By BARRY SANKEY
FRAZER - Great Valley's young wrestling team is gathering steam that coach Joe Tornetta hopes will help carry the Patriots through a difficult four-match stretch coming up.
To help prepare for the rigorous schedule, the Patriots delivered a 59-13 setback to youthful Kennett in a Southern Chester County League meet Wednesday night.
Great Valley (2-0 SCCL, 4-1 overall) won 11 of 14 matches, including six via falls, to record the convincing victory. The Patriots' Jay Hahn and Ryan Godec also won two close decisions at 125 pounds and 160, respectively, against two of the Demons' better grapplers, Sam Cates and Carlise Bonds.
Hahn won a 7-5 overtime decision on a takedown at :25 to avenge a loss to Cates at the season-opening Great Valley Invitational Tournament. Godec picked up a 5-4 verdict over Bonds to boost the Patriots' lead to 35-3.
Charlie Andersen (130 pounds), Scott D'Annunzio (140), Jason Norton (152), Alex Segal (171), Drew Smith (189) and Devin Brander (215) tabbed pins for the Patriots, who led 26-0 after the first five bouts. Bill Hasen (119) began the night with a technical fall for the winners.
"We wrestled really well," said Segal, who finished off Tim Curtis at 3:45 after taking an 8-0 lead. "We're definitely coming together more as a team. We had a lot of people sick who are getting healthy. We are sticking together."
Segal, a junior, has been one of the Patriots' most consistent wrestlers thus far in the season. He is off to a 10-4 start.
"We have to get some momentum going," Segal said. "We have Garnet Valley Wednesday and it was good to have this going into that one."
The Patriots have to travel to face the Jaguars Wednesday, Jan. 14, for their next match, followed by a road encounter with Oxford Jan. 17 and then home meets against Avon Grove Jan. 20 and Octorara Jan. 28.
"We have a string of four matches here that are real tough," Tornetta said. "We need to wrestle better."
Tornetta and Kennett coach Tyrone Johnson talked about the matches at 125 and 160.
"We thought on paper we were definitely giving those up," Tornetta said. "But our guys scrapped and hung in there. Hopefully, we did some growing up tonight.
"Jay Hahn had a revenge match. He lost to Sam way back in November. He is a young freshman and hopefully is going in the right direction."
Cates took a 4-0 lead in the first period. However, Hahn bounced back in the second period. He started in the bottom position and secured an escape, takedown and two-point near fall to move in front, 5-4, heading into the final session. Cates escaped with :08 left in the third to forge a 5-5 tie after regulation time.
"Great Valley did a great job, a super job," said Johnson. "Coach Tornetta runs a good program and they have good kids who came to wrestle. The thing that impressed me about Great Valley was the close matches they pulled out against two of our better kids."
At 160, Godec picked up a third-period takedown to snap a 3-3 deadlock.
"The 160-pounder did a great job," Johnson said. "I take my hat off to them."
Kennett's Andres Avalos won a 7-5 verdict over Jeff MacGuinness at 145 to put the Blue Demons on the scoreboard. Their other points came on Doug Isokoff's forfeit at 103 and A.J. Ford's 14-4 major decision over Charlie Thomas at 112. Ford is the Demons' lone senior.
"We are a young team and they schooled us tonight," Johnson said. "Hopefully, we took some notes and will come back in the future."