Long before the calendar turned to February, it was time to start the post-season for both the Cazenovia and Chittenango wrestling teams.
Together, they appeared at Buckley Gym in Saturday’s OHSL Liberty/Patriot tournament, where the Lakers finished third with 148 points and the Bears took fifth place with 111 points. Phoenix claimed the team title with 230 points as Port Byron (204 points) finished second.
All told, Cazenovia would place five wrestlers in championship matches and win two of them. Dylan Evans, at 120 pounds, romped through the field with three straight pins, culminating in a final where he took just 1:11 to pin Phoenix’s Brad Dietz.
Meanwhile, Brad Lucas won the 285-pound championship. He pinned Chittenango’s Casey Placito in the third period of their semifinal before going to the title match and turning back Pat Murname (Port Byron) in a 7-2 decision.
Nick Petroff got to the 126-pound final before running into Onondaga’s Tyler Field and dropping a 12-0 shutout. Mike Nourse (152 pounds) took 1:03 to pin Brian Cuipylo (Port Byron) in the semifinals but got pinned by Phoenix’s Rowdy Prior in the title match. And Dan Phillips dropped a close 182-pound final to Kaidre Flowers (Institute of Technology Central) 4-1.
The Lakers saw Will Shephard (99 pounds) beat Nick Johson (Tully) 3-1 for third place. John Nannery (170 pounds) settled into fourth place, where the Bears’ Tony Cutrie was sixth.
Hayden Polhamus had to pin Jacob Kipp (Skaneateles) for fifth place at 195 pounds. Zach Maxwell (106 pounds) finished sixth, as did Carter Biviano (113 pounds) in a division where the Bears’ Rob Tyson took fourth place.
Will Young, by beating Andrew Newton (Skaneateles) 5-3, earned third place at 132 pounds. Casey Placito (285) topped Phoenix’s Derek Button 7-1 to claim third at 285 behind Lucas.
Also for the Bears, Jake Wilmer was fourth at 138 pounds, Correy Wilmer claimed fourth place at 160 pounds and Nick Harrington (182) had his own fourth-place effort, trailing Phillips. Matt Bixby (126) matched Tyson’s fourth-place effort behind Petroff.