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Tiebreaker revenge
Hawks edge West with drama, avenge 2010 loss to win region wrestling crown

You can’t make this stuff up.

Hardin Valley Academy’s dramatic Region 2-AAA Wrestling championship match versus West turned out to be the same exact photo finish as it was in 2010.

For a second straight season, the Hawks and Rebels were tied after 14 matches — 38-38 last year and 39-39 Tuesday night, Jan. 24, at West.

And low and behold — with referee Larry Strang going down the list of tiebreaking procedures in the rulebook that, when announced, would cause simultaneous great joy and great disappointment — it came down to tiebreaker No. 8, or “criteria H” as Strang called it.

Just like last season.

Unbelievably, the “eighth tiebreaker” settled the issue for the second straight season — but unlike last season the Hawks screamed with joy, picking up one point for a 40-39 win and the 2-AAA crown.

“We go down a list of criteria … we went down to the letter H, which is the team having the greater number of total first points scored in the match,” Strang said of HVA’s 8-6 edge.

An overjoyed HVA head coach Rudy Furman said, “All I know is, they know how it feels. The shoe’s on the other foot this year.

“It just goes to show you every team point counts,” Furman added. “We got some in there that I wasn’t expecting, and we gave up a few that I wasn’t expecting.

“After 160 [match] I couldn’t sit down.”

HVA and West earned a trip to the TSSAA Class AAA State Dual Wrestling Tournament Friday-Saturday, Feb. 4-5, in Franklin.

HVA junior David Vaigneur, a starter in the 140-pound weight class last year who won at 171 Tuesday, said last year’s tiebreaker loss “gave us fire all throughout the year” leading up to Tuesday night.

“We were just thinking payback, we wanted that revenge,” Vaigneur added, noting it’s especially sweet winning in the exact same tiebreaking manner as HVA lost in 2010.

“It’s sweet to have the same victory they felt last year.”

With regular 171 Scott Impellizeri suffering a “head injury” the previous Saturday, “We asked David Vaigneur to perform a tall order and wrestle up a weight class and try to beat a kid that was 10, 15 points heavier than he was,” Furman said about Vaigneur’s 2-0 win against Rebel Peirson Bennett-Cosley.

“He did just a phenomenal job tonight, securing exactly what we needed. … He didn’t make any mistakes all night long.”

Other Hawks wins came from A.J. Moore (pin at 119), Jackson Beggs (pin at 125), Nick Maxwell (pin at 130), Theo Smith (pin at 140), Tim Vara (pin at 152) and Blake Bohanan (pin at 160).

Smith, a senior, said revenge “feels really good, we worked hard for it. We really had to get them back this year.

“We’ve had a couple of difficulties during the year, but we stuck together. And it’s paid off.”

Moore, a freshman, said he “was actually getting tired out — [West’s Christian Aguallo] is very strong. But overall, I think I probably had the advantage over him.”

Though Bohanan, a junior, has struggled at times winning at 160 according to Furman, “I give Blake a lot of credit” after pinning West’s Josh Williams.

“He has showed up every day and worked hard,” he added. “I keep preaching to these guys over and over again, ‘You never know when it’s going to be your turn.’

“You never know when it’s going to be your shot to help us win a region title.”

Bohanan said, “I was determined to win, so I thought I was going to win.”

Because of injuries, “We’ve had kids wrestling up all year,” Furman said, adding that Maxwell, Smith, Vaigneur, Ladyn Behn (145) and Majdy Dweik (189) all wrestled up one heavier class from their normal weight Tuesday night.

HVA’s Zech Kaser (215) was ruled to have been pinned literally a half-second before the third-period buzzer went off against West’s Brad Reid.

One second later, and Hardin Valley would have won without needing the tiebreaker.

“I’m a little biased, but I thought the buzzer came before the whistle,” Furman said.

A 69-12 region semifinal winner against Knoxville Catholic that is making its second straight trip to state, Hardin Valley looks to benefit from last season’s experience.

“We’re not going to have the awe factor,” Furman said. “It’s going to be a little easier this year just from the logistics standpoint of going.”


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