PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Pleasantville HIgh School's’s James Bathon always looks forward to wrestling in a higher weight class than his usual 99 pounds.
“That is where the even better competition is,” said Bathon of wrestling in the 106-pound or 113-pound weight classes this season. “You want to wrestle the best competition during the regular season because when you wrestle the better competition, it gets you ready for sectionals. If you lose, you are going to learn from it and if you win, you know it was a tough match and you are going to get better from it.”
Bathon, a freshman, finished third Saturday in the 39th annual Mamaroneck Tiger Wrestling Tournament wrestling at 106. Following a loss in the semifinals, Bathon rebounded to a 3-2 decision versus Zach Ancewicz of Glen Cove. Bathon lost a 2-0 decision to eventual champion Brian Hong of Clarkstown North in a semifinal.
Bathon, who had 21 wins as an eighth-grader, said he learned something from his semifinal loss to Hong that he applied in his third-place match.
“I felt that I dictated my semifinal match with Hong in the first two periods and I was working well on top,” Bathon said. “But in the last period, he took it to me. I didn't get out from bottom in the third period and he was able to tilt me. I knew that I would have to work on bottom in my next match.”
Ancewiz registered a takedown of Bathon in the first period. Bathon escaped before the period’s end, making the score 2-1. Bathon chose bottom to start the second period and reversed Ancewicz to grab a 3-2 lead. Bathon went on to ride out Ancewicz in the third period to earn the win.
When Baton escaped in the first period, he said that gave him confidence going into the second.
“I knew I would be able to get out again,” Bathon said. “The point I got in the first period enabled me to win the match with the reversal.”