CANAJOHARIE - After falling behind early in the team scoring, the Canajoharie-Fort Plain wrestling team fought back to put itself in a position to win Wednesday night's Western Athletic Conference match against Galway.
With the aide of a pinfall by Morgan VanAvery and three late-match forfeits by the Golden Eagles, Canajoharie-Fort Plain trimmed a 42-9 team score down to 42-33 with two matches to wrestle.
However, the two matches were in the 106- and 113-pound weight classes, a strong point in the Galway lineup.
Canajoharie-Fort Plain’s Jordon Griswold works for a pinning combination against Galway’s Ryan Pappalau in the 160-pound bout of Thursday’s Western Athletic Conference wrestling match at Canajoharie High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Nico Riccio scored a technical fall over Owen Yerdon and Jordan Sartin decisioned Jon Payack in the final two bouts to keep Galway's WAC record unblemished with the 50-33 victory.
"The last two matches I was very confident," Galway coach Mike Sartin said. "Our 106-pounder, Nico Riccio, was fourth in the section last year and has only one loss this year. I look at him as having a chance to go to states this year. I knew he was going to have a tough match, but if he worked hard, he would get there. Our 113, Jordan Sartin, is a seventh-grader but he has wrestled well and his record is now 15-2 with his losses coming against two seniors. So I was very confident."
Galway got off to a fast start, collecting two forfeits and three pinfalls in the opening six matches, while Gordon Trahan collected a forfeit at 126 pounds for C-FP to put the early team score at 30-6.
Jordan Griswold broke the Golden Eagles' string of victories on the mat with a solid 8-1 decision over Ryan Pappalau at 160.
Galway extended its lead with a pinfall from John Mulligan at 170 and Andrew Gilchrist collected a forfeit at 182 to give the Golden Eagles a 42-9 edge they needed heading into the heavyweights.
VanAvery carried a 13-2 lead into the final period before pinning Seth Carter with 24 seconds left in the 195-pound bout.
Gene Ryan (220) and Ken Holland (285) along with Tim Hazzard (99) collected forfeits to bring C-FP to within striking distance of a team victory, 42-33, with two bouts remaining.
Canajoharie-Fort Plain's Owen Yerdon took Riccio deep into the 106-pound bout before Riccio scored a technical fall with five seconds remaining. Payack went the distance against the Golden Eagles' Jordan Sartin at 113, but lost, pushing the score to 50-33 in favor of Galway.
"We just didn't have the horses to finish it tonight," Canajoharie-Fort Plain coach Todd Jones said. "We are young there [lower weights]. We did well Saturday at the Johnstown Duals and were hoping that would carry over to tonight, but it didn't quite work out that way. Galway is a quality team and put quality people out there on the mat."
Both teams will wrestle in the annual Galway Tournament Saturday at Galway High School.
"It is going to be a big tournament with 16 teams," coach Sartin said. "We really didn't expect that many, but there was a little miscommunication with some coaches. We have big schools and small schools including Adirondack from Section III and Taconic out of Massachusetts. It is going to be a tough tournament and a beast of a day."
Jones said that the bracket-style tournament will be a new experience for some of his wrestlers.
"It is intense and for some of these kids it will be difficult for them," he said. "The dual meet format is not as intense so this will be an experience for them."
Galway 50, Canajoharie Fort-Plain 33
120: Dean Poulin (G) pinned Kory Mueller, 3:09.
126: Gordon Trahan (CFP) by forfeit.
132: Jay Oakes (G) pinned Anthony Brock, 1:57.
138: Colin Ainsworth (G) pinned Ken Sullivan, :48.
145: Steve Culbert (G) by forfeit.
152: Kyle Moflatt (G) by forfeit.
160: Jordon Griswold (CFP) dec. Ryan Pappalau, 8-1.
170: John Mulligan (G) pinned Josh Cechnicki, 2:49.
182: Andrew Gilchrist (G) by forfeit.
195: Morgan Van Avery (CFP) pinned Seth Carter, 5:37.
220: Gene Ryan (CFP) by forfeit.
285: Ken Holland (CFP) by forfeit.
99: Tim Hazzard (CFP) by forfeit.
106: Nico Riccio (G) TF Owen Yerdon, 5:55.
113: Jordan Sartin (G) dec. Jon Payack, 8-1.