Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Streaks swat Yellow Jackets


Published:

SEBRING - Looking rejuvenated in their first home wrestling meet of the season, the Sebring Blue Streaks flattened Bartow Thursday night for a resounding 70-12 nondistrict win.

"We've been working towards this all year," Sebring coach Josh Miller said. "So you could say it was dominant."

Sebring won the first four bouts of the night to take a commanding 22-0 lead.

Sydney Shaw got things started in the lightest weight class, pinning her 106-pound opponent in the first period.

Nestor Peralta, wrestling in the 120 class, toppled his opponent in the first period as well, flattening Bartow's Patel in only 47 seconds.

Jonathan Acosta (113) won due to forfeit.

Dalton Hammon kept the Streaks rolling, dominating in the 126-pound class. Hammon took three periods to defeat his opponent, but ultimately won the bout on a judge's decision.

"We got into our sets early," Miller said. "We wrestled a whole lot better at home tonight. But we expect more of this as the season continues."

Following Hammon was Michael Prescott, who Bartow pinned for the Yellow Jackets first win of the evening.

Brandon Washburn (131) got the Streaks back on the winning track in the night's strangest match. Despite an early pin that had Bartow's Hausk on his back and rigid, the judge didn't see enough to warrant a pin.

Much to the ire of the crowd, Washburn needed two more take downs and a third pin, 40 seconds into the third period to clinch the bout.

Dakota Slade kept the Streaks on track with another quick pin, downing his Bartow counterpart in the 145-pound class 55 seconds into the second period. Slade put the pain on early in the bout, twisting and contorting his opponent into a pretzel shape before slamming his body to the mat.

Sebring's Eli Bonner (152) suffered the second and final loss of the match for the Streaks. Bonner put up a solid fight against his opponent, but never found his footing after two early take downs.

He was pinned in the first period after just two minutes of grappling.

The Streaks cruised from there, though, as they closed out the match with six straight wins.

It took Nick Acosta (160) and Casey Ricker (170) took two periods each before they were able to win their bouts, but both earned solid wins after pinning their Yellow Jacket opponents.

Ty Johnson (182) rebounded from two big take downs in his match to win with a pin in the second period.

After grappling on the ground for much of the opening period, a clearly winded Johnson rode the cheers from the home crowd to a rousing come-from-behind victory.

In the 195 class, Nicholas Brod pummeled Bartow's Gonzaelz, roping him into an opening period pin in under a minute.

Wrestling in the 220 group, Brandon Fuller bludgeoned a slightly smaller Bartow opponent for a brutal first period pin.

Luis Sanchez, in the unlimited weight class, capped the match with a crushing win, pinning Bartow's Branch just over a minute into the match to complete the 70-12 victory for Sebring.

Miller praised the home atmosphere as being key in the lopsided win.

"This was the first time we didn't have to travel on a bus before wrestling," he said. "It was nice to see them come out without that lethargic feeling and go at it."

The Streaks won't have time to rest. Sebring is back on the road today with a junior varsity match in Lakeland, and the Avon Park duals are coming up next weekend.

But Miller knows his team is peaking, even without a full roster.

"We've got some guys out with injuries and one is on vacation," he said. "Once we get them back in the lineup we'll be even stronger."

"But we're practicing well and getting into a good flow. Things are starting to come together now."

bhoward@highlandstoday.com

863-386-5841

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