WICCOPEE – Tyler Albis knew Pawling was no slouch.
The 120-pound John Jay High School wrestler also understood he had to perform like it was any other match, when his team trailed by six points and he was pitted against Joe Foster on Wednesday.
Albis picked up a win by pinfall in the second period, tying the match. The Patriots went on to win their next two matches and beat the Tigers, 46-36.
“I wasn’t really looking for a pin. I wasn’t looking for anything, but to score points,” Albis said. “I just had to let it happen. I just have to chain wrestle. Help the team out.”
Max Barberan (126) followed Albis’ victory with a win by forfeit. Randy Earl then wrestled at 132 and defeated Noah Fleischman 16-6 to lift the Patriots (6-4) to a team win.
Like Albis, Earl knew full well Pawling was going to be tough.
“Last year I learned a big lesson at (the New York state tournament) — that you can’t look over anybody,” Earl said. “I kind of was looking at the finals and not paying attention to what was directly ahead of me. So I go into every match now thinking every match is the state title.”
Earl’s win was the 185th of his career, while Albis stands at 95 victories. The win was John Jay coach Jamie Weaver’s 96th.
“It’s very exciting,” Weaver said. “It’s great having these milestones.”
The Patriots will next compete in Roy C. Ketcham’s tournament on Saturday, while Pawling (8-5) will participate in Scarsdale’s tournament, also on Saturday.
The Tigers on Wednesday picked up wins from Alex Santana (106), Carmine Pedoto (145), Jack Wrobel (138), Paul Bellucci (160) and Luke Wrobel (113).
“I think our guys know, win or lose, we wrestle well and we’re always going to be in the top half of tournaments,” Pawling coach Joe Amuso said. “I think we’re wrestling with a lot of confidence. So Saturday should be a good test.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports