Feb 10, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Kevin Paul, who had been down this path before, rolled to the top without a serious threat. Brian Honsinger, who was new to this, had to work extra-hard for his crowning moment.
Whatever the method, Paul and Honsinger are Section III Division I wrestling champions, earning their titles Saturday night at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.
By winning, they also gained automatic bids to the Feb. 22-23 state championship meet at Albany’s Times Union Center, where several teammates could join them as wild-card selections based on their records this winter.
Perhaps just as important was B’ville’s ascension to the top of the Division I (large school) team standings. With 145.5 points, the Bees accumulated just enough to fend off long-time power Fulton, who was second with 143.5 points. CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt (111 points) took the third spot.
Paul was the top seed and favorite at 120 pounds, having prevailed at 106 in the sectional meet a year ago. He never let his first two opponents earn anything more than a single escape, beating Arsen Bagiryan (CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt) 8-1 in the quarterfinals and blanking Tyler Heggelke (West Genesee) 5-0 in the semifinals.
The title match, against Central Square’s Blake Engebretsen saw Paul wait until the second period to strike, which he did with two takedowns. That was all Paul needed as he earned a second straight shutout, 4-0, improved to 38-4 on the season, and was a two-time sectional champion.
For Honsinger, the path at 220 pounds was going to lead back to Maurice Russell (Institute of Technology Central), who was undefeated until Honsinger, who had lost to Russell twice during the season, pinned him in the second period of the Class AA sectional final on Feb. 2.
There wasn’t a pin here – just an all-time classic. Down 2-0 in the first period and 7-3 in the second period, Honsinger reversed fortunes both times, nearly pinning Russell late in the second period to roar to an 8-7 lead and just avoiding late takedown attempts to hold on for a 14-10 victory.
On the way to that clash with Russell, Honsinger, also a top seed, pinned Tyler Hudson (Whitesboro) in 1:25 and gained an 8-4 semifinal victory over Fulton’s Derek Owen. For the season, Honsinger has a mark of 31-5.
Two other Bees expected to reach the championship round got upended in the semifinals. Chad McArdell, the no. 2 seed at 145 pounds, suffered a last-second takedown and lost, 6-4, to East Syracuse-Minoa’s Kyle Parella, but recovered with a pair of pins (including one over teammate Brian Rush) to finish third. Rush settled for sixth place.
Joe Nasoni had similar expectations, a similar no. 2 seed at 195 pounds – and a similar fate, beaten in the semifinals as New Hartford’s Jimmy Laurenzo pinned Nasoni in the third period. Like McArdell, Nasoni would get third place, pinning ITC’s Dalton Nyumah in 1:47 in the consolation bracket final.
Connor Ross, beaten in the 138-pound semifinal by five-time sectional champion Derrick Gray (Indian River), had his own third-place finish, capping it off with a tough 3-2 decision over Auburn’s Jeff Thurston, whom he had already beaten earlier in the day.
All of those wins in consolation bracket matches were important for the Bees as it picked up valuable points that helped it overtake Fulton in the team standings. And the wins by Paul and Honsinger in their respective title matches clinched the Division I crown.
Gunnar Sutphen, with a 2-2 mark, claimed fourth place at 170 pounds, with Luke Earle also splitting his four matches on his way to a fourth-place effort at 285 pounds.
Steve Petrelli fell in the 152-pound quarterfinals, the same round where Jake Norton’s title quest ended at 160 pounds and Jake Florack (220) also met defeat. David Rush (106 pounds) was sixth. Kevin Lewis (99 pounds) lost in the opening round, as did Davis Rush at 106 and Brandon Schmid at 126.