Bonus Points Prove Costly in Loss to Duke
DURHAM, N.C. — Six of the 10 bouts in Sunday’s Navy (6-2, 3-1 EIWA) versus Duke (3-4, 0-1 AAC) wrestling dual ended in bonus points - three for Navy and three for Duke. But it would be the two pins by Duke versus the one pin by Navy that would prove the difference in settling a 22-22 tie in favor of Duke. It’s the second consecutive year the Navy-Duke dual would be decided by tie-breaking criteria. Last year the Mids won by virtue of total points (66-60) following a 17-17 tie.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead with senior 125-pound Thayer Atkins earning his first career win by fall, pinning Navy freshman Aslan Kilic (Marietta, Ga.) at 5:37. Meanwhile, rookie Josh Finesilver built more than two minutes of riding time to edge Navy freshman Cody Trybus (Elkton, Md.), 5-4, at 133 pounds.
The Mids, however, answered with back-to-back tech falls by veteran wrestlers Nicholas Gil (Sr. / Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Corey Wilding (Sr. / Pittsburgh, Pa.) to give Navy its first lead of the day at 10-9. Gil, ranked 19th at 141 pounds, recorded seven takedowns and a four-point nearfall, while racking up more than three minutes of riding time to post a 20-5 victory over Duke freshman Jeremiah Reitz. Wilding, meanwhile, posted three four-point nearfalls in the opening period against Duke redshirt sophomore Brandon Leynaud and an escape just four seconds into the second period gave him a 15-0 victory.
Duke went back ahead, 13-10, following a 17-6 win by 11th-ranked Mitch Finesilver over Navy senior Zack Davis (Granger, Ind.) at 157 pounds.
Navy 165-pound Drew Daniels (Sr. / Overland Park, Kan.), ranked 20th nationally, wrestled a methodical match that saw him take a 3-0 lead midway through the second period. Duke’s Zach Finesilver fought back with a pair of escapes in the match, but Daniels held on for a 3-2 win and leveled the match at 13-all.
Rookie 174-pound Matt Finesilver, the fourth Finesilver brother in the starting lineup for the Blue Devils, used a quick escape and takedown in the second period to overcome a 2-0 deficit and win his match, 3-2, against Navy sophomore AJ Alford (Beech Island, S.C.).
Once again, Navy answered with back-to-back victories. Eighteenth-ranked Michael Coleman (Sr. / Hudson, Ohio) recorded his 18th collegiate victory by way of fall, including fifth this season, pinning Duke freshman 184-pound Kaden Russell in the opening period (1:56). The Mids received another boost from senior 197-pound Steban Cervantes (Poway, Calif.) who has been battling a knee injury. Cervantes owned a 5-2 lead heading into the final period, but Duke junior Alec Schenk battled back and took a 7-6 lead with just over a minute remaining in the match. Cervantes knotted the match with an escape with 42 seconds left and with just two ticks on the clock, Cervantes recorded the match-winning takedown to give Navy a 22-16 lead heading into the final match of the afternoon.
Navy senior Austin Faunce (Lake Oswego, Ore.) had a stiff challenge to meet in keeping off his back against the nation’s fifth-ranked heavyweight in Jacob Kasper. Despite trailing 7-0 in the match, Faunce was able to keep the match in hand. But a takedown 10 seconds into the final period, followed by a cradle by Kasper proved too much for the first-year Navy starter as Kasper pinned Faunce with a minute-thirty to go in the match and knotted the team scoring. The pin not only tied the match, but would end up being the decided factor with Duke edging the Mids in total number of pins (2-1) to break the tie.
The Midshipmen will partake in the 24th edition of the All-Academy Championship next Saturday in Charleston, S.C. Eight military institutions - Air Force, Army West Point, The Citadel, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine Academy, Navy, Norwich and VMI - will vye for the team title and 10 individual crowns with action beginning at 10:00 am at The Citadel’s McAlister Field House.
Duke 23, Navy 22 ... Duke wins on Criteria B (pins)
125 | Thayer Atkins fall Aslan Kilic (NAVY), 5:37
133 | Josh Finesilver dec. Cody Trybus (NAVY), 5-4
141 | #19 Nicholas Gil (NAVY) tech fall Jeremiah Reitz, 20-5
149 | Corey Wilding (NAVY) tech fall Brandon Leynaud, 15-0 (3:04)
157 | #11 Mitch Finesilver major dec. Zack Davis (NAVY), 17-6
165 | #20 Drew Daniels (NAVY) dec. Zach Finesilver, 3-2
174 | Matt Finesilver dec. AJ Alford (NAVY), 3-2
184 | #18 Michael Coleman (NAVY) fall Kaden Russell, 1:56
197 | Steban Cervantes (NAVY) dec. Alec Schenk, 9-7
285 | #5 Jacob Kasper fall Austin Faunce (NAVY), 5:30
### Go Navy ###