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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Cuyahoga Falls -- It's hard to compete against a quality team when you don't have all your horses in the stable.
Unfortunately for Cuyahoga Falls head wrestling coach Craig Wilson, he found that out the hard way.
Hudson improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division after posting a convincing 45-18 victory over the Black Tigers Jan. 9. The Black Tigers fell to 2-2 in the division.
The Explorers scored 18 free points, thanks to forfeits at 106, 113 and 120 pounds, respectively.
At the same time, though, Hudson proved to be quite formidable even when its wrestlers saw a black and gold singlet on the mat.
"I was very happy with how we performed," Explorers head coach Joe Caniglia said.
"It was all about executing stuff we've been working on in practice. We worked on leg counters and we did a lot of that [Jan. 9] and the kids were very aggressive."
Despite the loss, Craig Wilson wasn't the least bit disappointed. The team certainly made a positive impression on the veteran coach against a talented opponent.
"We're still putting things together," Craig Wilson said.
"We're kind of a patchwork team. We were big underdogs, but I thought our kids wrestled excellent matches."
Hudson scored one pin, two technical falls and two major decisions.
Nathan Szoch earned the Explorers' only pin at 132 pounds when he ended the match in 60 seconds against Jacob Sage.
Hudson got its two technical falls from Ben Krizman at 182 pounds and Braden Wright at 145 pounds.
Krizman got the ball rolling for the Explorers when he scored a 19-3 win over Falls' Chris Tasich in the opening match of the evening. Wright posted a 16-1 victory over Ian Horstman.
"Braden started off a little slow, but he really opened up in the second and third periods," Caniglia said.
Billy Buehl and Michael Coleman earned major decisions at 138 and 171 pounds, respectively.
Buehl earned a 12-4 win over Cole Oldham. When Buehl faced Oldham at the Hudson Tournament earlier in the season, Buehl sweated out a 2-1 victory.
Coleman, a state semifinalist at 160 pounds last season, scored an 11-1 win over Bucky Hendershot in the final match of the evening. Coleman improved to 18-2 on the season.
"We moved up Michael because it was great competition for him," Caniglia said. "He is so used to getting quick pins, but he is going to need to wrestle six minutes at the state meet."
Although it only counted for three points, the most exciting win for Hudson came from Simon Turner at 152 pounds.
Turner scored a takedown with less than 20 seconds left to take an 8-6 lead against Stephen Cagaric and held on from there.
Rudy Ware scored the only pin for the Black Tigers when he took care of Connor Milosovic in 51 seconds at 220 pounds.
Other Falls' victories came from Austyn Wilson, who scored a 10-3 win over Michael Delsanter at 195; Samson Demand (4-0 against Dylan Carlson) at 285; Mitch Hannan (7-2 against Ben Boysel) at 126; and Donovan Taylor (7-3 against Derek Hess) at 160.
"Connor, Michael, Dylan, Ben and Derek wrestled aggressively and were still in positions to win in the third period, so that was good to see," Caniglia said.
Hudson was scheduled to compete at the Len Pariano Invitational Jan. 11 at Berea-Midpark High School. Results were not available at press time.
The Explorers are set to visit River Division rival Medina Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.
"We have exams coming up, so we're going to fine-tune some things," Caniglia said. "Overall, I'm very pleased with where we're at."