Clutch Cats: Point Boro outlasts Lacey for critical B-South win
LACEY TOWNSHIP – Intangibles are the unquantifiable equalizer, and few Shore Conference teams take advantage of this as much as Point Boro.
To win a dual meet where you don’t have the advantage on paper, a team needs to do the little things correctly, from the superstars to the role players. Friday’s critical Shore Conference Class B South showdown with Lacey was yet another example of this and the Panthers once again came through with clutch performances.
Junior Gavin O’Connor scored a takedown with two seconds left in regulation to win at 170 pounds, sophomore Charlie Latendorf rallied for a win in sudden victory at 126 pounds and sophomore Lucas Torre won by decision at 106 in the final bout to give Point Boro a thrilling 32-25 win over host Lacey to take a major step toward securing a fourth straight B-South division title.
Junior Peter Karras won by fall at 138 and senior Ty Bailey did the same at 160 pounds while juniors Connor Robinson and Jack Bailey earned major decisions at 145 and 152 pounds, respectively. Then there was Lucas Sabo (113) and Patrick Frawley (220) saving bonus points against Lacey’s two most accomplished wrestlers. It all added up to Point Boro’s fourth straight win over Lacey to run its division winning streak to 24 matches.
“In wrestling there’s toughness and there’s technique. Technique will get you so far but if you’re not a tough person you’re not going to get very far,” Latendorf said. “You can know how to do everything but if you don’t have the grit to go out on the mat and do it and work hard to win the match, none of that matters.”
“This team is tough, man,” said Point Boro head coach Pat Brady. “They’re together, they’re tough and they work their butts off in that room every day and you see the results out on the mat. They’re scrappy, they’re tough to score on; it’s fun to be a part of.”
The positive results began piling up for Point Boro in the very first match. Lacey sophomore Brady Carter weighed in at 113 pounds to make his season debut after being out with a foot injury. Carter was the Region 7 runner-up at 106 pounds last season. Carter built a 4-1 lead through two periods but was only able to add another takedown in the third. Sabo also forced Carter into three stalling calls to yield two points, and Point Boro came out with a net victory as Carter earned a 6-3 decision.
At 120 pounds, senior James Latendorf used a takedown in the first period and a reversal in the third to defeat Vinny Fantasia, 4-1, and tie the match at six.
The first dramatic moment occurred at 126 where Charlie Latendorf rallied for an overtime win over Andre Ferrauiolo. A takedown with five seconds left in the first period gave Ferrauiolo a 4-1 lead after the first two minutes, but those were the last points he would score. Latendorf escaped in the second period and scored a takedown to tie the bout 4-4 and then rode out Ferrauiolo in the third period to force overtime. Late in sudden victory, Latendorf countered a shot by Ferrauiolo, grabbed a hold of his left leg and finished the takedown with 3.6 seconds on the clock to win 6-4.
“We practice hard every day in the room and I know they’re not training as hard as us,” Latendorf said. “I knew I was levels above his conditioning so I knew if I just kept going at him he would crack. I knew I would be able to come out on top.”
Another Point Boro wrestler who saved bonus points was freshman Jack Thompson at 132 pounds. Lacey junior Collin Rolak nearly had a pin in the first period and built a commanding 9-1 lead after the opening frame. He added a takedown and two more nearfall points in the second period go up 13-1. A technical fall, at the least, seemed inevitable. Thompson chose the top position to start the third period and was able to successfully ride Rolak for a bit. Thompson was called for his second stalling and Rolak eventually escaped to make it 15-1, but Thompson held him off to keep it at a major decision. Lacey led, 7-6, through four bouts.
The results of the next five bouts would effectively win the match for Point Boro. At 138, Karras went up 5-0 on Liam Sanger before pinning him at 138 in a toss-up bout. Robinson followed with a 9-1 major decision over Justin Cilento at 145 pounds thanks to a pair of takedowns in the third period, including one with under 10 seconds left. Lacey was able to save bonus points at 152 in holding Jack Bailey to a 10-2 major decision over freshman Matt Coon, but Ty Bailey pinned Michael Angelo Santiago in 60 seconds at 160 to give the Panthers a 26-7 lead.
