VVS, Canastota near top at sectional meets

Each of the area's four wrestling teams would go for top honors at three different Section III championship meets on Saturday, gaining success on several fronts.

Vernon Verona Sherrill was a prime contender in the Class A meet at Fulton -- and finished in third place, earning 171 points. Only the host Red Raiders, with 249 points, and Indian River (199 points) did better as Chittenango (103 points) took fifth place.

Dylan Kavanaugh, at 119 pounds, earned the Red Devils' only title. Kavanaugh shut out Alex Monteith (Camden) 5-0, then blanked Gunnar Brooks (Chittenango) 4-0 before finally giving up a point to Fulton's Derek Harris in the finals -- but still winning 5-1.

Kasey Proper came close to the 96-pound title, only to lose in the finals to IR's Mike Mullins 3-2 in overtime. At 215 pounds, Kyle Reader fell to Fulton's D.J. Ingham in a 25-second pin ast

Jon Hudson topped IR's Jesse Jackle 7-2 for third place at 112 pounds, and Lane Frost (152 pounds) earned third by beating Fulton's Nick Muckey 11-6. At 189 pounds, Nick Mieczkowski won the third-place match over Jordan Soluri (Watertown) with a third-period pin.

Marty Howroyd was fourth at 171 pounds and Brian Ervin (285 pounds) found that same spot, while Eric Faherty was sixth at 103 pounds.

Chittenango's biggest moment came from Wes Blanding's victory at 130 pounds. Blanding pinned Christian Rivera (Whitesboro) in the second period and held off Shayne Brady (Carthage) 3-2 to set up a tense final against VVS star Dan Walts, who survived his own 2-1 thriller over Fulton's Jack Howard in the semifinals.

For six minutes, Blanding and Walts went at it, neither side allowing much and going to overtime 2-2. By riding it out, Blanding prevailed 3-2, though both could meet again this Saturday in the overall Section III Division I finals at Utica Memorial Auditorium. Nate Walts, at 140 pounds, was fourth for the Red Devils.

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