December 15, 2011


Rule book favors Purple Tigers

Rare tie-breaker settles tie between rivals CHS, Homer


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Nick Petrie of Homer Central tries to get some back points against Cortland High’s Frank Davenport at 145 pounds during Wednesday’s wrestling match at Shafer Gym. Petrie pinned his foe in the second period.

Staff Writer

The rule book settled the outcome of Wednesday’s non-league wrestling match between rivals Homer Central and host Cortland High at Shafer Gym.
The Purple Tigers rolled to a 30-6 lead before the visiting Trojans did some rolling themselves with a comeback that put them up 40-34 heading into the last weight class of the night, 182 pounds. In that one, CHS junior Antonio Bustamante flattened Homer sophomore Josh Sands in 2:29 to close the match deadlocked at 40-40.
Ordinarily the number of individual matches won decides a tie, and the Trojans had an 8-7 advantage in that department. But listed higher in the tie-breaking criteria are unsportsmanlike conduct calls, first involving team points and then during an individual match.
Such a call went against the visitors in one of the bouts, so the Purple Tigers were awarded a 41-40 victory after the rule book was consulted.
Understandably, the two coaches had different outlooks on how the final outcome was determined in the match between two long-time rivals without a senior in their starting lineups.
“I knew before Antonio’s match that unsportsmanlike was a criteria, just not if it was a team point or within a match,” Cortland coach Dave Darrow said. “We lost a match the same way two years ago at Oneida. It’s a great way to win a match, and we’re 7-0 so far, so it’s fun. I told him before we got started that it would come down to him.”
“It’s a tough way to lose a match,” said Homer coach Jeff Lewis, his team now 8-5 overall. “The kids never gave up. They fought all the way through, did a great job.
“It didn’t come down to one match. There were four or five matches where we gave up points,” added Lewis. “Our middle weights are pretty tough. Nick Petrie (junior, 145), Eric Metzger (junior, 152) and Mark Dove (junior, 160) are our captains for a reason. They did what they had to do to put us in contention.”
All three of those Trojans won by pin during the comeback, leading up to Bustamante’s heroics.
“I KNEW IT WAS going to be close, and that the team needed me to get the win,” Bustamante, now 11-1 with nine pins, said of the deciding match. After almost getting a pin in the first period to go ahead 5-0, Bustamante took Sands down forcefully 20 seconds into the second and pinned him 11 seconds after that.
“It was a total relief when I took him down (in the second),” Bustamante said. “I loosened up. I knew it was over once I did that. Now were 7-0, and no one expected us to do so well. This was a confidence booster, and a real team effort.”
As noted, the Purple Tigers got out of the gate quickly. Junior Andy Price needed just 45 seconds to pin Homer freshman Baylie Goddard in the opener at 195 pounds before junior Kevin Parker was awarded a forfeit at 220. Junior Paul Turco flattened the Trojans junior Dave Kiernan in 1:19 to improve to 9-2 with six pins, and seventh-grader Dane George won by forfeit at 99 to make it 24-0 for the hosts.
Junior Travis Brown got the visitors’ first points with a forfeit at 106 before freshman Grant Tinker made it 30-6 Cortland by pinning Homer freshman Collin Baker in 5:02. Homer sophomore Norm DeWitt pinned CHS eighth-grader Ian George at 2:28 at 120, and after a 12-1 major decision by Purple Tigers junior Zack Alexander (now 9-3) over junior Matt DeWitt at 126, Cortland led 34-12.
Homer sophomore Eric Petrie (8-4) then started a string of six straight Trojans wins with a 17-14 barn-burner over Cortland sophomore Alex Edwards in the best match of the night. Sophomore Matt Burns improved to 12-1 with an 8-4 decision over junior Ryan Webber at 138 to make it a 34-18 match before Lewis’s captains all came through with pins.
Nick Petrie needed 3:53 to dispatch junior Frank Davenport at 145 for his 50th career win. Metzger (11-1 with three pins) used 2:28 to put sophomore Mike Southwick’s shoulders to the mat at 152 before Dove, now 11-2, got his fifth pin of the season in 2:32 over junior Hunter Brandon at 160 to give the Trojans their first lead.
“I just wrestled hard, like I do in practice,” Dove said of his victory. “I wanted to keep it slow and control the pace of the match. God gave me the talent to wrestle, and I want to use it. It’s tough to lose on criteria, but I’m proud we were able to come back and wrestle hard.”
HOMER SOPHOMORE Dakota O’Gorman scored a 12-2 major decision over sophomore Jim Kendall at 170 to make it 40-34 Homer and set the stage for the wild finish.
“Norris had a great match with Webber,” Lewis said. “He lost to him last year, but came back and won this time. I’m proud of the kids. They battled hard to get there, and I’m not upset with that.”
“Edwards had a great match, and so did Alexander, Price and Turco,” Darrow said. “And Tinker’s match was huge. It’s always a good won when you beat Homer. That’s a good team that’s well-coached. They do a heck of a job over there. They’re going to beat some good teams this season.”
The Purple Tigers will travel to Indian River Saturday to compete in the North Country Invitational starting at 9 a.m. and will host Chittenango this Wednesday in an OHSL Freedom Division match starting at 5:30 p.m.
The Trojans next see action this Wednesday, when they travel to Jordan-Elbridge for an OHSL Liberty Division contest set for a 6:30 p.m. start.


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