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Behind Early, Patriots’ Late Rally Falls Just Short

Bumkyu Jung locked up his cradle tight, squeezing as hard as he could. It seemed only a matter of time until Jung would get the pin and earn one of the biggest ties in Francis Lewis wrestling history.
But Sheepshead Bay’s Nicholas Frinquelli somehow managed to keep one shoulder off the mat long enough, in the second period, to avoid the pin, and preserve the Sharks’ (6-0) undefeated record.
Jung thought he earned the pin with that second period cradle. It was ruled a near-fall, and although he would win handily, 9-1, in the 142 pound weight division, he only earned three points, as the Patriots lost a heartbreaker, 33-30, at home last Wednesday.
“He almost had it a few times,” said Francis Lewis’s all-city wrestler Stephen Perez, who also was victorious, 21-7, in the 121 pound weight division, of the near pin. “He wrestled his heart out.”
Jung, a second-year wrestler, dominated the final period, but as the closing seconds ticked away, he was unable to flip Frinquelli off his belly in a last-gasp effort for the pin the Patriots so desperately needed.
“I just kept pushing, kept pushing, but he wouldn’t flip over,” he said.
Andrew Stamatis and Elias Derian added pins for the Patriots.
Francis Lewis was without two of their regulars - Philipp Vucosa (in the hospital due to a kidney injury suffered while skiing) and the flu-ridden Steve Pak. Because of those absences, many Patriots wrestled out of class; some dropped weight to move down while others went up.
Considering the disadvantage and the slow start - the Patriots trailed 18-0 and 26-3 – Francis Lewis (3-2) Coach Donald Rivera was pleased with the effort, especially taking into account the competition.
“I’m proud of my guys,” he said. “I think they did a good job today. … It was a great experience for us. I’m very happy we kept it competitive.”
Yet it was tough not to imagine the possibilities. Even forfeiting two weight classes, the Patriots were right there. Had Perez recorded his usual pin (he had done so in all four matches thus far), and Jung completed his cradle, Francis Lewis could have helped to solidify their first playoff berth in quite a while knocking off one of the city’s two remaining unbeaten teams.
Still, as Rivera, Perez and Jung noted, this performance will give them more confidence heading into the homestretch. And, if these two teams do meet again, there could be a different result.
“Next time,” Jung predicted,” we can beat them.”

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