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Cobras win third consecutive match

With the district tournaments looming next week, two of Pasco County's hottest teams met for one final test Thursday afternoon.

Hudson held off River Ridge for a 39-25 dual match victory at home.

It was the third consecutive victory for coach Dana Bentley's Cobras (17-4) this week. The Royal Knights (18-7) were just the challenge Bentley wanted to cap a successful week.

"River Ridge has traditionally always been a strong team. They're really a physically tough team," Bentley said.

"It was good to get this win against them because they really challenged the conditioning of our team."

Royal Knight coach Mike DeGennaro said he knew his team would be hard-pressed to upset the Cobras at their place with Justin Fenton and Tom Calicchio nursing injuries.

"Dana has a good team, a solid team," DeGennaro said. "And they wrestled good, and they had a good crowd here, which made it tougher on us."

River Ridge started by forfeiting to Hudson's R.J. Molnar at 106 pounds, the lightest class including a 3-pound weight allowance.

The Cobras' stellar lightweight, Pat Rieli, pinned Tommy Parente in 43 seconds to win at 115. Gary Pargament won 12-6 over Luke Jubran at 122 for River Ridge. Then Hudson forfeited 128 to River Ridge's Steve Jacobsen.

The Cobras' Neil Vanderwiede won a 19-3 decision over Chuck Barber at 133. Hudson's Kipper Connell Jr. had River Ridge's Mark Boice locked in a tie at 138, but Connell was called for an illegal hold in the final seconds, a technical violation that gave Boice a 6-5 decision.

River Ridge's Qasem Abdel-Hadi overcame Aaron Tirrell's lead to win 8-6 at 143. Then Tom Giarratano gave the Knights another win, pinning Ben Jones in 1:15 at 148.

Hudson's Zenon Herrera defeated Tim Dare 12-0 at 155. Hudson's Dana Bentley pinned Chris Beauchamp in 39 seconds at 163. Hudson's Jon Delucco pinned Matt Lee at 5:16 at 174.

The Royal Knights' John Gilmore beat Eric Zul 13-5 at 192.

The hardest-fought match was at 218, as Hudson's Robb Philippus defeated Nate Way 7-0. The Cobras' Larry Barabas upset Joey Mayo 9-6 in the heavyweight class.