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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tough loss for 'Toga grapplers

From the get go, the Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks were hardly in this contest, a 37-23 loss to the Bethlehem Eagles.

The highlight, of course, came when sophomore A.J. Rue notched his 100th career win. Aside from that, it was a struggle for the Streaks.

"That's another tough loss," said Saratoga coach Anthony Bellai. "A.J. got his 100th, so life is good."

Perhaps the most gut-wrenching match was at super heavyweight when Saratoga's Josh Smith took it into overtime against the Eagles' Craig Languish. With just 1.9 seconds left in the final period, Languish scored two points to take the match over a then-sluggish Smith, 8-6.

That made the duel 25-6 in favor of Bethlehem and that, in essence, settled the score then and there.

"We lost a tough one at super heavyweight," Bellai said. "We're a very inexperienced team. We'll keep fighting."

Saratoga won just five matches all night with Rafael Lopez taking the 103-pound match, Tim Schiraldi winning the 135-pound division, 13-2, Jake Glover holding on, 3-1, at 145, Ford Plowman at 189, 4-2, and Rue's 11-3 win at 130.

— Brendan O'Meara



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