Rustin survives Upper Darby, heads to quarters in dramatic fashion


WESTTOWN — West Chester Rustin is making a habit of pulling out dramatic victories in the first round of the Class AAA District 1 Duals.

For the second straight year, on the same mat, and with basically the same reaction, Rustin won the penultimate bout of the night in dramatic fashion to stamp its ticket to the quarterfinals.

This time it was Gabe Lourido scoring five near-fall points in the third period to come back and win the 120-pound match, 5-3, to clinch the No. 8 Golden Knights’ win over No. 9 Upper Darby. Lourido’s win pushed the margin to seven with one to go, making Jon Reardon’s (126 pounds) pin just a formality in the 43-30 victory.

“I think this is one of the greatest points of my life,” Lourido said.

Rustin’s Gabe Lourido celebrates after clinching the dual meet at 120 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

Rustin (14-3) built a 34-12 lead after eight bouts, but Upper Darby (11-2) won four in a row to make it 34-30 heading into 120.

Darby’s Marcus Mojica scored a takedown in the first, but neither scored anything until Lourido was able to turn him for a five count with 45 seconds left. Lourido was called for a locked hands violation, tying the score at three, but with the final seconds ticking off, Lourido tilted Mojica for another two, sending the bench into a frenzy.

“Gabe has taken his lumps, but he had a huge win right there,” Rustin coach Brad Harkins said. “That’s a credit to his character and not giving up. You never know who you’re going to have to count on in a dual, and he had to earn it.”

Rustin got some huge pins along the way. At 152, Dan Labus was taken down early in the first, but hit a headlock in the second to earn six. Two bouts later, Collin Hurley (170) finished Karl Kamanousa off four seconds before the second period ended, and Brian Kent (182) and Andrew Lamberjack (195) tacked on first-period pins for the Knights.

Rustin’s Dan Labus gets the pin at 152 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

“The kids deserve the credit,” Harkins said. “They’re the ones out there, battling for the team. It’s their attitudes and desire and will to win, and they put it out there and it put us over the top.”

Upper Darby collected pins from Colin Cronin (145), Max Livingston (160), Brian Kennerly (220) and Nazmul Islam (113), but the 19 bonus points allowed was crushing. The Royals were eliminated from the tournament with the loss.

“We knew it was going to be a dog fight, and be close, either way,” Kennerly said. “There were a couple upsets, but you win some and you lose some. We’re sad for a second, but we have other goals now and we just have to keep our heads up.”

Upper Darby’s Brian Kennerly nears a pin at 220 pounds (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

Rustin will travel to Pottsgrove next Friday for a quarterfinal matchup against top-seeded Boyertown. The tournament now switches to double elimination with the top four qualifying for the PIAA duals. Rustin is still looking for its first trip to the state duals.





West Chester Rustin 43, Upper Darby 30

132- B. Kaliner (WCR) pinned Gormley, 2:53 (6-0)

138- T. Kaliner (WCR) maj. dec. Reif, 12-2 (10-0)

145- Cronin (UD) pinned Monigal, 4:35 (10-6)

152- Labus (WCR) pinned Venuti, 3:42 (16-6)

160- Livingston (UD) pinned Harkins, 1:06 (16-12)

170- Hurley (WCR) pinned Kamanousa, 3:56 (22-12)

182- Kent (WCR) pinned Peterson, 1:28 (28-12)

195- Lamberjack (WCR) pinned Richards, 3:12 (34-12)

220- Kennerly (UD) pinned Harris, :42 (34-18)

285- Amouzougan (UD) dec. Kearns, 6-2 (34-21)

106- Khan (UD) dec. Jacobs, 9-3 (34-24)

113- Islam (UD) pinned Johnson, 1:17 (34-30)

120- Lourido (WCR) dec. Mojica, 5-3 (37-30)

126- Reardon (WCR) pinned Hopkins, 2:54 (43-30)

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