Two local wrestlres - Cicero-North Syracuse's Patrick Dyer and Liverpool's Derek Eason - both took home titles from Saturday's Section III Division I championship meet at Utica Memorial Auditorium, though it wouldn't be easy for either of them.
Dyer, working as the top seed at 130 pounds, started out in dominant form, pinning Jack Howard (Fulton) in 1:37 in the quarterfinals, then taking out Nick LaFlair (Central Square) in 3:27 during the semifinal.
It was the title match, against Chittenango sophomore Wes Blanding, that would provide all the drama. They went through regulation and two overtime periods tied 2-2. Only when Dyer prevented Blanding from an escape in the third OT did he prevail 3-2.
Meanwhile, Eason worked his way through the 145-pound bracket by beating two West Genesee wrestlers, Erik Krohl (with a third-period pin) and Heitham Wady, the latter in a tough 3-1 semifinal.
In the title match against Fulton's Marcus Earl, Eason appeared to be in control, nearly getting a second-period pin and leading 6-1. But in the last seconds, Earl achieved a reversal and near-fall - but Eason held on for a 6-5 win.
With those wins, Dyer (27-5) and Eason (30-2) both advanced to the Feb. 26-27 state championships, to be contested at Times Union Center in Albany.
CNS finished sixth in the team Division I (large school) standings with 88 points, as Fulton (175 points) edged Indian River (171.5 points) for the top spot. Liverpool was 14th with 41 points.
The Northstars saw Dan Ciciarelli work his way to fourth place at 103 pounds, as he got to the semifinals with wins over Logan Dirk (West Genesee) and Greg Jodway (Fulton) before falling 9-2 to the eventual champion, Indian River's Derrick Gray.
Tony Battista took the same path at 112 pounds, beating Trevor Allard (Mexico) and Jon Hudson (Vernon Verona Sherrill) before Whitesboro's Mike Sardo beat him 5-2 en route to the title. Battista, like Ciciarelli, finished fourth.