Wrestling: John Jay-Cross River ends Fox Lane's five-year dual meet streak with 39-30 win

·3 min read

It was almost five years to the day that Fox Lane had previously lost a dual meet to a Section 1 opponent.

The Foxes have been the gold standard of Section 1 wrestling, evidenced by their four-peat as Section 1 Dual Meet Tournament champions, as well as the many individual wrestlers that have won titles and earned all-section or all-state honors during this stretch.

However, Tuesday night belonged to John Jay-Cross River. The Wolves did what no Section 1 team had done in five years: defeat the Foxes in a dual meet. John Jay-Cross River beat Fox Lane, 39-30.

"The kids came to wrestle," John Jay-Cross River coach Bill Swertfager said. "We had a couple of tough losses throughout the year, but they turned it around. They're peaking at the right time."

John Jay-Cross River's Joe Gabriele (top), pictured against Clarkstown South, collected the Wolves' first win of the meet with a 4-3 decision win over Fox Lane's Luis Diaz-Giron.
John Jay-Cross River's Joe Gabriele (top), pictured against Clarkstown South, collected the Wolves' first win of the meet with a 4-3 decision win over Fox Lane's Luis Diaz-Giron.

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Fox Lane won the first match of the meet, but the Wolves responded by taking the next seven-straight. With each win, the momentum started to build in John Jay's favor.

Joe Gabriele (110 pounds) and Jake Kern (138) got key wins by decision in marquee matchups against Journal News/lohud-ranked wrestlers Luis Diaz-Giron and Justin Gierum. Peter Jovanovic-Monti (118) and Cameron Wierl (145) won by pinfall. JoJo Kern (126) had a major decision win, while Spencer Hadlock (132) won by technical fall to help the Wolves build a big lead during this early stretch.

Fox Lane regrouped towards the later stages of the meet. Jake Hoffmann (160) got the Foxes back on the board with a nine-second pin, followed by wins by Nick Magiera (189), Bryan Bailey (215) and Marc Berisha (285).

However, Colin Keating's win by pinfall at 172 pounds broke up the Foxes' momentum, and gave the Wolves insurance points to pad their lead.

"We just kept building our lead early on, and then there was no way for them to catch us once we got to 172," Swertfager said. "Joe Gabriele beat (Diaz-Giron), who was very good, and that set the tone. There were a few tightly contested matches where we were able to pin them, and we had worked on that heavy."

John Jay-Cross River's Colin Keating (top) on his way to pinning Clarkstown South's Jack Azzone (bottom) in the 189-pound match of the Section 1 Division I quarterfinals.
John Jay-Cross River's Colin Keating (top) on his way to pinning Clarkstown South's Jack Azzone (bottom) in the 189-pound match of the Section 1 Division I quarterfinals.

The Foxes previously lost a Section 1 dual meet on Jan. 25, 2017, against Suffern. They'll look to start a new streak, while John Jay-Cross River will relish in the moment.

"It was exciting," Swertfager said. "They didn't know at the time (Fox Lane) hadn't lost. I knew it, but we didn't talk about that ahead of time. We just said to wrestle as best as we can, trust in the training and go out there. ... Fox Lane is a very well-coached team, they've been the top team for a while now. Anytime you get to win like this, it's special."

Meet results

102: Jake Long (FOLA) over Nate Nosworthy (JJSC) (Fall 0:27) 110: Joseph Gabriele (JJSC) over Luis Diaz-Giron (FOLA) (Dec 4-3) 118: Peter Jovanovic-Monti (JJSC) over Charlie Webb (FOLA) (Fall 1:23) 126: JoJo Kern (JJSC) over Wilmer Navarro (FOLA) (MD 11-3) 132: Spencer Hadlock (JJSC) over Kevin Navarro (FOLA) (TF 18-3 0:00) 138: Jake Kern (JJSC) over Justin Gierum (FOLA) (Dec 7-2) 145: Cameron Wierl (JJSC) over Brandon Lopez (FOLA) (Fall 1:17) 152: Daniel Kola (JJSC) over Jacob Miller (FOLA) (Def.) 160: Jake Hoffmann (FOLA) over Will Kershner (JJSC) (Fall 0:09) 172: Colin Keating (JJSC) over Alexander Berisha (FOLA) (Fall 4:47) 189: Nicholas Magiera (FOLA) over Tyler Paladino (JJSC) (Fall 4:52) 215: Bryan Bailey (FOLA) over Shyamal Lakhanpal (JJSC) (Fall 0:21) 285: Marc Berisha (FOLA) over (JJSC) (For.)

Follow Eugene Rapay on Twitter at @erapay5 and on Instagram at @byeugenerapay.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Wrestling: John Jay-Cross River ends Fox Lane's five-year win streak