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Fox Lane's Pasqualini, Ventura Take Fifth in State

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Fox Lane seniors Matt Pasqualini and Danny Ventura realized the magnitude of their respective wrestle back matches on day two of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association wrestling championships, Saturday.

The duo had to win their matches or else their high school careers would be over. Pasqualini, the Section 1 large-school 160-pound champion, and Ventura, the 132-pound titlist, came in focused and lengthened their careers.

Pasqualini and Ventura won their first matches and went on to finish fifth. It is the second consecutive place finish for Ventura and Pasqualini’s first.

Placing fifth was somewhat rewarding to Pasqualini, who lost his first-round match, but wrestled his way back to place. “My goals this year were to win a section title and place here so after I lost, I definitely did not want to leave empty handed,” Pasqualini said.

Pasqualini advanced to the placing round with a 5-1 win over Dan DeCarlo of Port Jervis. Following his first-round loss, Pasqualini had to win two matches Friday in order to continue wrestling.

“I was disappointed and angry I lost because I was leading by a lot,” Pasqualini said. “I tried something I should not have tried because everyone here is very good. After I lost that made me angry, but I forgot about the match and made me want to get back to the placing round. I am happy that I didn’t give up.”

Ventura, the 2011 state large-school 119-pound runner-up, admitted the final result was bittersweet, but he still placed.

“I still wanted to win the match,” said Ventura, of his 6-5 win over Freeport’s Maurice Irby to open Saturday. “When I am older and look back on this I didn’t want to regret it if I didn’t wrestle hard and try.”

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