. Once resumed, Garcia was successful at tripping his opponent in the last period and steadying his control. However, in the third match the Falcons received a full-Nelson penalty and Blair took some off the deficit, 42-15.
Blair's situation became more promising with freshman David Chow's (171) match upcoming. However, he was prone to play too high, hampering him from achieving more points. He won his match but the earned points were Blair's last of the night, leaving Poolesville's advantage at 48-19.
Senior Novian Haynes (215) came close to pinning his opponent down, but gradually lost his vigor as he couldn't avoid his opponent's manhandling. "I blew it after the third period and gassed out. I had a great start but did not finish," Haynes said dissatisfied.
As the night wore on, the rest of the Blazers succumbed to the pattern of becoming overpowered and not effectively executing a reversal, allowing them to be vulnerable to pins. Kekura felt that "the team had it rough" but still says the Blazers did not play their best. "A lot of mistakes were made," he said.
Although head coach Jake Scott saw some decent matches from his team, he noticed the Poolesville Falcons brought forceful plays. "A few of our guys fought hard, but we did not do too well throughout," Scott said afterwards. "It was a pretty challenging match."
Wallis expressed that with every match, especially this one, there is much area for improvement. "We are not effective in pinning down," he stated simply. "After we have the opponent in a weak position, we must work harder to finish it off."
The wrestling team hosts its next meet Jan. 14 against Richard Montgomery at 6:00 p.m.
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