Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Hornets come up short at Berkshire

BURTON—After a strong showing at the Perry Pin City Invitational last weekend, the Kirtland wrestling team dropped a pair of dual meets at Berkshire on Tuesday.

Independence defeated the Hornets, 51-18, then the host Badgers earned a 48-27 win over Kirtland to close out the night.

“We're seeing growing pains,” said Kirtland coach Scott Francis. “I would say we probably saw better things last week when we were over at Perry. It seems like, especially when you've got young guys, it's three steps forward, one step back. We saw some with the one step back today, but at the same time, it's when they're on the bench you can hear them yelling the right things to each other. Then they come off or they go out on the mat themselves and they get so much into the match that they forget about that stuff and we saw reaction. They just need more mat time where they have to hit those things.”

Independence swept all seven matches wrestled against Kirtland but they didn’t come easily.

Gus Mormino nearly recorded a pin in his bout at 145 but a simple mistake resulted in a loss.

“He was wrestling a great match and literally he sat the wrong way when the kid had, I believe he had a bar on him,” Francis said. “As soon as Gus came off I looked at him and that was the first thing he said. He looked at me and said, 'I sat the wrong way.' On one hand they're able to look at it and critique themselves, they know the moves we want to hit, it's just a matter of them actually hitting those moves now.”

Carter Williamson (106), Anthony Blasini (152) and Will Robertson (160) all received forfeits against the Blue Devils.

Mormino rebounded against the Badgers with a solid 3-1 win over Jacob Hanson and Jonathon Miller and Jeff Kusar both pinned their Berkshire opponents.

Miller was losing his match before catching Daniel Humes in a defensive pin.

Ben Marsh and Khalid Alabasi both won by forfeit against the Badgers.

“We're going to hit the room and we're going to keep going over the same stuff,” Francis said. “There's a big transition for those younger kids from middle school to high school. The moves that they hit back then aren't working and you can see when they get into a panic situation they automatically revert back to what worked for them last year, which is not the moves that are going to work now. They’re still learning to trust us. We're showing you high percentage moves that are going to work up here. That's what you need to be hitting, not the stuff that was working for you last year.”

Independence 51, Kirtland 18
106: Carter Williamson (K) by forfeit; 113: Liam Walker (I) by forfeit; 120: Mike Kucera (I) by forfeit; 126: Luke Swauger (I) dec. Brandon Hepper, 8-2; 132: Double Forfeit; 138: Jim Senick (I) pinned Brayden Adkins, 4:35; 145: Nick Rossi (I) pinned Gus Mormino 3:33; 152: Anthony Blasini (K) by forfeit; 160: Will Robertson (K) by forfeit; 170: Nick Mroczynski (I) pinned Jonathan Miller 5:35; 182: Alex Nelson (I) pinned Jeff Kusar 4:57; 195: Luke Clymer (I) pinned Ben Marsh 5:27; 220: Double Forfeit; 285: Josh Stasek (I) pinned Kalid Alabsi 1:27.

Berkshire 48, Kirtland 27
106: James Klingman (B) pinned Carter Williamson 3:34; 113: John Kumher (B) by forfeit; 120: Double Forfeit; 126: Anthony Surace (B) pinned Brandon Hepper 1:41; 132: Ethan DeWeese-Hunt (B) by forfeit; 138: Jarrod Malkus (B) pinned Brayden Adkins 1:06; 145: Gus Mormino (K) dec. Jacob Hanson, 3-1; 152: W McClellan (B) pinned Anthony Blasini 3:01; 160: Clark Jackson (B) pinned Will Robertson 2:50; 170: Jonathan Miller (K) pinned Daniel Humes 3:51; 182: Jeff Kusar (K) pinned Brandon Knight 0:23; 195: Ben Marsh (K) by forfeit; 220: Matt Sweigert (B) by forfeit; 285: Khalid Alabsi (K) by forfeit.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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