In many different ways, the Skaneateles wrestling team's season would climax in a 72-hour blitz that would include two OHSL Liberty division showdowns and, at the end, the league championship meet.
When all the OHSL Liberty and Patriot teams gathered Saturday at Hannibal, the Lakers, under head coach Dick Campbell (who earned league Coach of the Year honors), had a strong showing, moving up to third place with 121.5 points. The host Warriors won with 236 points as Port Byron (148.5 points) was second.
Three Skaneateles wrestlers reached the final round. Of them, Chris Wise, at 171 pounds, came closest to a title, staying close in his final with Hannibal's John Burchim before taking a 6-4 defeat.
Elsewhere, Josh Brillo made it to the 96-pound title match, but fell to Zach Ruggles (Marcellus) 8-1, while Ryan Dick (125 pounds) settled for second place after a pin by Onondaga's Alex Potts in the championship round.
At 145 pounds, Jacob Valentino beat Tully's Matt Barry 12-2 for third place, and Jon Leubner did the same at 152 pounds by topping Dan Cossitt (Cazenovia) 8-3 in the consolation bracket final. Conor Rourke, at 215 pounds, finished fourth.
All of this began last Wednesday night, when the Lakers visited Jordan-Elbridge and put together a 54-21 victory over the Eagles.
Though forfeits were granted to Brillo, Brad Ditch (103 pounds), Neil Ruggles (171 pounds) and Garrett Navaroli (285 pounds), Skaneateles still had to win a fair amount of matches on the mat to make sure J-E didn't threaten.
That included some close decisions. At 125 pounds, Dick earned a 5-3 win over Trevor Pettitt, while Leubner did the same to beat Eric Gross 7-2. Kevin Pembridge won over Mitch Cooper 8-2 at 140 pounds to improve his season mark to 22-1.
Elsewhere, Valentino doubled up Tyler Landers 14-7 and Tyler Saunders (119 pounds) worked his way to a third-period technical fall over Dallas Denise. Wise, up at 189 pounds, pinned Andy Chambers in just 32 seconds as Rourke got a third-period pin over Jeff Bryant.