by Michael Leonard
Hudson -- The Hudson wrestling team closed out its dual-meet schedule Jan. 24, hosting Senior Night against backyard rival Stow-Munroe Falls at Buck Hyser Gymnasium.
Given that the Bulldogs fell by a 77-0 count 24 hours earlier at Brunswick, one might think the Explorers had the mental edge coming into the match.
However, Hudson head coach Joe Caniglia knew better.
"Whatever happened back at the tournament in December doesn't matter," he said. "Both teams always seem to get pumped up for this match. I think it was a good effort from both teams."
The Explorers earned a 41-30 win, but Stow made them work for it.
Hudson finished its dual-meet schedule with a record of 13-3 overall and 4-1 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division. The Bulldogs fell to 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the division.
"That's the best we wrestled in a long time," Stow head coach Randy Jenkins said. "Mentally, we look a lot better than we did [Jan. 23]. [Jan. 23] was a big wake-up call. It's more of a rivalry with Hudson, so we came out much better."
In fact, the Explorers and Bulldogs each won six wrestled matches on the night, with Stow recording four pins to Hudson's two.
The difference in the match was Hudson's two forfeit wins by Kyle Minor (120 pounds) and Danny Baka (220).
The Bulldogs came ready to wrestle in the first two matches of the night as Austin Morris scored a pin in 4 minutes 45 seconds at 106. That was followed by a pin in 4:30 by Kyle Jenkins at 113.
Coach Jenkins said his son finally is rounding into form, after a season-long battle with weight.
Following Minor's forfeit win, Stow made it 15-6 on the team score when Joey Andrassy (126) continued his recent hot streak. Andrassy pulled out a 7-3 decision over Ben Boysel.
However, the Explorers took the lead for good after three straight wins.
After Chris Motter scored a pin in 2:37 at 132, Billy Buehl notched a 19-3 technical fall at 138, followed by a 12-6 win by Hudson senior Braden Wright (145) over Matt Leister.
Trailing 21-15, Stow won the closest match of the night as Nick Planicka went to overtime with Simon Turner at 152. Planicka got the 8-6 decision by the getting the takedown in the sudden-victory period.
Explorers' senior Michael Coleman scored a pin in 1 minute at 160, but Stow answered when Shawn Sovocool scored a pin in 2:31 at 170.
Hudson's upper weights clinched the match.
At 182 pounds, Ben Krizman scored a 9-1 win over Joe Kollar, followed by a 16-0 technical fall by Michael Delsanter (195) and Baka's forfeit win.
The Bulldogs had lost the team match, but scored a win in the night's final bout. Stow heavyweight Jerad Tatgenhorst gave up the first takedown to Hudson's Dylan Carlson, but executed a nice roll to get the pin in 1:29.
"I was little disappointed in how we wrestled in the last 10 seconds of each period," Caniglia said. "We're getting there. I don't think anyone is very happy where they are heading into February."
The Explorers are scheduled to compete at the Northeast Ohio Conference Tournament Jan. 31 (4 p.m.) and Feb. 1 (10 a.m.) at Garfield Heights.