Palo Alto High School lost to Los Gatos 28-34
A victory would have continued the undefeated league season for Paly. However, after losing to Gatos, the Vikings are still in the running to place first in League if they win their dual meet this upcoming Mon.
“We’ve got one more chance on Monday,” coach David Duran explained.
Despite the close score, the overall loss was not a result of any isolated matches. The team failed to earn crucial points earlier on in the dual.
“It shouldn’t have come down to these last matches. We got to the mid-weights and didn’t do what we’re supposed to do,” Duran said.
Co-captain Nicholas Ortiz agreed.
“We didn’t get it done [because] we lost in the earlier matches. It didn’t really come down to our last match, but it did come down to our last match,” Ortiz said.
The Vikings had a rough start, losing their first two matches, giving the Cats a lead of 0-10. Lightweight Joey Christopherson, in the 132 pound weight class, was the first to get points on the board for the Vikings, bringing the score to 5-10. Following Christopherson came Ortiz, who earned an additional 4 points for the Vikings.
The successive wins continued when Gary Hohbach (‘13) earned six points for the Vikings. Going against a wrestler ranked third in CCS for the 152 weight division, Hohbach’s victory was a stand out performance for the team. His points were crucial in closing the gap between the Vikings and the Cats.
With the score at 15-19, the Vikings suffered a detrimental loss half way through the dual, resulting in a four point lead for the Cats. Lonsky followed this loss when he earned Paly four points in the first period. He brought the score up to 18-19, earning more points for forcing his opponent to the mat in an attempt to escape.
As the Vikings trailed behind by just one point, the intensity rose as Gans entered his match. After only 30 seconds Gans threw his opponent to the floor, adding two points to the score board. His match ended with a win, leaving the score at 22-19.
Erik Anderson (‘13) contributed to the lead with a three point gain. Following Anderson was Andrew Frick (‘14), who recently returned from a knee injury from football. Both Anderson and Frick’s contributions brought the score to 25-22 Los Gatos.
With only two matches until the end, the Vikings faced a critical moment. James Giacchi (‘15) was up for his lightweight class. In a battle to the end, he succeeded in his duty and brought the score to a tie of 28-28.
The last match of the dual was another lightweight. Jordan Smith (‘13) competed against female wrestler, Cady Chessin, an opponent who he has lost to six times prior to this dual. In another close loss, the Cats won the dual 28-34.
Los Gatos wrestling coach Nolan Verga was impressed with his teams performance.
“I’m speechless… it was amazing. That was an amazing battle, it was a great match.”
Although disappointed, Paly captains agreed that the Cats won fairly.
“They did great, we weren’t expecting as much of a fight out of them, and they gave us a fight and it showed,” Gans said.
Ortiz acknowledges their successful point earning.
“They were able to shut us down because they were able to get more points on the board. It’s unfortunate for it to end the way it did,” Ortiz said.
Though there will be no more home duals, the Vikings have a tournament this weekend in San Jose, and have another dual meet on Mon. 6 in Los Altos.
“We have another chance to claim the league title on Monday,” Hohbach said.