With Lacey set to have the advantage at every weight from 182 through heavyweight, the 170-pound but between O’Connor and Lacey senior Logan Carter became massive. Carter went up 2-0 with a takedown in the first period but O’Connor tied the bout at two with an escape and forcing two stalling calls on Carter for another point. Carter escaped in the third period to take a 3-2 lead but O’Connor continued to push the pace and finally scored the winning takedown with two seconds on the clock, countering a single-leg attempt and pancaking Carter to the mat to win 4-3 and give Point Boro a 29-7 lead with five bouts left.
“He tried to shoot a high single but I beat him to it,” O’Connor said. “I knew he was tired and I had to dig deep. There was short time and I was down by one and I knew I had to push my hardest and try to score points. I really trusted my training and my conditioning.”
“That's the way these kids train and they believe in each other,” Brady said. “It’s not just one guy out on the mat, it’s the whole team, and that’s a powerful thing when you’re wrestling."
Point Boro had a 22-point lead, but its work was far from done. In the win-big, lose-small gameplan it was time to lose small. Lacey came out strong in its rally attempt when senior Jackson Brandt pinned Andrew Witkowski in 33 seconds at 182 pounds and junior Gerard O’Connor decked Nick Rebimbas with less than a second to go in the second period at 195. Just like that, Lacey had sliced Point Boro’s lead to 29-19.
Junior Vinny Ceglie, a state qualifier last season, took the mat at 220 pounds. Frawley’s job was to limit bonus points and he did that to perfection in holding Ceglie to just two takedowns and a 5-0 decision. Josh Henderson did the same at heavyweight in dropping a 3-1 decision to Scott Stevens. Point Boro still led, 29-25, and the four-point cushion meant Lacey needed a major decision or better in the final bout, a tall order in a matchup between Torre and sophomore Mason Heck where Point Boro had the edge.
Brady didn’t need to say much to Torre.
“Just go out there and have fun,” Brady said. “The hard part is practicing every day. The fun part is out on the mat. Lucas Torre is a great wrestler and if he goes out there and wrestles his match good things are going to happen. Don’t protect the lead, go out there and earn what’s yours.”
After a scoreless first period. Torre escaped to take a 1-0 lead into the third period. Knowing he needed bonus points, Heck chose the top position in the third but Torre scored a reversal before finishing the ride out to win 3-0.
“It was just great to see everyone was able to do their jobs because if not we wouldn’t have won that match,” Charlie Latendorf said.”
Point Boro isn’t a powerhouse team like it was two years ago when it won a sectional title and a district team title but the Panthers remain what they’ve always been under Brady: a hard-nosed, never-say-die squad that is willing to do the dirty work to experience the glory. Those qualities go a long, long way.
Point Boro 32, Lacey 25
|113||Brady Carter (Lacey) over Lucas Sabo (Point Boro) (Dec 6-3)|
|120||James Latendorf (Point Boro) over Vinny Fantasia (Lacey) (Dec 4-1)|
|126||Charles Latendorf (Point Boro) over Andre Ferrauiolo (Lacey) (Dec 6-4)|
|132||Colin Rolak (Lacey) over Jack Thompson (Point Boro) (MD 15-1)|
|138||Peter Karras (Point Boro) over Liam Sanger (Lacey) (Fall 3:19)|
|145||Connor Robinson (Point Boro) over Justin Cilento (Lacey) (MD 9-1)|
|152||Jack Bailey (Point Boro) over Matt Coon (Lacey) (MD 10-2)|
|160||Ty Bailey (Point Boro) over Michael Angelo Santiago (Lacey) (Fall 1:00)|
|170||Gavin O`Connor (Point Boro) over Logan Carter (Lacey) (Dec 4-3)|
|182||Jackson Brandt (Lacey) over Andrew Witkowski (Point Boro) (Fall 0:33)|
|195||Gerard O`Connor (Lacey) over Nick Rebimbas (Point Boro) (Fall 3:59)|
|220||Vincent Ceglie (Lacey) over Patrick Frawley (Point Boro) (Dec 5-0)|
|285||Scott Stevens (Lacey) over Joshua Henderson (Point Boro) (Dec 3-1)|
|106||Lucas Torre (Point Boro) over Mason Heck (Lacey) (Dec 3-0)|
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.