Aurora -- The last time Nordonia wrestling brought home the cup from the annual Cable 9 tri-meet, all the current Knights were still in elementary school.

The Knights last captured the Cup in 2004, though coach Audie Atienza noted competition level had something to do with that.

"Twinsburg and Aurora always have good teams," Atienza said.

Perhaps so, but Atienza was relieved when his team ended its nine-year drought.

"It's been far too long," Atienza said.

Nordonia dominated the Cable 9 tri-meet Jan. 25 at Aurora, defeating the Greenmen 55-9 and Twinsburg 49-13.

The tri-meet sweep also capped a week which saw Nordonia smash Medina 74-3 at home Jan. 23 in Division I Region 2-B quarterfinal match in the state team tournament.

At the Cable 9, Nordonia won 11 of 14 bouts in both of its matches.

"Everybody is where we should be at this point," Atienza said.

Nordonia had double winners up and down the lineup, led by junior 182-pounder Eric Claren.

Claren scored pins in 31 seconds of Twinsburg's Jared Hulme and Aurora's Brian McNamara in 1:28, earning the MVP of the tri-meet award.

Nordonia also got two wins from 106-pounder Tony Decesare (technical fall, pin), 113-pounder Andrew Coghill (major decision, pin), 138-pounder Mike Decesare (decision, pin), 145-pounder Jake Urich (decision, technical fall), 160-pounder Ryan Taylor (decision, pin), 195-pounder Nick Bina (pin, decision) and 220-pounder Alex Woicehovich (decision, pin).

Trevon Berry scored a 13-2 win over Twinsburg's Alex Detweiler and Eric Juskiw beat Aurora's Sal Petrash 10-4 to sweep the matches at 126 pounds.

One of the best developments this week for the Knights was the return to the lineup of junior heavyweight Brandon Ren. Sidelined for most of the season with a knee injury, Ren went 1-1 at the tri-meet, getting a forfeit win over Twinsburg, but losing 5-2 in overtime to Aurora's Josh Burger.

"Brandon just got back to us and he's working to get back into shape," Atienza said. "He'll get back to where he needs to."

Against Medina, Atienza said he knew he was facing a Bees team in the middle of a down year.

"Chad Gilmore, Medina's coach, told me he was thin in a couple of places," Atienza said. "They had freshmen starting in a lot of weights. Our guys did their job."

Nordonia won all but one bout against the Bees.

The Knights got pins from Tony Decesare, 132-pounder Heath Phillibert, Taylor, 170-pounder David Rodriguez, Claren, Woicehovich and Ren, as well as forfeit wins from Coghill, 120-pounder Nick Collica and Bina.

Mike Decesare and Urich each scored technical falls.

Nordonia's victory over Medina advanced the fourth-seeded Knights to the regional semifinals Jan. 30 which the Knights will host.

Nordonia will face top-seeded Barberton at 6 p.m. with the winner to face the winner of Wadsworth and Green later that night.

"We don't look past anybody," Atienza said. "Our concentration is always on the next match and we're all set for Barberton."

Nordonia also will participate in the Suburban League Tournament Feb. 2 at Green. First match is set for 10 a.m.


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