Wrestling Splits in Grapple at the Garden

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NEW YORK CITY – Penn split its two duals at the second Grapple at the Garden, defeating Boston University, 29-9, and suffering a 21-16 loss to No. 21 Bloomsburg.

#9 Lorenzo Thomas, #19 Casey Kent and Caleb Richardson each went 2-0, accounting for six of Penn’s 11 wins at Madison Square Garden.

Thomas was dominant in his two wins, pinning both of his opponents to raise his pin total to five this season. Thomas’ fall over Andrew Maksimovic at 2:44 against Boston University was the clinching win in Penn’s victory over Boston University. Against Bloomsburg, Thomas stuck Sam Shirrey at 4:00 to give the Quakers a 16-12 lead.

Kent did not allow an offensive point in his two wins, posting a dominant 12-1 major decision over No. 8 Josh Veltre of Bloomsburg for his second win over a Top-20 opponent this season. That win came after a 7-0 decision over Mitchell Wightman of Boston University in the day’s first dual.

The Red and Blue never trailed against Boston University, winning seven of ten bouts. Richardson started the dual with a 10-6 win over Bubba McGinley, followed up by a 6-4 win from Ken Bade at 133 pounds. Bade trailed, 4-2, after two periods but scored the tying takedown late in the third period and added the winning nearfall at the buzzer. After a win from the Terriers at 141, Andrew Lenzi scored four takedowns and added a reversal en route to a 10-6 decision at 149 to again give the Quakers a six-point lead.

At 157, Ray Bethea met No. 13 Nestor Taffur for the second week in a row, but was unable to replicate his winning ways from the Keystone Classic in a 3-2 loss. Taffur scored in the first period, and escaped early in the second to take a 3-0 lead. Bethea would rally, tallying a takedown before the end of the middle period to climb within one. Bethea chose neutral for the third, and was in on multiple shots to try and snag the win, but was unable to finish.

After Kent’s 7-0 decision at 165, Brad Wukie put together a dominant performance at 174, scoring six takedowns to win by major decision over Eric Des Lauriers, 15-4. Thomas would follow with his fall at 2:44 to clinch the dual before No. 19 Frank Mattiace throttled Aaron Conrad, 7-0. Mattiace did all he could in the match to score, with a takedown and nearfall in the first period followed by a reversal in the second period. Conrad chose down in the third, and Mattiace did everything but turn, accumulating 5:53 of riding time. At heavyweight, Steven Graziano took Kevin Innis to overtime before suffering a 3-1 loss.

What was expected to be a tight affair in the second dual of the day lived up to its expectations as Penn and Bloomsburg saw five lead changes and two ties. Caleb Richardson gave Penn an early lead with a 3-1 win in sudden victory over Sean Boylan, scoring the winning takedown with five second left in overtime.

After Bade was unable to knock off No. 12 Nick Wilcox at 133, Jeff Canfora put Penn back in the lead with a 6-3 decision over Matt Rappo at 141 pounds. Canfora notched a takedown and two backpoints in the first period to build a lead, and sealed the win with a third-period takedown.

The Huskies would take their first lead of the match via wins at 149 and 157, before Kent controlled No. 7 Veltre to give the Quakers the lead. Kent dominated the first period, scoring a takedown and adding three sets of backpoints to build a 10-1 lead after the first period. Kent would escape in the second period and ride out the third to finish with over three minutes of riding time and the biggest win to date in his career.

A loss at 174 for Brad Wukie had the Quakers behind, 12-10, entering 184 pounds, but Thomas came through with bonus points via a fall at 4:00 over Sam Shirrey. Thomas had a takedown in each period before working the fall midway through the second period.

In a meeting of Top-20 wrestlers at 197 pounds, No. 19 Frank Mattiace was unable to find the tying takedown in the third period against No. 10 Richard Perry, suffering a 4-2 loss. Perry had takedowns in the first and second period, and fought off a late Mattiace flurry to close Penn’s lead to 16-15. The Huskies needed a win in the final bout, and received it from No. 20 Justin Grant via fall in 2:33 over Steven Graziano.

The Quakers are 2-1 in dual meets this season. Up next is a home dual with Lehigh on Dec. 8 at The Palestra at 2 p.m.

125: Caleb Richardson (Penn) dec. Sean Boylan (Bloomsburg), 3-1 SV Penn leads, 3-0
133: #12 Nick Wilcox (Bloomsburg) dec. Ken Bade (Penn), 6-0 Tied, 3-3
141: Jeff Canfora (Penn) dec. Matt Rappo (Bloomsburg), 6-3 Penn leads, 6-3
149: #5 Bryce Busler (Bloomsburg) dec. Andrew Lenzi (Penn), 6-2 Tied, 6-6
157: Kevin Hartnett (Bloomsburg) dec. Ray Bethea (Penn), 9-3 Bloomsburg leads, 9-6
165: #19 Casey Kent (Penn) MD #7 Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg), 12-1 Penn leads, 10-9
174: #20 Mike Dessino (Bloomsburg) dec. Brad Wukie (Penn), 4-0 Bloomsburg leads, 12-10
184: #9 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) WBF Sam Shirrey (Bloomsburg) 4:00 Penn leads, 16-12
197: #10 Richard Perry (Bloomsburg) dec. #19 Frank Mattiace (Penn), 4-2 Penn leads, 16-15
285: #20 Justin Grant (Bloomsburg) WBF Steven Graziano (Penn) 2:33 Bloomsburg leads, 21-16

Penn defeats Boston University, 29-9
125: Caleb Richardson (Penn) dec. Bubba McGinley (Boston), 10-6 Penn leads, 3-0
133: Ken Bade (Penn) dec. Dane Harlowe (Boston), 6-4 Penn leads, 6-0
141: Tyler Scotton (Boston) dec. Jeff Canfora (Penn), 5-3 Penn leads, 6-3
149: Andrew Lenzi (Penn) dec. Nick Tourville (Boston), 10-6 Penn leads, 9-3
157: #13 Nestor Taffur (Boston) dec. Ray Bethea (Penn), 3-2 Penn leads, 9-6
165: #19 Casey Kent (Penn) dec. Mitchell Wightman (Boston), 7-0 Penn leads, 12-6
174: Brad Wukie (Penn) MD Eric Des Lauries (Boston), 15-4 Penn leads, 16-6
184: #9 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) WBF Andrew Maksimovic (Boston) 2:44 Penn leads, 26-6
197: #19 Frank Mattiace (Penn) dec. Aaron Conrad (Boston), 7-0 Penn leads, 29-6
285: Kevin Innis (Boston) dec. Steven Graziano (Penn), 3-1 SV Penn leads, 29-9