Feb 14, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
It nearly got away — but just when he needed to be great, Dylan Kavanaugh performed with flair and earned a Section III Division I wrestling championship at 119 pounds.
All of it unfolded Saturday night at Utica Memorial Auditorium, where the Red Devils, as a whole, excelled with 118 points, taking third place among the large schools. Only Fulton (175 points) and Indian River (171.5 points) fared better.
Kavanaugh, the top seed at 119, faced battles all day, holding off Dylan Lincoln (Carthage) 3-0 and barely getting through Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA newcomer J.T. Romagnoli in a tense 4-3 semifinal match.
Now came the final, against Rome Free Academy’s Antonio DeLuco, who was the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Class AA meet a week earlier.
Two different violations, plus an escape, left Kavanaugh behind 3-0 going into the third period. But Kavanaugh made his own escape to get on the board, then got a dramatic takedown in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime at 3-3.
Not wasting any time in the OT, Kavanaugh took down DeLuco and won the match, 5-3, advancing to the Feb. 26-27 state meet at Times Union Center in Albany with a 35-4 record.
Two other local wrestlers nearly made it to Albany, too. Chittenango sophomore Wes Blanding, the no. 2 seed at 130 pounds, beat Kiel Dyer (Cicero-North Syracuse) 6-2 and VVS star Dan Walts 3-2 to reach the final against CNS’s Patrick Dyer, Kiel’s older brother.
Through three periods and two overtimes, the two wrestlers remained stuck at 2-2. Only when Dyer refused to let Blanding escape in a 30-second tie-breaker did the Bears’ star take a painful 3-2 defeat. Blanding’s record this season is 36-4, which could help him earn a wild-card berth in the state meet.
Walts, a senior, recovered to finish third, beating Shayne Brady (Carthage) 2-0 in the consolation bracket final, and also took home a $500 scholarship from the Central New York Wrestling Officials’ Association for his contributions to the sport.
VVS freshman Kasey Proper used pins over Camden’s Dennis Hilts (Camden) and Chittenango’s Cody Carbury to reach the 96-pound final, only to watch Indian River’s Mike Mullins contain him in a 2-0 defeat in the title match. Carbury pinned Hilts to finish fifth.
As Kavanaugh won at 119, the Bears’ Gunnar Brooks took third place, winning three times in the consolation bracket, culminating with a 3-1 decision over Josh Scalzetti (Fayetteville-Manlius) in the third-place match as he improved to 21-6 on the season.
Also for VVS, Brian Ervin worked toward fourth place at 285 pounds, losing a close 3-2 decision to Eric Cushing (East Syracuse-Minoa) in the consolation bracket final. Kyle Reader was fourth at 215 pounds and Nick Mieczkowski reached that same mark at 189 pounds.
Jon Hudson went 2-3 and took sixth place at 112 pounds, with Nate Walts sixth at 140 pounds. Eric Faherty (103 pounds), Joe Tiller (125 pounds), Lane Frost (152 pounds) and Marty Howroyd (171 pounds) lost in the first round.
Chittenango’s John Regan beat Baldwinsville’s Nick Jacobs 4-2 for fifth place at 135 pounds. Zak Jackson went 1-2 at 140 as Rudy Farsaci (125) and Nic Bacon (145) fell in the first round, tool.
Over in Division II (small schools), Oneida’s best finish came from Steve Ellsworth, at 160 pounds. He lost in the semifinals to Canastota’s Zach Zupan, but recovered to edge Sam Carroll (Fabius-Pompey) 4-2 and top Eric Ulinski (Mohawk) 7-1 in the third-place match to improve his season mark to 30-6.
Elsewhere for the Indians, Matt Fisher went 3-2 at 135 pounds and, by beating Calvin DeCarlo (Tully) 5-2, claimed fifth place. Nick Hopkins (119) beat Brandon Steiner (Beaver River) 4-0 in the first round, but lost in the quarterfinals to Jared Crast (South Jefferson). Lon Palmer met the same fate at 145, beating Ben Young (Fabius-Pompey) 4-2 before Phoenix’s Tyler Button pinned him in the quarterfinals.