In most matches, Bennett Cohen is unstoppable. Thursday night, he was almost untouchable.
Cohen won 15 of 19 touches and went 3-0 in epee to lead Jericho to a 17-10 win over host Oyster Bay in a Nassau II boys fencing match. Adrian Yang and Cody Khim both went 3-0 in sabre for the Jayhawks (9-2), who can clinch the No. 2 seed in the county with a win Friday over Great Neck South.
“I’ve been spoiled to have him,” coach Seth Skolnick said of Cohen, a two-time individual county finalist who won a county championship in epee in 2015. “When you have a kid like Bennett for five years, you know you have a rock at the end of bouts, and you know he’s going to give everything.”
Skolnick said Cohen has grown into a more vocal leader and often leads epee drills in practice.
“I’ve sort of taken control of the epee side of the team,” said Cohen, who added that Thursday’s match was important for the reigning county champions, who lost their previous two matches.
“We’re getting our focus back,” Cohen said. “We turned it back on in practice this week and want to peak at the right time.”
“We have the potential to be a great team, so I hope we can continue to perform,” Yang said. “We won the championship last year, and that’s still our goal this year.”
Alex Gittler (sabre) and Chris Xu (foil) went 2-1 for Jericho. Ryan Obes and Alex Gelabert went 2-1 in foil, and Pavlos Tsoumpariotis went 2-1 in epee for Oyster Bay (9-3).
Jericho girls dominate in epee. Margaret Cheng, Anna Lin and Mutahara Bhuiyan all went 3-0 in epee to lead Jericho to a 16-11 win over Oyster Bay in Nassau II.
“If we’re up or tied (heading into the final epee round), I always feel very confident,” Jayhawks girls coach Craig Skolnick said.
Said Cheng: “We’ve come a long way since last year, and with Anna and Mutahara, we’ve really bonded, and it’s helped us do a lot better.”
Jericho (9-3) also got a boost from its sabre unit, which featured Madelaine Rangel, Amber Patrick and Jada Harrison, who all went 2-1. Katie Devereaux and Jodi Yeh went 3-0 in foil for Oyster Bay (8-5).
Said Rangel: “Every match we win only pushes us to do better and keep becoming a better team.”