Home Examiner Examiner Sports Allentown wrestling falls short of upset on Senior Night

Allentown wrestling falls short of upset on Senior Night

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Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, left, grapples onto his opponent trying to take an advantage.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, left, squares up against his opponent trying to take an advantage.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, right, rushes around his opponent looking for a better advantage.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, left, moves his opponent into a lock.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Nolan Pecci faced off against Hopewell Valley's Ray Lauricella on Jan 17. Allentown's Pecci, left, tries to pin his opponent.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Nolan Pecci faced off against Hopewell Valley's Ray Lauricella on Jan 17. Allentown's Pecci, left, tries to pin his opponent.SCOTT JACOBS
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  1 / 6 
Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, left, grapples onto his opponent trying to take an advantage.SCOTT JACOBS
  2 / 6 
Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, left, squares up against his opponent trying to take an advantage.SCOTT JACOBS
  3 / 6 
Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, right, rushes around his opponent looking for a better advantage.SCOTT JACOBS
  4 / 6 
Allentown High School's Isaiah Saiz faced off against Hopewell Valley's Amos Barnes on Jan 17. Allentown's Saiz, left, moves his opponent into a lock.SCOTT JACOBS
  5 / 6 
Allentown High School's Nolan Pecci faced off against Hopewell Valley's Ray Lauricella on Jan 17. Allentown's Pecci, left, tries to pin his opponent.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Nolan Pecci faced off against Hopewell Valley's Ray Lauricella on Jan 17. Allentown's Pecci, left, tries to pin his opponent.SCOTT JACOBS

The Allentown High School wrestling team rallied but fell just short in its bid to spring the upset against Hopewell Valley Central High School when the host school recently celebrated Senior Night in Allentown.

The Redbirds failed to complete the upset and were defeated by Hopewell Valley, 31-24, on Jan. 17.

Hopewell Valley secured its 24th consecutive victory against Colonial Valley Conference opponents when the visitor from Mercer County won the final bout of the evening, which came at 145 pounds.

That victory was produced by Justin Venezia, who posted a 7-3 decision over a game foe in Allentown’s Drew Romein. Allentown trailed by a score of 28-24 entering the final match.

The Redbirds were down by the count of 28-15 with only three matches remaining, but Nicholas Golden won by a technical fall, 16-1, at six minutes at 132 pounds and 138-pounder Matt Paglia scored a 13-2 major decision.

Allentown received victories from its two 2017 state tournament qualifiers: 182-pounder Liam McDermott, who won by a fall, and 120-pounder Joe Lamparelli, who scored a 3-1 decision. Other winners for the Redbirds were heavyweight Harrison Hill and 160-pounder Nolan Pecci, who both won by decision.

Allentown coach Mitch Nock was pleased with the fight his team displayed and how the Redbirds almost accomplished what no team from the Colonial Valley Conference has been able to do in a while.

“I saw fight, man,” Nock said. “I saw fight. I saw belief. I saw kids that wanted to be out there. Kids fighting for each other. We’re closing the gap on them. We’re not there yet, but we’re almost there.”

The loss dropped the Redbirds to 11-9 on the year.

Nock believed that Allentown will have to continue to be aggressive as the season moves toward tournaments.

“I want to stay aggressive,” the coach said. “Always on the attack. Always be the aggressor. Keep our heads up, and come together as a group. We want to be a family, and a family never gives up on each other.”

Nock impressed upon his wrestlers that while they did not pull off the victory, they were impressive on Allentown’s Senior Night.

“I’m proud of a lot of my seniors,” Nock said. “It was a nice match for them. We really wish we won this one for them, but they all wrestled hard. They went out and wrestled. I’m proud of everyone really. They wrestled hard. There were no huge upsets, but they each went out there and wrestled their [butts] off. That’s all I can ask for. I’m so proud of them.”

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