Cardinal Newman’s quest for a SCISA wrestling glory was realized on Saturday. Eric Goff’s Cardinals defeated four-time defending champion Hammond 51-21 in the championship bout before a large, boisterous home crowd.
Here is the bout-by-bout story of the CN triumph.
103 – Eighth-grader Cole McCarter got the Cardinals off to a good start with a 9-2 win over Skyhawks freshman Gervais Baker. McCarter, ranked No. 1 in SCISA at the weight, took command in the first period to a takedown and back points for a 4-0 lead on the second-ranked Baker. There was no scoring in the second period. McCarter put it away early in the third with an escape and a takedown. The bout served as a potential preview for the individual state championship bout on Saturday at Heathwood Hall.
112 – Hammond eighth-grader Matthew Kay scored a minor upset over CN eighth-grader Hunter Richardson, 8-4. Kay is ranked No. 3 at by scmat.com, while Richardson is No. 2. Kay was cruising with an 8-0 lead with 30 seconds to go in the match when Richardson pulled off a reverse, put Kay on his back but didn’t have quite enough time to finish the job. Kay, saved by the bell, came away with an 8-4 win to tie the team score at 3-3.
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119 – Hammond’s Stephen Mitchell gave up an early takedown to Thomas Touma, but pinned his foe at 2:44 for give the Skyhawks a 9-3 lead.
125 – In the first of two key early matches, CN’s Conor Egan pinned Hammond seventh-grader Robert Dixon at 4:34. Egan nearly pinned Dixon late in the second period, but got the job done 33 seconds into the third.
130 – Hammond’s Guy Castles and CN’s Alex Geurin entered the match as the top two ranked men at the weight. Castles, ranked No. 1 and a state champion at 103 in 2007, nearly pinned the second-ranked Geurin in the second period. Geurin was saved by the bell and pinned Castles at 4:58 after both veterans scored on reversals early in the third period.
135 – Three-time state champion Talley Lattimore of Cardinal Newman overpowered John Allen Babson. Lattimore had a 5-0 lead when his planted Babson with one second left in the first period, extending the Cardinals’ lead to 21-9.
140 – Hammond junior star Bradford MacGillvary had no trouble vs. Chris Palevich, pinning his man in 1:42 to move the Skahawks within 21-15. MacGillvary, ranked No. 2 at 140 by scmat.com, has three state titles and one runner-up finish on his impressive resume.
145 – Here’s where things got interesting. Cardinal Newman’s Thomas Winstead opened the bout vs. Reb Boyd with a takedown. Boyd, however, escaped, took down Winstead and got a pin with 35 seconds left in the first period. That tied the match scored at 21-21, but the referee docked the Cardinals three teams points after Winstead protested what he felt was a quick whistle. Hammond was now ahead 21-18 with six matches to go.
But the Skyhawks knew what was coming, know full well the strength of the Cardinals lineup from 152 to heavyweight. The bottom line: Hammond did not score enough in the early weights to make a real run at victory.
152 – The Cardinals surged to the championship began with senior Adam Tourma, who took down Hammond sophomore Ira Usry and promptly pinned him at 1:24. Touma’s businesslike performance put the Cardinals ahead for good, 24-21.
160 – The CN wave continued with stunning swiftness when freshman Joey DeAngelis wasted little time taking down, then pinning Peter Bristow. It took all of 12 seconds for DeAngelis to chip in another six points to the team score. The Cards now led 30-21.
171/b> – John Bolchoz completed the run of three straight Cardinal Newman first-period pins against Harrison Dobbs, who is ranked No. 1 in SCISA at 160 pounds. The fire-up Bolchoz, with the crowd buzzing with anticipation, got a quick takedown and pinned Dobbs 40 seconds into the first period for a 36-21 CN lead.
189 – Two-time defending state champion James Williams did not get a pin against Joseph McDougall, but his 11-4 decision clinched the state title for the Cardinals, who had an insurmountable 39-21 lead with two matches to go.
Hammond forfeited the last two bouts.
Cardinal Newman’s week leading up to the state playoffs was not an easy one. The school closed down on Wednesday when a wave of sickness hit the student body. Goff was very concerned that the situation would have dire consequences for his team.
“It was really concerned that we’d come all this way only to have the flu or whatever it was cost us a championship that we worked so hard to win,” said the CN coach. “It was a tough week, but it all worked out in the end. I started to feel a little better on Friday when we started looking like ourselves again at our last practice.”
Cardinal Newman finished with a 21-3 dual match record. Hammond, with no seniors on the roster, closed at 12-11 and is already looking ahead to a run at redemption next season.