Kent Island 39 — Parkside 28
STEVENSVILLE — Yes, Kent Island High’s wrestling team earned a big victory Wednesday night.
But Bucs head coach Tommy Sitar said while it’s nice to still be unbeaten in the Bayside Conference, his team’s main focus remains on its end-of-season goals.
Kent Island took a big step toward one of those goals last night — earning a berth in the Class 2A East Regional dual-meet championships — with a 39-28 victory over previously unbeaten Parkside in a rematch of last year’s 2A East dual final.
“I tell them all the time, ‘Happy, not satisfied,’” Sitar said after the Buccaneers improved to 8-0. “This was our first real test Bayside-wise this year. It ended up being the same thing as the other ones in the end. I’m happy that we came out on top, but ultimately our goals are all end-of-season goals. So none of them were going to be met or broken tonight.”
Sitar liked his team’s aggressiveness, as the Bucs scored the first takedown in nine of the 13 matches — Kent Island’s Cody LaTorre earned an escape seven seconds into the final period of the 120-pound match for a 1-0 victory over Radon Fuller in the only match of the meet without a takedown.
“That’s something we’re always practicing,” Sitar said of the first takedown.
Kent Island scored the first takedown in the first three matches en route to building a 15-0 lead on the Rams (6-1). David VanWie crafted a 6-2 lead through two periods on the way to an 8-4 decision over George Sotack in the opening bout at 182 pounds. Will Longhurst followed with a 54-second pinfall over Cross Truitt at 195 before Hadyn Blanchard pinned Alijah Bivens in 2:50 of the 220-pound match.
Parkside got on the board when Mike Collins (285) pinned Quintin Richard in 1:22, drawing the Rams within 15-6.
The Bucs answered with Jack Hooks pinning Matt Capobianco in 1:23 of the 106-pound match for a 21-6 lead. Parkside shaved its deficit to 21-12, when Jordan Rinaldi (113) pinned Stephen Broad in 3:45. LaTorre’s 1-0 decision at 120 nudged the Bucs lead to 24-12, but Devin Webb responded for Parkside with a 5-1 decision over Jacob Bowman in one of the meet’s chippier bouts.
Kent Island then got a pivotal victory from Jack Mulligan (132), who pinned Chris Bouchelle in 2:58 to extend the Bucs’ cushion to 30-15.
“I liked Jack’s toughness,” Sitar said. “Things were getting a little bit chippy. Jack did a good job of, ‘All right, you’re going to get chippy, I’m going to let my wrestling do the talking.’ More guys need to follow his lead.”
Parkside stayed in striking distance, as Matt Lewis (138) pinned Cameron Faulkner in 1:23, and Caleb Thamert crafted a 3-1 decision over Douglas Alvarez at 145 to pull the Rams within 30-24.
But Matt Miller’s 8-4 decision over Cameron Mahle at 152, and Joe Colony’s 5-minute fall over Antony Betts at 160 pushed the Bucs to a 39-24 advantage, sealing the victory.
Parkside’s Eli Sellinger capped the meet with a 9-1 decision over Randy Main at 170.