Sure, it had swept all nine CNY Counties League opponents this winter. But the task for the Baldwinsville wrestling team would not feel complete until it had gone out and won the Section III Class AA championship, too.
And that's exactly what the Bees did Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse. With a total of 194.5 points, B'ville brought home the banner as it held off the hosts from CNS (182.5 points) for the top spot.Rome Free Academy (154 points) finished third.
At the helm were three individual champions. Anthony Finocchiaro continued his domination at 125 pounds, pinning Chris Bourassa (Central Square) and Alex Barry (CNS) before getting a third pin over Tom Quinlan (Fayetteville-Manlius) at the 3:23 mark of the final match.
Joey Shaheen raced to the top at 103 pounds, pinning Corey Chavis (Corcoran) and Logan Dirk (West Genesee) in the second period on his way to the championship round, where his 7-0 shutout of CNS's Dan Ciciarelli played a key role in swaying the team outcome B'ville's way.
And at 140 pounds, Antonio Peck prevailed. He disposed of Dillon Purdy (Central Square) in a technical fall and beat F-M's Ryan Kiggins 8-3 before a title match against Corcoran's Emmanuel Chanello that proved close - but ended in Peck's favor in a 5-3 decision.
Elsewhere, Chad McArdell reached the 96-pound final, only to fall to F-M's Pat Quinlan 9-4, and Joe Senf engaged in a classic 152-pound showdown with Todd Hagger before Hagger took the title in a 4-3 thriller.
B'ville was quite effective in consolation finals, winning four out of six, all in closely-fought decisions, to account for more vital points.
Kevin Paul, at 96, held off Blake Engebretsen (Central Square) 9-5 for third place, while Tim Sposato (103) reached that same mark with a 5-4 win over RFA's Tyler Christman. Nick Jacobs (135 pounds) fought off another RFA wrestler, Josh Knapp, 7-6 for his third-place slot as James Lang (160 pounds) beat Oswego's Joey Ruggio 6-3 to also claim third.
Kurt McArdell, at 145 pounds, and Pat Nasoni, at 171 pounds, each had fourth-place efforts.
All of these wrestlers will now head for Utica Memorial Auditorium and next Saturday's Section III Division I (large school) championships, which start at 10 a.m.. The top performers advance to the Feb. 26-27 state championships at Times Union Center in Albany.