NORTH EASTON, Mass. — Oliver Ames’ match against Stoughton no longer counts in the division standings, but that didn’t stop the Tigers from bringing extra intensity when they hosted their neighbors on Wednesday night.
The Tigers came out flying right out of the gates, building an early lead with five pins before coming away with a 52-27 win over the Black Knights.
“Anytime Oliver Ames goes against Stoughton it’s a fun time, the kids get excited,” OA head coach Kahn Lima said. “I think that’s part of the reason the kids were so aggressive tonight. Out of all our crossovers, this was the one they looked forward too, this was the one they cared about.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to get on the board. Senior Ryan DeCosta returned from an injury and earned a second round pin at 113. DeCosta used a pair of first period takedowns to build a 7-1 lead before getting the pin with 37 seconds left in the second period.
Cobey Williamson won via forfeit at 120 and just over a minute into the 126 bout, OA’s John Quilla gave the Tigers an 18-0 lead with a first period pin.
Senior Liston Funai stayed undefeated on the year with another first period pin. He took a 2-0 lead during the 132 bout but needed just 43 seconds to earn the pin and a 24-0 advantage for the Tigers.
“The kids went out and attacked,” Lima said. “Liston is undefeated still. I don’t think he’s had a match go out of the first round yet either.”
Brandon Belleton (138) and Chris Belleton (145) scored back to back first round pins to extend Oliver Ames’ lead to 36-0.
“When the kids see each other doing well, the kids they practice with throughout the week, it gets them excited and they build confidence when you get off to a fast start,” Lima said.
Stoughton got on the board during the 152 bout. Leo Freitas trailed 2-0 early after a takedown from OA’s Joey Savino but Freitas cut the deficit in half with an escape and took the lead with a takedown of his own. Freitas went on to get the pin 30 seconds into the second period for six points for the Black Knights.
The Tigers stretched their lead after another pin in the 160 bout. Eric Berardi built a 10-0 lead after the first round, during a pair of takedowns and two near falls. Berardi was able to get the pin with just five seconds left in the second period.
Sean Cosgrove added to OA’s lead with a 9-0 win at 170. Stoughton’s Nick Alves was able to fend off a pin by Cosgrove, who built a 4-0 lead after one round, a 7-0 advantage through two rounds and added two points in the third.
Stoughton’s Bobby Shaughnessy came away with a win at 182 in one of the closest battles of the night against Oliver Ames’ Billy Tat. Shaughnessy and Tat traded takedowns in the first period but a near fall had Stoughton up 5-3 through the first period. Shaughnessy built an 8-5, Tat leveled it at 8-8 but a takedown kept Shaughnessy up 11-8. In the this period, Shaughnessy extended his lead with an escape and a reversal, finishing with a 16-12 win.
In another tight battle, this one at 195, OA’s Dean Pacini emerged with a third round pin over Stoughton’s Ryan Pierre. Pacini built a 5-1 lead in the second round but a takedown, near fall and a reversal had Pierre up. Pacini took a 9-6 lead with a takedown in the third and then just over the minute mark, the sophomore was able to get the pin.
“He wore him out. We talked about wanting to get to the third period to try and wear his opponent down. Dean actually made a mistake in the second period that almost cost him but he got out of it and then took care of business in the third.
Stoughton’s Paul Feeney built a 4-1 lead in the first round of the 220 bout and, after a scoreless second period, he extended his lead to 8-1 in the third for the win.
In the heavyweight round, Lino Azul fell behind 2-0 to Jack Mills on a takedown but bounced back with a takedown of his own and eared the pin with 1:26 to go in the first period.