With the 2A-1A South regional duals less than a week away, Centennial and top-ranked 145-pounder Mark Nakasone got just the preparation they needed yesterday against Fall-ston.
Nakasone major decisioned third-ranked Nathan Bachmann in the most intriguing subplot of the nonconference match, which the eighth-ranked Eagles won, 39-26, over the 15th--ranked and host Cougars.
"I'm glad we wrestled them when we did," said Centennial coach Todd DeCrispino, whose Eagles improved to 12-1 with the regular-season closing victory. Fallston fell to 10-3-1. "It gets us ready for the regional duals."
Centennial trailed only once in the match - 12-10 after Cougars 215-pounder Matt Valeri and heavyweight Jeff Ramsey notched pins.
But from there, Eagles freshman Mike Montanez pinned Dave Gutermuth at 103; senior Brad Ortman beat Scott Parker, 18-3, in a technical fall at 112; and fourth-ranked junior Domenic Ventura won a technical fall, 18-1, over Greg Sulin.
The score was 32-23 in favor of the Eagles when Nakasone and Bachmann, last year's 4A-3A state champion at 135, took the mat.
Nakasone proved the aggressor, getting an early takedown in the first period, but Bachmann caught the senior with a reversal to inch within 3-2.
The Centennial wrestler led 8-6 after an escape to start the third and used his quickness for another takedown, which made the score 10-6. Before it was over, Nakasone got four more takedowns letting Bachmann up after each one in order to get the points he needed for the major decision.
Nakasone's four-point major gave the Eagles an insurmountable 36-23 lead.
"It was a bang-bang match," said Fallston coach Andy Amasia. "When you get in a situation where you're behind like Nate was, you have to be really aggressive and that played in the hands of their wrestler. But that's not taking away from [Nakasone]. He's a great wrestler."
Nakasone improved to 22-0 with the win, while Bachmann fell to 21-2.
"This was good because Bachmann is one of the best around and he's the type of wrestler who's going to be out there in the states," said Nakasone, whose brother, Dave, registered a pin at 160 to start the match. "I never thought about losing, but I knew I'd have to wrestle tough and smart."
Centennial's fourth-ranked Anthony Aiello finalized the victory with a 15-13 decision over Dan Sullivan at 171.
"They are a high-quality and well-coached team," Amasia said. "They just had a couple more really good wrestlers than we did."