The Mt. Hope High School wrestling team picked up a solid win against the Middletown Islanders Thursday night, 59-21, at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown.
The Huskies, coming off a 39-30 loss to Johnston just the night before, came out disciplined and didn’t let early struggles get to them, even as Middletown pulled away to a 15-0 lead, including two pins in their first three matches.
“We have to improve on our intensity [in practice],” said Mt. Hope coach James McKenna, in response to his team’s performance. “Our guys were definitely a little winded after last night’s tough loss; thankfully there were a lot of forfeits [by Middletown], but a win is a win.”
After suffering two pins in their first two matches, Mt. Hope sophomore Christian Torres battled hard against Middletown’s Jaxon Thibeault in the 132-pound weight class, not giving an inch over three full rounds, and although he lost the match 11-6, it provided the spark that would wake up the Mt. Hope wrestlers, immediately seen in the next match with senior Chris Machado’s 138 division win over Middletown’s Evan Luther to get the Huskies on the scoreboard.
After the Islanders won the next match by pin to make it 21-5, the rest of the meet would be all Mt. Hope, with wins by pin for junior Ryan Bartell at 152 pounds, freshman Trevor King at 160 pounds, and junior Jon Perroni at 170 pounds.
Despite suffering multiple bloody noses following the first round and in the middle of the second round of his match, Perroni fought hard and took a 9-1 lead over Middletown’s Preston Ferreira into the final round, eventually winning by pin to secure the victory for Mt. Hope, 23-21, in the final contested match of the night. Middletown forfeits in several divisions throughout the meet would increase the Huskies’ final point total to 59.
After the meet, Mt. Hope senior Justin Sampson and junior Jared Sousa would engage in a friendly exhibition match, in which Sousa won, 5-4, in three rounds.
The win moves Mt. Hope to 12-3-1 on the season, 9-3-1 in the division, keeping them just short of the top of Division I South, trailing first place Johnston by one in the loss column. The loss drops Middletown to 0-12 on the season, remaining tied for last in DI South.
The Huskies next face off against Westerly at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m., their second to last meet of the regular season. Middletown will travel to North Providence on Wednesday for their next meet.