C-NS wrestlers claim showdown with Liverpool

Late decisions key 34-28 win over Northstars

— It only figured that a close, tight and tense contest would symbolize Wednesday night's wrestling showdown between Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool.

Late in the meet, with the victory essentially hanging on their match, 220-pound wrestlers Matt Mastro and Ron Wilson went at it for six minutes, but it was Mastro pulling it out, which helped push the Northstars past the Warriors 34-28.

When it all got totaled up, each side had actually scored 28 points in contested matches. But the fact that Liverpool had to forfeit at 285 pounds to C-NS's Jared West meant that the Warriors needed to get more points before that took place.

They started at 106, with Joe Barber pinning Alex Jorgensen midway through the second period. The Warriors countered at 113, getting on the board when Audey Ashkar handled Joe Mayers 12-4.

A pair of pins followed - the Northstars' Drew Dyer (120) over Anthony Ianno in 3:22, Liverpool seeing Joe Melfi (126) taking just 1:54 to finish off Brandon Burnham.

Briefly, C-NS stretched out the lead to 19-10 when Joe Copani, at 132, topped Mike Mills 11-3 and Jeremy Rivera (138) scored all of his points in the third period to beat Brian Carr 9-3.

Again, Liverpool would fight back, starting at 145, where Darren Breen's third-period takedown put him past Nate Langstaff 5-4, followed by Brock Barton (152) getting an 8-3 decision over Rob Rein.

In a pivotal 160-pound match, C-NS's Sam Ruiz and Liverpool's Dakota Inman were tied, 4-4, before Ruiz, got a two-point takedown in the waning seconds and pulled out a 6-4 decision, a win that got more important when, at 170, the Warriors' Bryan Merril pinned Don Mannise in 3:30.

Liverpool took its only lead, 25-22, when Connor O'Conner (182) edged Jake Claflin 5-3, but with the looming forfeit, it still needed one more win in the higher weight classes to send it to the wire.

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