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Jericho defeats Garden City, avenges loss in last year's semifinals

Kaden Ho of Jericho finishes his saber bout

Kaden Ho of Jericho finishes his saber bout in a Nassau boys fencing match against Garden City at Jericho on Wednesday. Credit: James Escher

Normally, matches such as Wednesday’s boys fencing contest between Jericho and Garden City can give a little peek into the future.

Garden City, the defending Nassau champion, and Jericho, a talented team that won the Long Island championship in 2018, would figure to see each other down the line in team or individual postseason competition.

But with the pandemic altering the season and teams uncertain how the playoffs will look this was the best chance for Jericho to pick up a win over a team that defeated them in last year’s semifinals.

Jericho took advantage of its opportunity by defeating Garden City, 19-8.

"It was definitely a big accomplishment to come out and beat them after last year," sophomore Kaden Ho said. "I’m really proud of my team."

Ho, who is undefeated at sabre this season, won all three of his bouts Wednesday.

"I always am trying to improve and continue to get better at my game," Ho said. "Every time our team practices we try to motivate and pick each other up. Nobody let’s anybody slack off."

There was certainly no time for Brian Li to slack off. The 2019 Nassau epee champion went 2-1 on the night, including splitting a pair of matches against two of the top epee fencers in Nassau, Sean Maas and Ryan Bradley. Li beat Bradley, 4-3, and lost to Maas, 5-1.

"We like Brian against anybody," coach Craig Skolnick said. "He’s phenomenal and cool under pressure. We put him up against anyone and expect him to perform -- and he does."

Behind Li and Ho the Jayhawks roll out a lineup full of talent. Jonathan Cheng and Yianni Tsimiklis each went 3-0 at foil and Neel Singh went 2-1 at sabre.

"We have a pretty strong team this year," Cheng said. "I definitely think we’re stronger in foil. I think we have a huge chance to be able to win it all this year."

Ho was happy with the win over Garden CIty but couldn’t help but think about the future.

"I"m hoping that we get the chance to go for the championship," he said. "And we win."

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