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Ryan Belz of Bedford, in red, tries to pin John Ferri of Windham. Ferri would hang on to win a 3-0 decision. 

Bedford wrestlers win close one, lose close one

BEDFORD - It was a battle of undefeated teams at Bedford High Saturday as teams from all three divisions faced off. And each undefeated team came away with a loss.

Bedford beat Division I Memorial 49-9, then lost to Division I Nashua North 42-30 before topping previously unbeaten Division III Windham 37-33. The Bulldogs are now 8-1.

The Titans were undefeated before Division III Windham upset them, 37-36. They did not face Memorial. After beating Bedford, North is 3-1.

Windham beat Memorial 47-12. The loss to Bedford makes Windham 3-1 as well. Memorial is 0-4.

The Bedford-Windham match went down to the wire. Down 33-31, Bedford responded with a pin. In the 160-pound class, Chris Conery pinned Graham Smith at 1:35 of the first round to seal the victory.

Earlier, Windham coach Tom Darrin decided not to battle last season's state champion, Colin Perras, forfeiting the 132-pound match and giving up six points to Bedford.

Instead 132-pound Guy Gauthier fought in a 138-pound match against Bedford's Ben Gilman, who pinned Gauthier in the third round.

"Perras is a real tough opponent" said Darrin. "The fighter we would have used at 138 is a new wrestler."

"So we gave up the 132 match hoping to win at 138. Gauthier was ahead late. If he had won a decision we would have won the meet," said Darrin.

Bedford coach Robert Benincasa said he was surprised by the move. "I wasn't expecting that."

"They tried to game plan around Colin Perras but they forgot about Ben Gilman," said Benincasa. "He's a senior captain and one of our better wrestlers."

Bedford was missing wrestlers in three weight classes, 113, 170 and 195 pounds, essentially spotting points to their opponent.

Those missing wrestlers proved to be too much of a deficit to overcome against Nashua North. Tyler Silverhuse, at 152, pinned North's Wayne Nolette in the second round for the upset.

Bedford was down 21-0 after four matches, two of which were forfeits. The Bulldogs rallied but fell short. "We lost by the points we gave up," said Benincasa. "That's a tough way to go into a meet. But they are one of the toughest teams in Division I and we didn't quit. We were able to hang with them. It's a confidence booster."


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