In a season full of youthful promise, Cicero-North Syracuse's wrestling team still had enough talent to produce two Section III finalists -- and one champion.
Anthony Maiorano earned top honors at 119 pounds in last Saturday's large and sprawling Section III Division I tournament at Utica Auditorium, advancing to the state meet March 2 and 3 in Albany.
This concluded a long and frustrating process where the Northstars' only post-season action would come at the sectional meet.
CNS saw the Class AA meet at Central Square on Feb. 10 wiped out by snow. A second attempt to pare down the fields to 12 wrestlers per weight class at Chittenango last Friday was wiped out, too.
It all cleared up on Saturday, and Maiorano did not let all the delays or inactivity hinder his path to the top.
To start with, Maiorano, a senior, pinned Terry Creamer (Fayetteville-Manlius) in 3:37. He worked even quicker in the quarterfinals, taking 1:45 to pin Rome Free Academy's Ryan Misurda.
Up against Eric Smith (Fulton) in the semifinals, Maiorano kept piling up points and easily dismissed Smith, 12-4, leading to a final match on Saturday night against Indian River's Chad Lacey.
Under the biggest spotlight of his career, Maiorano was in full command, using a takedown of Lacey late in the first period to take a 2-0 lead.
That held until the third period, when Maiorano used an escape, reversal and takedown to put it away and beat Lacey 7-0, earning the top spot on the podium.
Maiorano's teammate, freshman Patrick Dyer, nearly matched Maiorano's victorious effort in the 112-pound division.
Dyer pinned Andy Powers (New Hartford) and Jeff Clark (Oneida) in the first two rounds, then dominated Watertown's Gabe Jewett in the semifinals in an impressive 17-6 victory.
However, Dyer would see his dream of a sectional title deferred, as Fulton star Paul Slaver pinned Dyer in the third period of the championship match.
Anthony Dolson, at 152 pounds, beat Chris Coker (Indian River) and Tom Capone (Watertown) to advance to the semifinals, only to run into Fulton star Matt Bogardus and take a third-period pin. Dolson would finish fourth, beaten 4-3 by Oswego's Jeremy Linn in the consolation final.