Central's convincing 46-25 victory over Northeast in wrestling Wednesday was perhaps the most pivotal win in recent years for the Lancers program.
In downing its vaunted rival at home, Central handed the Vikings their first Public League regular-season defeat since 2009.
Over that time, Northeast made the last three league championships, winning in 2009, and was generally the lone city squad that would consistently schedule tougher, suburban tournaments in the nonleague portion of the season. Over the same period, Central has hung right around .500, hardly in the championship discussion.
Not to be overlooked, especially by Central's current roster, was the loss it took just this past Saturday to the same Northeast outfit, at Abington's Ghost Town duals, by a fairly comfortable 13-point margin.
"Coming into this match, we lost to them previously on Saturday, and we were wanting our revenge," Central sophomore Paul Shaloka said.
The Lancers (3-4 overall, 2-0 league) stormed to an early 22-0 advantage, a run that included a win by major decision and three pins. Northeast first got on the board only when it earned six points via a forfeit at 106 pounds. Vikings 113-pounder Pablo Luna pinned Larry Lewis to close the gap, 22-12, but the Vikes drew no closer.
Shaloka, who won an individual league championship as a freshman at the old 103-pound division, put Vaughn Sanders on his back just one minute into their 120-pound clash. Northeast (3-5, 0-1) earned a couple of decisions before David Tigreros (145) pinned Xavier Espinosa in 2:45 to clinch Central's victory, pushing the lead to 43-15.
In all, the Lancers won nine of 12 matches (each team forfeited one weight class), as opposed to the four they won Saturday, when they were without Tigreros, Kobina Amissah (195), and Mario Morina (138), who were unable to attend the weekend event.
Tigreros and Amissah were two of the five Central wrestlers to pin on Wednesday. Sam Reid, the definition of upside, was another.
"They're our rivals and last year they beat us. It's good to know that we can come back and beat them, especially after the horrible loss on Saturday," said Reid, an extremely athletic 220-pounder who doubles as a defensive end on the football team and pinned Northeast's Mike Lee in 52 seconds.
Northeast wrestlers didn't look up to the task early, and the deficit ultimately crippled the team throughout.
"We didn't come ready to wrestle," Northeast coach Mike Siravo said.
Central 46, Northeast 25
182: Dylan Delaney, Central, major dec. Michael Huang, 10-2; 195: Kobina Amissah, Central, pin Luis Ortiz, 1:06; 220: Sam Reid, Central, pin Mike Le, 52 seconds; Hwt: Josh Gordon, Central, pin Iyla Ivanov, 2:49; 106: Joseph Bruno, Northeast, win, forfeit; 113: Pablo Luna, Northeast, pin Larry Lewis, 0:37; 120: Paul Shaloka, Central, pin Vaughn Sanders, 1:00; 126: Walter Shaw, Central, win, forfeit; 132: Marius Kola, Northeast, dec. Ken Lozada, 10-3; 138: Mario Morina, Central, dec. Hervenz Pierrelouis, 14-10; 145: David Tigreros, Central, pin Xavier Espinosa, 2:45; 152: Casey Quigley, Central dec. Davon Clark, 2-0; 160: Bronson Whitt, Northeast, pin Danny Levine 4:39; 170: Kemran Fayikov, Northeast, major dec. Steve Yang, 12-2
Central's Sam Reid and Paul Shaloka talk about the victory.