Blanco, Brentwood top Sachem North
Brentwood's Alexis Blanco could not have drawn up a more enviable scenario. With two matches remaining and the score knotted at 27 against Sachem North, the undefeated 138-pounder pounced on Frank Blais.
After scoring two-point takedowns, he would let Blais up for escapes in an attempt to maximize his pin opportunities. The pin never came, although Blanco (31-0) won a 16-5 major decision to give Brentwood a four-point lead. A 7-4 decision from Josue Escobar at 145 clinched a 34-27 win for the Indians (21-3, 4-0) in Suffolk League I Wednesday.
"Ultimately, I wanted to get a pin, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking I needed at least a major decision to get our team up by four," Blanco said. "I just wanted to get as many points as possible."
The Flaming Arrows (19-5, 2-1) took an 18-3 lead following Steven Mills' pin of Calvin Mora (220) at 3:25. Scoreless after the first period, Mills took control and gave his team a commanding lead.
Mills' pin was the first of the match after five decisions. Brentwood heavyweight David Rodriguez cut the deficit to nine with a pin against Lenny Sudler. Danny Murray, the 99-pounder, followed with a 6-0 win over Matt Stallone. Murray tried in vain during the final seconds to score two more points and a major decision.
Trailing 27-18, a decision by Marc Gonzalez at 126 and a pin by Diego Ramirez at 132 evened the match at 27. Blanco's major decision meant Escobar needed only to avoid a major decision, technical fall or pin to secure his team's win.
"It was a lot of pressure, but at the same time, it gave me more excitement to go out on the mat and wrestle," Escobar said.
And after an early deficit, the Indians won six of the final eight matches, as the lighter- weight wrestlers carried the heavy load down the stretch.
"This is a major win because we want our journey to end as League I champions," Blanco said. "We have strength in numbers."