Both the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool wrestling teams engaged in high-prestige tournaments over the weekend in advance of their head-to-head showdown, which will come two days before Christmas.
In the Northstars' case, that meant going to the two-day Tri-Valley Tournament in Whitesboro. In a gathering of 21 elite teams, CNS took eighth place, with 103.5 points. Queensbury (Section II) edged Webster Schroeder (Section V) by two points, 172.5 to 170.5, for the top spot.
Three different CNS wrestlers reached the final round. Of them, Todd Hagger, at 152 pounds, had the closest shot, going 3-0 before a tight title match where Mexico's Jacob Burke edged him, 2-0.
At 130 pounds, Patrick Dyer beat Corey Burnett (Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton) 5-0 in the semifinals, but could not get a point in the finals against Sean Hanson (South Jefferson) in a 3-0 defeat.
And James Segars reached the title match at 145 pounds, needing two overtimes to edge Mexico's Kyle Toney 6-5. But he ran into Alex Panipinto (Webster Schroeder) in the finals and took a 13-4 defeat.
Clayton D'Onofrio earned third place at 285 pounds, going 4-1 and pinning Oneida's Jon Holbrooks just 53 seconds into the consolation final. And Heather Kubacki earned fifth place at 96 pounds by earning a forfeit over Vernon Verona Sherrill's Kasey Proper.
Meanwhile, Liverpool went to Indian River for the North Country Invitational and picked up 52 points, good for 12th place in a 16-team field. Host IR (198 points) held off Phoenix (183 points) to win the team event.
Derek Eason won the 152-pound championship for the Warriors. he pinned Jake Exford (Watertown) in 1:36 in the semifinals, then turned around and held off General Brown's Josh Lear 4-3 in the championship match.
Mike Reed earned fourth place at 215 pounds, while Mende Cukalevski claimed sixth place in the 145-pound class.