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Hubbard continues stellar season

Eagles cruise to 75-6 win over Brookfield

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes Hubbard junior Alex Hackwelder tackles Brookfield’s Troy Randall during the first boy’s match of the Eagles 75-6 victory over the Warriors.

HUBBARD — The biggest events of the season are soon on the horizon, and dual meets provide teams with the perfect opportunity to fine tune their skills and build on confidence. That was the case for Hubbard, who beat Brookfield 75-6, their only loss of the evening coming by way of a forfeit.

Eagles coach Ralph Streb was pleased with the energy his athletes brought in front of a home audience.

“Right now, we’re 16-3, it’s a great feeling,” Streb said. “These were aunts and uncles and alumni that were here tonight. You’re not going to get those people to come to a tournament. Mom and dad go to a tournament, maybe grandma and grandpa.

“These kids are on top. We lost one match because of a forfeit; I can’t ask for anything better tonight, that was pretty much perfection. They worked the hardest, this group is great, my coaches they’re second to none. It’s been a great ride this year.”

Hubbard’s Adora Hale began the evening with a quick victory over Brookfield’s Elena Pemberton in the 157-pound weight class, the lone girl’s match of the meet. Junior Alex Hackwelder won the first boys match of the evening, beating Troy Randall in the second period for the 175-pound win.

“Having moved here in the summer (from Grove City, PA), really just very happy with the way they’ve treated me so far, so it means a lot to get a big win at home and defend Hubbard,” Hackwelder said. “I always want to be on my attacks early. I feel like I have a really good shot and I’m able to score from my feet, so I’m really confident in neutral.

“Once I get him down, I just want to get my backs, build a nice lead and then from there see if I can get the turn to get the pin, definitely just want to score points and stay on offense.”

Junior Derrick Lenzi followed that up with a quick victory himself over Rick Blake for the 215 title.

“Set the tone early. Went out early, mindset was great, shook hands, he went for a shot, I sprawled, put him in a front headlock, spun him around to break the sprawl and got on top of him and pinned him,” Lenzi said. “He started bridging, so I put chest on his chest and I pinned him and won.

“It definitely gives me a good mindset when I get out there and get a pin that fast, I just feel like I wrestled good out there and had a good mindset.”

Freshman Logan Bella had one of the longer matches of the evening, battling to the third set with Brookfield’s Brayden Reed in one of the more physical duels of the meet, earning a few takedowns in the 113-pound match.

“It feels great when everyone is on my side with a takedown. The crowd goes crazy, just backing me up,” Balla said. “I know it’s going all three periods, I know I have to do something big in the end because not many points were scored early, and if got a takedown, I’d have to come back.”

“I trust my shots, trust my wrestling and know what I can do. I worked hard, run, try to condition my best so I’m ready for three periods. Mentally, I’m locked in ready to go before a match, so I’m ready to go three periods if I need to, overtime if I need to.”

His older brother, junior Bradyn Balla followed that up with a victory himself over Justin Calip in the 126-pound bout.

“I knew I was good on my feet with takedowns, and all of that. I stick to the cradle a little too much, I should try different moves but it works for me,” Balla said.

Ending the varsity matches was a victory from Jonathan Adamson over Justin Budnik in the 132-pound showdown.

sports@vindy.com

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