After the Cazenovia wrestling team had a strong fifth-place finish at its own invitational meet on Jan. 11, it had to get back into routine business within the OHSL Liberty division.
And that business proved challenging when long-time power Phoenix visited Buckley Gym last Wednesday night. While the Lakers had plenty of fine individual moments, it could not overcome the lack of a full roster in a 47-30 defeat to the Firebirds.
Under coaching legend Gene Mills, Phoenix has turned out a series of great wrestlers in recent years, but graduated two state champions (Nick Tighe and Rowdy Prior) a season ago.
It’s proved more of a struggle this winter for the Firebirds, who were coming off a busy weekend that included a defeat to Fulton and a win over Holland Patent. Still, Phoenix had a wrestler in all 15 weight classes, something Cazenovia couldn’t match.
As a result, the Lakers had to forfeit four bouts, adding up to 24 points, which meant that, though it won six of the 11 contested bouts, it still took the defeat.
Brad Lucas, at 285 pounds, got a 53-second pin over Derrick Button, while Mike Nourse (170 pounds) pinned Tyler Worden at the end of the first period. At 99 pounds, Jacob Wells took just 1:13 to finish off Brandon Morrison, while Hayden Polhamus (195 pounds) pinned Derrick Powell in 1:38.
Elsewhere, Paul McGlaughlin (132 pounds) shut out Austin Dristle 6-0, while Mike Marshall won a tough 160-pound bout over Jesse Duncan 6-4. Will Shephard (106 pounds) fell to Ryan Dolbear 7-2 as Logan Staiger, at 220 pounds, lost to Austin Wirth 9-4.
Still at home Friday, Cazenovia faced Syracuse’s Institute of Technology Central and, on Senior Night, prevailed over the Eagles by a score of 53-27.
Four different Lakers earned pins, including Zack Maxwell (113 pounds), who took just 41 seconds to finish off Ashanti Gethers, and Carter Biviano (120 pounds), who got his fall over Egal Adan in 51 seconds.