Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Disappointing night.....

Taconic's wait ends

Pimpesan Supple's pin at 189 pounds ends the Braves' long victory drought against Mount Greylock.

By Neil Benjamin Jr., New England Newspapers

Updated: 01/05/2011 06:45:53 AM EST

Wednesday January 5, 2011

Pimpesan Supple's pin at 189 pounds ends the Braves' long victory drought against Mount Greylock.

PITTSFIELD -- Matt Chamberlain is in his seventh season as the Taconic wrestling coach, and the team has improved with each match.

On Tuesday night, the coach and his squad finally broke through in a thrilling 37-36 win over Mount Greylock (17-1), the Braves' first victory over the Mounties in Chamberlain's tenure.

"I told the kids on Thursday that I felt this was going to come down to one match," Chamberlain said afterward. "It did. I found out right before the match if we pin, we win, and we got that pin."

Depending on how you look at it, the outcome was either decided by one match, or one miscue.

Taconic's Pimpesan Supple and Greylock's Zach Bantle faced off in an epic match at 189 pounds that went into double overtime, before Supple managed to secure a pin with just nine seconds left. That gave Taconic (3-0) a 37-30 advantage heading into the final match of the night, which secured the Braves' win.

On the other hand, Greylock captain Zach Larabee, runner-up at 140 in the Western Massachusetts Division III meet last season, missed the weight cutoff by less than half a pound, forcing Mountie coach Ray Miro to shift around his entire lineup, pitting Bantle -- currently ranked No. 1 in WMass. at 171 pounds -- against the much bigger Supple.

Larabee, though, took full responsibility for the screw-up.
"I feel like I let the team down," he said. "I am going to have to work extra hard to gain the team's respect back after this. There is no question that I lost this match."

When the referee blew the whistle to begin Supple and Bantle's match, the two immediately tied up before Bantle managed to fight his way for a takedown and a 2-0 advantage. But seconds before the first period ended, Supple squeezed out of a Bantle hold, gained a reversal and tied the match.

"There wasn't much to the first," Supple said. "We were feeling each other out."

The second period was a reverse of the first, as Supple took Bantle down before the Greylock junior squirmed free for a reversal to tie the match at four.

Supple started the third on top, and with 1:01 to go, Bantle sat out hard and rolled to his right to gain control and take a 6-4 lead. Just 29 seconds later, Supple mirrored Bantle to tie the score.

That's when the real wrestling began.

For the final 32 seconds, the two fought tooth and nail. Bantle nearly escaped twice, but Supple used his long arms to thwart his attempt. As the clock ticked down, Bantle grew ever-so-close to winning the match, but he was unable to break free.

The first overtime, a minute long, saw little happen as the score remained tied at six heading into the 30-second second overtime.
Bantle was on top to begin, but Supple quickly reversed perfectly and had Bantle on his back. With nine seconds left, the ref signaled Supple had earned the pin and his first-ever victory over the Greylock team as a Taconic wrestler.
"The overtime was just very suspenseful," Supple said. "I was in front of all my peers and I didn't want to let them down. I'm very happy with the win because it means we're probably going to be ranked No. 1 [in WMass.]."

Bantle did not take the loss well.
"As a junior, I should not be giving up six points for our team," he said. "Even when I wrestle up a weight class, I shouldn't be doing that."

When asked about Larabee's miscue, Bantle remained blunt.
"I know he feels bad about it, but in wrestling we're all supposed to make weight," he said. "He's a senior captain and this shouldn't have happened."
Miro, in his 20th season as Greylock coach, seemed fed up after the loss. Not because the team lost or because Larabee missed weight -- it's that the nature of the sport has changed so much over the years.
"I'm tired of the excuses," he said. "It's a lot different than it was. It's really demeaning to teammates, the staff and ourselves when we make excuses. Now we need to get back on track and I don't think I'm expecting too much."

Stefan Petell, Eric Hermann, Tyler Hamilton, Xavier Powell, Cody Regan and Jesse Kordana earned wins for the Braves, while Larabee, Colin Dezess, Dylan Hilchey, Sean O'Connor, Josh Hadley, Dylan Walker and Anthony Carvalho picked up wins for the Mounties.

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