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CUMBERLAND â€” Perhaps two minutes after Cumberland High had sustained a 49-12 dual-meet loss to rival Hendricken in a match to clinch the Division I title, veteran mentor Steve Gordon managed to keep his sense of humor.
When a reporter approached him for a few thoughts Thursday night, he immediately said, â€śNot right now. Wait a second!â€ť
He approached his wife, Judy, gave her a kiss, handled a couple of other minor details, then relented to an interview.
His first response, with a wide grin: â€śSorry. Youâ€™ve gotta know whatâ€™s truly important!â€ť
The Hawks manufactured seven straight wins to start the showdown, which never became one at all, to remain unbeaten at 15-0. The Clippers fell for the first time and dropped to 13-1 in league action before approximately 250 fans at the Wellness Center.
â€śWe were missing a couple of our starters â€“ Dylan Bross at 113 and Kylie Creamer at 126 â€“ which didnâ€™t help matters, but theyâ€™re a very good team,â€ť Gordon explained later. â€śThey beat us handily (Thursday night). They were better than we were. Itâ€™s that simple.â€ť
Clipper junior Dylan Herrera did his part in the opening bout of the evening, suffering a mere 1-0 defeat to Pierre-Louis Arcand at 220.
But Dallas Sauer pinned Matt Reilly at 1:56 in the heavyweight slot, and Hendricken led early, 9-0.
CHS frosh Kam Porcaro put up a tremendous fight at 106 against Jon Celico before succumbing to a pin at 4:49, though fellow freshman Harry Travers suffered another pin to Celicoâ€™s brother Nick only 25 ticks into the 113-pound clash.
Hendrickenâ€™s Jay Davol and Jamie Swanson both eked out victories over Cody Beaudette and Noah Tougas at 120 and 126, those giving the visitors a 31-0 cushion, but senior quad-captain Kris Nordby turned the tide, crushing Matt Jacobsen, 10-3.
That opened up a mini-rally for the Clippers, who saw Kyle Durkin snatch a 3-0 triumph over John Arruda at 138. Still, Anthony DiMauro claimed a 7-0 win over Steve DiMasi at 145.
In the match of the evening, Nick Tribelli, another senior quad-captain, held off a furious, third-period surge by Steve Johnson to nail down an 11-9 triumph. Johnson actually had sliced the deficit to 10-9 before Tribelli gained an escape with 29 seconds remaining.
The only other CHS victory came at 195, when Nick Giorgio snatched a 5-4 decision over Nick Martino.
â€śMy freshman Porcaro at 106, I thought he wrestled phenomenal,â€ť Gordon noted. â€śHe had the kid in trouble, managed a couple of takedowns; and Noah Tougas at 126, heâ€™s another freshman who I thought wrestled great. Cody (Beaudette) was off his game here, and didnâ€™t wrestle well at all, and the same goes for Chris Hayes.
â€śWe didnâ€™t expect those losses,â€ť he added. â€śThe key was (Hendricken) knows how to wrestle and manage matches, and we didnâ€™t (on Thursday night). We didnâ€™t look so hot, but that will change.â€ť