CUMBERLAND — 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, “Not right now. Wait a second!”
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: “Sorry. You’ve gotta know what’s truly important!”
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.
“We were missing a couple of our starters – Dylan Bross at 113 and Kylie Creamer at 126 – which didn’t help matters, but they’re a very good team,” Gordon explained later. “They beat us handily (Thursday night). They were better than we were. It’s that simple.”
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 Celico’s brother Nick only 25 ticks into the 113-pound clash.
Hendricken’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.
“My freshman Porcaro at 106, I thought he wrestled phenomenal,” Gordon noted. “He had the kid in trouble, managed a couple of takedowns; and Noah Tougas at 126, he’s another freshman who I thought wrestled great. Cody (Beaudette) was off his game here, and didn’t wrestle well at all, and the same goes for Chris Hayes.
“We didn’t expect those losses,” he added. “The key was (Hendricken) knows how to wrestle and manage matches, and we didn’t (on Thursday night). We didn’t look so hot, but that will change.”