Batavia had all the momentum.
That is, until the Bulldogs’ wrestlers were confronted with the Rubino brothers.
In a critical Upstate Eight Conference River Division dual match, Anthony and Ryan Rubino made sure St. Charles East would emerge victorious.
The brothers’ convincing victories, coming on the heels of Batavia scoring 15 consecutive points, enabled the Saints to capture the battle between league unbeatens 43-24 Thursday night in St. Charles.
“We definitely feel like we put ourselves in the driver’s seat,” St. Charles East coach Jason Potter said of the statement win in the division. “(But) the last thing we want to think is that it’s (the division championship) done.”
Batavia (4-8, 2-1), after falling in an early 22-3 hole, stormed back behind Mickey Watson, who had a takedown against St. Charles East senior Keegan Furmanski in the final seconds to win the match of the night, 8-7, at 195 pounds.
The Saints’ lead was suddenly 22-18, however, when Connor McKeehan and Jack Breshears had back-to-back first-period pins at 220 pounds and heavyweight.
“The key for me was helping out our team,” Breshears said. “My mindset was, ‘Stay offensive and do not overdo it.’”
But Batavia needed a minor miracle at this point; the squad was already facing the fact that it would have to forfeit two weight classes at 120 and 132 pounds.
The Bulldogs’ chances for winning were virtually nullified at the two lightest weight classes.
The younger Rubino, 106-pound freshman Anthony, provided the Saints (11-1, 4-0) with an 8-point cushion with a dominant 15-3 win.
Ryan Rubino, the Saints’ senior leader, then more or less sealed the Saints’ victory with an even more menacing win at 113 pounds.
The elder Rubino had several quality chances to win by pin, only to settle for a technical fall — and 5 points for the team — as the Saints’ spread swelled to 31-18.
“(My brother) Anthony won his match, and it kept the momentum going for me,” Ryan Rubino said. “I thought I had him (pinned). He looked pinned.”
Joey Shump, the Batavia four-year stalwart, had a fall at 126 pounds, but the Bulldogs had no chance to escape twin forfeits at 120 and 132 pounds.
St. Charles East came out of the gate with the thoughts of taking no prisoners.
Isaiah Vela, who extended his season-long winning streak to 15 matches, set the tone with a major decision at 138 pounds in the meet opener.
Keone Derain and Ramon Lopez stretched the unanswered run to 13 points with a decision and fall, respectively, at 145 and 152.
Cam Carlson then put the Saints in cruise control with a fall at 170 pounds after the Bulldogs’ Jon Wagner put his squad on the board with a narrow win at 160.
“They’ve got some quality guys in their lineup,” Batavia coach Scott Bayer said of St. Charles East. “There are some weights where we have no depth.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.