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Benton eclipses 300-win milestone

Saturday, December 29, 2012 - Updated: 6:10 PM

Staff report

DOLGEVILLE -- The Amsterdam High School wrestling team split its four matches Friday on the opening day of competition at the grueling, two-day Mountain Duals at Dolgeville High School as it proved to be a banner day for veteran Rams head coach Ken Benton, who surpassed 300 dual meet victories for his career.

Amsterdam (14-5) scored victories over Rome Free Academy and host Dolgeville to give Benton his 300th and 301st dual wins. Brandon Lapi and James Marquez each posted undefeated records in four matches Friday to lead the way for Amsterdam.

Against Rome Free Academy, the Rams won 11 of 15 weight classes, collecting the maximum six points from all 11 wins en route to a 66-19 victory. Seven Amsterdam wrestlers recorded pins, paced by Lapi -- who needed just 58 seconds to top James Redpath at 132 pounds.

Marcus Torres, Ken Garcia, James Marquez and Dal Orengo also notched first-period pins for the Rams in the winning effort, while Rob Santiago and Joe Kelly rounded out Amsterdam's group of winners by fall. Jorge Rivera, Adam Tatun, Dan Banewicz and Rich Alteri rounded out the Rams' haul by collecting forfeits.

Against Dolgeville, the Rams powered their way through a back-and-forth competition and trailed 30-24 with just four weight classes remaining. But, Garcia tied the meet by pinning Dolgeville's Austin Burton in 5:21 at 195 pounds before Christian Lopez and Kelly received forfeits at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively, to sew up what ended up as a 42-30 victory.

Lapi was the only other Amsterdam wrestler to score a pin against Dolgeville, putting Colton Souza to the mat in just 19 seconds, while Orengo, Torres, Marquez, Santiago, Romeo Jones and Ian Alejandro gutted out decision victories.

The Rams had a similar situation play out in the opposite direction against Camden when, with Amsterdam up 32-27 with three weight classes remaining, Ian Radell, Riley Gerber and Jacob Wood racked up the final 15 points of the meet to give Camden a 42-32 win.

Lapi and Santiago picked up pins for the Rams, Torres notched a technical fall win and Alejandro, Marquez and Lopez were all decision victors, while Chris Garrison collected a forfeit victory.

Amsterdam's four-meet slate Friday was rounded out with a 61-17 setback against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. In the team defeat, Lapi continued his stretch of first-period pins by beating Nolan Hale in 1:36. Orengo and Marquez chalked up major decision victories, while Garcia wrapped up a 3-2 win over Race Viedt at 195 pounds.

The Rams continue competition at the Mountain Duals today at 9 a.m.


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