MACEDONIA — The fortunes of the Nordonia and Aurora wrestling teams have waxed and waned over the years even if both have been huge parts of the Northeast Ohio wrestling scene.
This year, the Greenmen have been dreaming of state titles, while the Knights are in a full-scale rebuild.
Thus, the result when the two backyard rivals met Saturday at Nordonia seemed a bit more acceptable to Knights head coach Jason Walters.
Missing a couple of starters due to illness, Aurora was vulnerable at times, but it pulled out a 47-36 win over a youthful Nordonia Saturday at in a tri-meet at Nordonia’s Hugh Griffith Memorial Gymnasium in Macedonia.
Both the Greenmen and Knights smashed Eastlake North in their other match of the afternoon. Nordonia defeated the Rangers 59-17, while the Aurora earned a lopsided 60-12 victory.
The Greenmen moved to 10-0 in dual meets as they wrestled their first dual meets since December. Nordonia moved to 6-6.
Aurora head coach Johnny Papesh was a bit nonplussed after the wins, noting his starters excelled, but he wanted to see more from his young upper weights.
"It was a 24-point swing with the guys we were missing," Papesh said. "At Top Gun, Nic Willingham pinned their 138 and David Cumberledge pinned their 145. So that’s 24 points. What I didn’t like was our younger guys didn’t fight off their backs and, you know me, I hate it when we don’t fight. We have to get healthy and we’ve got to be able to fight."
Walters was more satisfied with what he saw from his young wrestlers.
"I still don’t like guys getting pinned, but we are what we are," Walters said. "Aurora is an incredibly good team. I think you look at it, we won where we should have won and they won where they should have won.
"I think the kids stepped up to compete. They’ve been working hard this month. I think they’re starting to learn what it takes."
The match started with back-to-back wins for Aurora, as Antwan Sagaris stuck his man in 1 minute, 4 seconds at 120 pounds, while Bo DiJulius scored a 15-0 technical fall at 126 pounds.
However, the Knights came back at 132 pounds as freshman Jeremy Olsko scored a pin in one minute.
Back-to-back forfeit wins from Nordonia’s Tyler Angus (138) and Vinnie Schiavone (145) were followed by a forfeit win from the Greenmen’s Ty Lillard (152).
Aurora stormed back into the lead when Dylan Fishback needed just 45 seconds to pin his man at 160 pounds, followed by a forfeit win by Ethan Anderson at 170.
Again, the Knights came back as Sal Perrine pinned his man in 44 seconds at 182. After a double forfeit at 195 pounds, Nordonia got a big pin from Corey Parker, who scored the stick in 3:54 at 220.
A forfeit win by heavyweight David Howard gave the Knights a 36-35 lead with two bouts left.
However, the the Greenmen’s lightweight stars left no doubt.
At 106 pounds, Aurora’s Codie Cuerbo made quick work of Nick Hamad, pinning him in just 24 seconds.
The Greenmen’s Rob Sagaris put the match away as he cradled and pinned Logan Milkovich in 1:32.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_GHO.