Colfax wrestlers capture spotlight |

Colfax wrestlers capture spotlight

COLFAX – Any time teams from Colfax and Bear River square off against one another, the competitive rivalry adds a level of tension that can be felt throughout the crowd. Add the intimate confines of a small gym, put a spotlight over the single wrestling mat and you’ve got a truly special event.

Colfax beat Bear River 40-31 Wednesday night in a spotlight match at the old gym in Colfax. The Bruins won six of the 11 weights wrestled but three forfeited classes proved to be too great a hurdle to overcome.

“It was a great dual,” said Bear River coach Robert Nebeker. “It was really fun. I have to give Colfax credit for really wanting it.”

The Bruins started strong with pins from Johnny Lascoe, Matt Belnap and Corbin Shakely for a quick 18-0 lead.

Mike Fucci turned the tide for the Falcons with a stunning pin of Bear River team captain Garrett Bentley at 160 pounds. Neither wrestler had scored in the first period and both had been warned for stalling as they cautiously maneuvered for advantage. Fucci managed an escape after starting the second period in the down position. As the period wound down, Fucci shot through Bentley’s legs for a takedown and quickly cradled the Bruin grappler, getting the fall with 21 seconds remaining in the second period.

Alex Wallenberg of Colfax was in position to pin Gary Schmidt at the end of the second and third periods, but Schmidt was saved by the horn both times. Wallenberg won a major decision, 14-1.

The match of the night was the heavyweight clash between Elliot Lowry of Colfax and Bear River’s Chase Duncan. Neither wrestler scored in the first period, though Duncan had Lowry in a head lock and appeared ready for a throw when action was ruled off the mat. Lowry managed to take Duncan to the mat in the second period, but couldn’t get the 265-pound Bruin over on his back, spending nearly the entire period in the attempt. Duncan pulled off an escape, followed by a takedown in the third, but could not gain more advantage as Lowry was able to use his legs to stay off of his back. At the end of regulation, the home crowd gave Lowry a loud ovation.

In the extra minute, Duncan appeared to have his man worn down and seemed ready to take control, getting Lowry in a head lock. Suddenly, Lowry found some leverage and maneuvered Duncan onto his back for a takedown and a stunning 5-3 victory as the crowd erupted.

Colfax coach Jerry Sinkey was fired up about his heavyweight.

“That was an outstanding match,” he said. “We’ve worked really hard this week. Duncan has beat Lowry twice. Elliot is giving away 70 pounds. That was a huge match and a good league heads-up.”

Bear River fought back, getting a decision from Alex Loza, a major decision from Addy Gemignani and a pin by Derek Julian for a 31-28 lead.

After forfeiting the 132-weight class, the Bruins found themselves behind 34-31 with one match left at 135 pounds. Nolan Gail ran into a strong opponent in Paul Lordier, who had no intention of letting the night go to the visitors. Lordier built up a 5-0 lead in the first period and was ahead 11-0 when he pinned Gail with 24 seconds remaining in the second period.

“This was a great, great match,” Sinkey said. “We made a couple of boo-boos in the middle weights, but the kids have been wrestling well.”

“It was quite a battle,” said Nebeker. “We’ve improved. Loza, Julian and Shakley really stepped it up and gave us a chance. That’s what we wanted, for it to come down to the last match.”

Bear River travels to West Campus for a Pioneer Valley League dual Friday.

103 – Alex Loza (BR) def. Gavin Souza, 6-2

112 – Addy Gemignani (BR) def. Anthony Garcia, 15-4

121 – John McGuire (C) win by forfeit

127 – Derek Julian (BR) pinned Josh Hopkins, :20.4, first period

132 – Tony Yazzolino (C) win by forfeit

135 – Paul Lordier (C) pinned Nolan Gail, :24.7, second

140 – Johnny Lascoe (BR) pinned Sean Moore, :10.7, second

145 – Matt Belnap (BR) pinned Dan Lordier, 1:19, second

152 – Corbin Shakely (BR) pinned Kenny Moore, :22.9, third

160 – Mike Fucci (C) pinned Garrett Bentley, :21.7, second

171 – Garry Wooten (C) def. Jordan Beaver, 17-10

189 – Alex Wallenberg (C) def. Gary Schmidt, 14-1

215 – Chris Briasco (C) win by forfeit

HVY – Elliot Lowry (C) def. Chase Duncan, 5-3

To contact sportswriter Rob Renaud, e-mail or call 477-4240.

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